Europas letzte große Chance

STANFORD – Die Rücktritte des griechischen Premierministers Giorgos Papandreou und des italienischen Premierministers Silvio Berlusconi zeigen auf, wie sehr Griechenland, Italien und viele andere Länder die langjährigen Probleme ihrer aufgeblähten öffentlichen Sektoren mit untragbaren Sozialleistungen verschleierten. Für viele dieser Länder sind sinnvolle Reformen mittlerweile unausweichlich geworden.

Die Sozialversicherungssysteme in Europa, ebenso wie in den Vereinigten Staaten, Japan und anderswo wurden unter wirtschaftlichen und demographischen Umständen konzipiert,  - rascheres Wirtschaftswachstum, wachsende Bevölkerungszahlen und niedrigere Lebenserwartung – die von den heutigen Gegebenheiten deutlich abweichen. Die Regierungen haben zu vielen Menschen, zu lange, zu viel versprochen (wobei momentan Griechenland und Italien im Mittelpunkt stehen, aber sie sind nicht allein). In meinem 1986 erschienenen Buch Too Many Promises wies ich auf das gleiche Problem mit dem amerikanischen Sozialsystem hin.

Dieses grundlegende Problem wird nun in der untragbaren Schuldendynamik dieser Länder offenkundig. Die Mitgliedschaft in der Eurozone, die eine massive Kreditaufnahme zu niedrigen Zinsen zeitweise ermöglichte, verschlimmerte die Situation nur noch.

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