Jon Krause

Zyklen der wirtschaftlichen Unzufriedenheit

FLORENZ – Das neunzehnte Jahrhundert war fasziniert vom zyklischen Verhalten der Wirtschaft. Der französische Ökonom Clement Juglar wurde berühmt für die Feststellung, dass Konjunkturzyklen sich über neun oder zehn Jahre erstrecken. In letzter Zeit haben wir unsere eigenen Zyklen des Überschwangs und Zusammenbruchs erlebt. Doch sind sie ganz anders.

In der Welt des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts erholten sich die Menschen nach einem Abschwung schnell und gingen zur gewohnten Tagesordnung über. In diesem Sinne erschien das Phänomen des Konjunkturzyklus relativ konstant und unveränderlich. Heutzutage gilt jedoch ein zyklischer Einbruch als große Überraschung. Im Anschluss an ihn beginnen wir damit, unsere Sichtweise der Ökonomie neu zu erfinden. Ungefähr alle zehn Jahre meinen wir, dass ein bestimmtes Wachstumsmodell so kaputt ist, dass es nicht wieder zum Leben erweckt werden kann. So musste die Welt 1979, 1989, 1998 und 2008 neu erdacht werden.

Der Keynesianismus war 1979, nach dem zweiten Ölpreisschock des Jahrzehnts, definitiv zu Ende. Das zufällige Zusammentreffen der Wahl Margaret Thatchers in Großbritannien und des von US-Notenbankchef Paul Volcker herbeigeführten Zinsschocks vom Oktober 1979 beendete eine Ära, in der Inflation als Lösung für soziale Probleme angesehen wurde. Staatliche Eingriffe und Geldmengenexpansion gerieten als Mittel, um sich von der Unzufriedenheit freizukaufen, in Verruf, genau wie der westeuropäische Sozialstaat.

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