Wo die Demokraten die Grenze ziehen sollten

BERKELEY – Seit Frank Ramseys Arbeit von 1928 gehen Ökonomen von der zweckmäßigen Annahme aus, dass in einer guten Ökonomie die Investitionsrentabilität kein zu großes Vielfaches – unter drei – der Rate des Wirtschaftswachstums pro Kopf beträgt. Eine Wirtschaft, in der die Gewinne aus Investitionen im Verhältnis zur Wachstumsrate hoch sind, ist eine Wirtschaft, die zu wenig spart und zu wenig investiert.

Diese Vorstellung hat auch die sehr starke Annahme aufkommen lassen, dass die Regierung, wenn eine Wirtschaft als Ganzes zu wenig spart und investiert, zur Korrektur dieses Problems beitragen sollte, indem sie Überschüsse schafft, anstatt die Lage zu verschlimmern, indem sie Defizite produziert, die die Privatersparnisse aufzehren, die für die Finanzierung von Investitionen zur Verfügung stehen. Deshalb sind die meisten Ökonomen „Defizitfalken“, die einen möglichst ausgeglichenen Haushalt anstreben.

Selbstverständlich muss der Staat in Zeiten der Depression Defizite in Kauf nehmen, um die Nachfrage zu stimulieren und die wachsende Arbeitslosigkeit einzudämmen. Zudem sollten viele der staatlichen Ausgaben für aktuelle Probleme am besten als nationale Ersparnisse und Investitionen angesehen werden. Franklin Delano Roosevelt hätte keine bessere Investition in die Zukunft Amerikas und der Welt machen können, als einen totalen Krieg gegen Adolf Hitler zu führen. Ebenso hätten die Präsidenten George H. W. Bush und Bill Clinton in den 1990ern erkennen sollen, dass so etwas wie ein Marshall-Plan für Osteuropa, der der Region den Übergang vom Kommunismus erleichtert hätte, eine ausgezeichnete Investition in die Zukunft der Welt gewesen wäre.

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