Die Abkehr von der makroökonomischen Politik

BERKELEY: Ein verstörender Aspekt des Studiums der Wirtschaftsgeschichte ist, wie Dinge, die in der Gegenwart passieren, die Vergangenheit verändern – oder zumindest unser Verständnis der Vergangenheit. Seit Jahrzehnten habe ich meine Studenten voller Überzeugung den Aufstieg von Regierungen nahe gebracht, die Verantwortung für den Zustand der Wirtschaft übernehmen. Doch die politische Reaktion auf die Große Rezession hat die Art und Weise verändert, wie wir über dieses Problem nachdenken sollten.

Vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg – und noch mehr vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg – betrachteten es die Regierungen sich nicht als ihre Aufgabe, während eines Konjunkturabschwungs die Arbeitslosigkeit möglichst gering zu halten. Dafür gab es drei Gründe, die zum Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges alle hinfällig waren.

Zunächst war da die Lobby des harten Geldes – eine beträchtliche Zahl reicher, gesellschaftlich einflussreicher und politisch mächtiger Personen, deren Vermögen überwiegend in Anleihen angelegt war. Für diese persönlich waren hohe Kapazitätsauslastung und niedrige Arbeitslosigkeit nicht besonders wichtig, sehr wohl aber stabile Preise. Mehr als alles andere waren sie an einer harten Währung interessiert.

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