Paul Lachine

Umdenken beim Wachstumsgebot

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: Die moderne Makroökonomie scheint ein hohes und stabiles Wirtschaftswachstum häufig als A und O der Politik anzusehen. Diese Botschaft klingt in politischen Debatten, den Vorstandsebenen der Notenbanken und auf den Titelseiten der Presse wider. Aber ist es wirklich sinnvoll, Wachstum als auf Dauer zum wichtigsten gesellschaftlichen Ziel zu machen, wie es die Wirtschaftslehrbücher stillschweigend voraussetzen?

Klar ist, dass viele Kritiken der gängigen Wirtschaftsstatistik schon lange breiter angelegte Messgrößen für das nationale Wohl fordern, wie etwa die Lebenserwartung zum Zeitpunkt der Geburt, die Alphabetisierungsquote usw. Hierzu gehören u.a. der Bericht über die menschliche Entwicklung der Vereinten Nationen sowie, in jüngerer Zeit, die von Frankreich gesponserte Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress unter Leitung der Ökonomen Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen und Jean-Paul Fitoussi.

Doch es könnte ein Problem geben, dass noch tiefer geht als statistische Verengung: das Versagen der modernen Wachstumstheorie, hinreichend zu betonen, dass Menschen im Wesentlichen soziale Wesen sind. Sie bewerten ihr Wohlbefinden auf der Basis dessen, was sie um sich herum wahrnehmen, nicht bloß auf der Grundlage irgendeines absoluten Standards.

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