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Skepticism about Kim`s market economy

Posted April. 18, 2001 19:05,   


President Kim Dae-Jung has insisted that his philosophy for the execution of state affairs is a balanced development of democracy and market economy based his so-called DJnomics. This is the ideal representing a most important universal value inherent to a capitalist country. Regrettably however, the general public is worrying over his recent remarks and some developments in society that run counter to his professed policy goal. For instance, our attention is paid to his remarks referring to mass media as well as economy during his interview with the Newsweek Tuesday. He asserted that in promoting newspaper subscribers and advertisements all media outlets should have the equal opportunities and that the security of readership and advertisements should not be monopolized by a few major papers. This statement poses a grave question, as it contradicts a free competition system, a cardinal principle of market economic structure.

In free competitive market, the existence of winners and losers is an inevitable phenomenon and the outcome of the contest is solely dependent on the choice of consumers. The fact that a few papers cut the figure in acquiring readership and advertisements is owed to the confidence and influence they earned in the course of market functions, but not because the other papers were denied of the equal opportunities. If the result of the market`s self-judgment formed for a long time is rejected, there is no use advocating a market economy. And if President Kim`s statement is meant to allot the advertisements concentrated in some few specific papers to other papers that the government favor, this amounts to monolithic egalitarianism that threatens the foundation of democracy. If such a philosophy is overall applied to the administration, this poses a grave question over the future of the nation, and if his policy is targeted against the news media market, this represents an evidence of indicating the government`s suppression of the particular newspapers critical of the government. President Kim advocated the need for reform of the press on the basis of specific opinion polls whose findings are different according to the contents of questions. And if his assertion for the fair distribution of advertisements among all newspapers is based on this kind of self-righteous surveys, this reflects his inclination for popularism, while neglecting the media market principle.

This is because a number of people raise skepticism over the government`s perception and its future course. Given that free democracy is founded on free market system, if this market principle is rejected by the president, the other axis or political democracy will be also jeopardized. In this respect, we are seriously concerned with the future of the nation.