Montag, 25. Januar 2010

Finanzkrise, Einkommensverteilung und Steuerpolitik

Bereits im Juli 2009 erschienen, doch in der deutschen Medienlandschaft wenig beachtet, ist ein Diskussionspapier von Jean-Paul Fitoussi und Joseph Stiglitz unter dem Namen »The Ways Out of the Crisis and the Building of a More Cohesive World« über die Ursachen der gegenwärtien Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise. Zitat:
»The crisis has structural roots. The aggregate demand deficiency preceded the financial crisis and was due to structural changes in income distribution. Since 1980, in most advanced countries the median wage has stagnated and inequalities have surged in favour of high incomes. […]
As the propensity to consume out of low incomes is generally larger, this long-term trend in income redistribution by itself would have had the macroeconomic effect of depressing aggregate demand.
In the US the compression of low incomes was compensated by the reduction of household savings and by mounting indebtedness that allowed spending patterns to be kept virtually unchanged. At the same time, the limited safety nets forced the government to pursue active macroeconomic policies to fight unemployment, increasing government debt as well. Thus, growth was maintained at the price of increasing public and private indebtedness.
Most European countries tread a different path. The redistribution to higher incomes resulted in an increase in national savings and depressed growth. In the past fifteen years the institutional setting, notably the deficit constraints embedded in the Maastricht criteria and in the Stability and Growth Pact, resulted in low reactivity of fiscal policies and restrictive monetary policy. Together with a financial sector less prone to innovation, this limited consumer borrowing. The shift in distribution resulted in soft growth.«
»To reverse the trend in distribution, and hence to contribute to sustaining aggregate demand in the medium-to-long term, it is proposed as follows.
1- To increase the progressivity of the tax system, in particular for high and very high incomes. This should happen in a coordinated way to avoid excessive movement of highly-skilled workers.
2- Fight against tax heavens – in distinguishing between low tax cooperative jurisdictions and others – and, in general, increase the resources devoted to fighting tax evasion and lack of information sharing.
3- Introduce some sort of cooperation among countries to avoid tax competition, wage deflation and social dumping, the modern versions of beggar-thy-neighbour policies which were common in the 1930s. […]«
Dem ist nicht mehr viel hinzuzufügen. Prädikat: Must read!