Sind Programme zur Konjunkturbelebung sinnlos?

Vor kurzem schrieb Harvard-Ökonom Robert Barro im Wall Street Journal einen klugen Beitrag gegen die amerikanischen Konjunkturbelebungsprogramme. Die Lektüre von Barros Artikel war eine willkommene Abwechslung nach all dem Geschwafel ethikfreier republikanischer und kenntnisfreier akademischer Schreiber, die in irgendeiner Weise stets behaupten, die grundlegenden Prinzipien der Ökonomie würden verhindern, dass staatliche Ausgabenentscheidungen den Fluss wirtschaftlicher Aktivität verändern.

Allerdings glaube ich, dass Barro missversteht, wie sich seine eigenen Beweise auf unsere gegenwärtige Situation umlegen lassen. Barro schreibt, er „schätze den Ausgabenmultiplikator innerhalb eines Jahres auf etwa 0,4   und über zwei Jahre auf   0,6.... Der Steuermultiplikator liegt bei etwa minus 1,1... [Somit] wäre das BIP im Jahr 2009 durch die Konjunkturbelebung um 120 Milliarden Dollar größer, 2010 um 180 Milliarden….” Und um 60 Milliarden im Jahr 2011.

Das heißt, im Jahr 2009 hätten in den USA ungefähr 1,3 Millionen mehr Menschen Arbeit gehabt. Im Jahr 2010 werden es 1,9 Millionen sein und 0,7 Millionen in 2011. Nehmen wir nun an, der Wert staatlicher Ausgaben entspricht für uns im Schnitt zwei Drittel des Wertes der Ausgaben des privaten Sektors. In diesem Fall hätten wir 600 Milliarden Dollar ausgegeben und 810 Milliarden Dollar zurückbekommen. Der gesellschaftliche Gewinn liegt somit bei 210 Milliarden Dollar (und von denjenigen, die andernfalls konjunkturbedingt arbeitslos wären, kann nicht gesagt werden, dass sie ihrer verlorenen Freizeit einen hohen Wert beimessen).

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