Wissenschaftlicher Kapitalismus

PRINCETON – Um zu verstehen, wie wir uns in das aktuelle wirtschaftliche Schlamassel gebracht haben, gehen komplizierte Erklärungen zu Derivaten, Regulierungsfehlern und so weiter an der Sache vorbei. Die beste Antwort ist ebenso alt wie einfach: Selbstüberhebung.

In den modernen mathematischen Wirtschaftswissenschaften beschlossen viele Menschen aus der reichen Welt, dass wir endlich einen Satz an wissenschaftlichen Werkzeugen entwickelt hatten, mit dem man menschliches Verhalten wirklich vorhersagen konnte. Diese Werkzeuge sollten angeblich so verlässlich sein, wie diejenigen, die im Ingenieurswesen eingesetzt werden. Nachdem wir den wissenschaftlichen Sozialismus am Ende des Kalten Kriegs zu Grabe getragen hatten, wandten wir uns rasch einer anderen Wissenschaft vom Menschen zu.

Unsere neuen Glaubenssätze leiteten sich nicht von neuen Experimenten oder unerwarteten Beobachtungen ab, wie das bei einem echten wissenschaftlichen Paradigmenwechsel der Fall ist. Ökonomen führen normalerweise keine Experimente mit echtem Geld durch. Wenn sie das tun, z. B. als der Nobelpreisträger Myron Scholes den Hedgefonds Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) leitete, sind die Gefahren oft größer als die Vorteile (eine Lektion, die wir immer noch nicht ganz gelernt zu haben scheinen). Und da nahezu jede Beobachtung, die Ökonomen machen, unvorhergesehene Ergebnisse liefert, könnte keine unerwartete Beobachtung je tatsächlich ein wirtschaftliches Paradigma ändern.

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