2010 | 2 | 145-160
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Liberalizm czy interwencjonizm? Recepta na kryzys

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The uneven nature of market economy development is particularly visible in the historical perspective. The paper underlines the most important theoretical aspects related to business cycles, the reasons for the emergence of crises, and the practical symptoms of the cyclical development of economies. It also briefly analyzes more significant business fluctuations (crises), their reasons, nature and consequences, as well as the changing responses of the state to such crises. Market imbalance is a result of the continuous game of supply and demand, prices and numerous other factors that determine the growth of national product. The analysis of cyclical fluctuations in business over the period of the last century shows that they are unavoidable, that a period of growth is always followed by that of a fall, and that the pace and size of the former frequently determine the depth of the latter. The paper attempts to evidence that each wave results either from appropriate activity or a limitation of activity of the governments concerned. Liberalism or interventionism? What is the right prescription for a crisis? This question can be answered when we review previous crises and the ways of solving them under concrete economic, historical and social conditions. It appears that at a time when states perform an extensive range of functions for their citizens, it is unavoidable to apply some form of interventionism in a majority of situations. Whereas liberal doctrine and practice decidedly prevail on an everyday basis, in exceptional moments, such as economic crises, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or other events that threaten the feeling of security, society allows for, or actually demands that the governments take appropriate measures. It expects that the state will offer assistance, and if it is not the state, then maybe some other organization. An economy is a living organism and – as in the case of humans – it has to care for itself to prevent illness, as prevention is always better and easier than cure. Another question arises, though – who is supposed to care for an economy and how?
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