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[Editorial] Worries about President’s View of the Economy

[Editorial] Worries about President’s View of the Economy

Posted November. 15, 2004 23:10,   


When the economy runs into difficulties, an appropriate remark by a leader of the economy is of great value in that it helps to recuperate confidence and hope in the market. On the contrary, a wrong remark would cause distrust and confusion among economic players. Remarks by economic and financial ministers and assistant ministers should carry tons of weight. Needless to say, so should comments by the president. Any presidential remarks should contain correct judgments of reality, consistency, and a strong sense of responsibility.

Unfortunately, the remarks made by President Roh Moo-hyun during a conference with Koreans abroad as part of his Americas visit greatly failed these criteria. All in all, his remarks that he would not use a stimulus package because intakes of unreasonable doses of nutrition and stimulants will cause side-effects within several years do not make sense. What would you want to call them if a Korean New Deal centering on the massive use of pension funds, which are already in bad shape, for the construction of social infrastructure, cuts in interest rates that bucked the international trend are not stimulus packages?

His electoral pledge of a seven percent increase in the GNP a year should not be repeated frivolously. The GNP growth rate has many policy implications as a macro-index. However, he said he had promised the seven percent as he got upset with his opponents’ promise of six percent. We could not help but to doubt the sincerity and efficacy of all of his pledges. Did all of his 250 policy roadmaps and the promise of six percent growth in the economy he made during his speech marking the inauguration of the 17th National Assembly stem from the same backdrop?

Big corporations should not be blamed for the current crisis. The fact that although they are financially sound and awash in cash they don’t have an outlet for investment points to the depression and lethargy, the two hard-to-be-cured diseases the economy is currently suffering. The big corporations are currently using the sense of crisis to revamp the spirit of challenge and cohesiveness among members and weathering the tough global competition.

This is the point where this regime, which it hysterically attempts to cool any worries about the current crisis or downplays them as a conspiracy against it, should learn a lesson.