Paul Lachine

Wie viel ist genug?

LONDON – Der wirtschaftliche Abschwung führte zu einem explosionsartigen Ausbruch des öffentlichen Zorns gegen die „Gier“ der Banker und deren „obszöne“ Boni. Begleitet wurde dies von einer umfassenderen Kritik an dem so genannten„Growthmanship“ -  dem Streben nach Wirtschaftswachstum oder der Anhäufung von Reichtum um jeden Preis, ungeachtet des Schadens, den die Umwelt oder gemeinsame Werte dadurch nehmen könnten.

John Maynard Keynes nahm sich dieses Themas im  Jahr 1930 in einem Aufsatz unter dem Titel „Die wirtschaftlichen Möglichkeiten für unsere Enkelkinder“ an. Keynes prognostizierte, dass in 100 Jahren – also bis 2030 – das Wachstum in den Industrieländern praktisch zum Erliegen kommen werde, weil die Menschen dann „genug haben“ würden, um ein „gutes Leben“ zu führen. Die tägliche Arbeitszeit würde auf drei Stunden reduziert – es gäbe also eine 15-Stunden-Woche. Die Menschen wären vergleichbar mit „Lilien auf dem Feld, die nicht arbeiten und nicht spinnen.“

Keynes Prognose basierte auf der Annahme, dass bei einem jährlichen Anstieg des Kapitals um 2 Prozent, einem Produktivitätsanstieg um 1 Prozent und bei stabilen Bevölkerungszahlen, der durchschnittliche Lebensstandard  um das Achtfache steigen würde. Auf Basis dessen können wir berechnen, wie viel Keynes als „genug“ erachtete. In den späten 1920er Jahren (vor dem Crash des Jahres 1929) betrug  das Pro-Kopf-BIP in Großbritannien etwa 5.800 Euro in heutigem Geldwert. Entsprechend schätzte er, dass ein Pro-Kopf-BIP von etwa 44.000 Euro für die Menschen „genug“ wäre, um sich angenehmeren Dingen zuzuwenden.

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