Freier Handel und teure Liebe

LONDON – Aus der Ministerkonferenz der Welthandelsorganisation, die im Dezember auf Bali stattgefunden hat, ist ein bescheidenes Förderungspaket für den Welthandel hervorgegangen. Anders als in den 1920er-1930er-Jahren, als Protektionismus dazu führte, die Weltwirtschaftskrise zu vertiefen und auszuweiten, hat sich der multilaterale Ansatz der WTO Im weiteren Sinne bewährt, indem eine massive Errichtung weiterer Handelsschranken verhindert wurde. Doch die wichtigste Frage – ob Globalisierung eine gute Sache ist und für wen – bleibt unbeantwortet.

Das wesentliche Element der Globalisierung – freier Handel – beruht auf der Theorie des komparativen Kostenvorteils, die internationalen Handel sogar für ein Land als gewinnbringend betrachtet, das alle Güter (im Hinblick auf Arbeit oder alle eingesetzten Ressourcen) billiger produzieren kann, als alle anderen Länder.

Der Nobelpreisträger Paul Samuelson führt als Paradebeispiel den besten Rechtsanwalt einer Stadt an, der zugleich die beste Schreibkraft vor Ort ist. Vorausgesetzt, dass er sich besser auf die Juristerei versteht als auf das Tippen, sollte er sich auf seine Anwaltstätigkeit spezialisieren und das Maschineschreiben seiner Sekretärin überlassen. Auf diese Weise werden beide ein höheres Einkommen erzielen.

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