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[Editorial]The Government is Now Aware of Deepening Economic Difficulties.

[Editorial]The Government is Now Aware of Deepening Economic Difficulties.

Posted December. 22, 2004 22:54,   


Kim Seong-jin, the administrator of the Small and Medium Business Administration, expressed the emotions that he felt working a street vendor job for one day at a conventional market. He said he choked with tears after witnessing the deeply depressed market economy. It may be inappropriate to compare, but the economic difficulties he felt from his street vendor experience made him remember childhood memories of his mother financially supporting his education by selling iron pots at Yeongdo Market in Busan. Some may complain that since the grass roots method of making a livelihood has long suffered from deepening difficulties in the economy, how is it that authorities are just now becoming aware of them? However, it is not too late to narrow the difference between government authorities’ awareness of the economy and actual business sentiment.

The economy cannot be recovered overnight. First of all, government authorities should try to feel reality to the bone rather than believing what they want to believe. Then, they have to come up with a consistent policy platform to meet needs in reality, and provide more detailed policy combinations. Since the government assured us that the redistribution of wealth was not its priority due to its economic philosophy, it has to provide a policy to give assurances.

President Roh Moo-hyun’s remark at a meeting on Monday with his senior secretaries and senior advisors seemed to contradict those principles. It is hard for a majority of people to find hope, and some are feeling a crisis emerging after they reconfirmed the president’s persistent belief that there is a conspiracy behind the so-called economic crisis theory. Even after providing a short-term economic stimulation package for itself, the government assured us it would not offer a short-term package, which confused many people. Few people ordered the unreasonable short-term stimulation package that might invite various negative aftermaths.

Roh made a remark in a news report that some children still had no access to compulsory education, saying, “We need to evaluate the situation to decide whether advocates for economic growth can corner the economic distribution issue.” This is another inappropriate remark. No economic growth advocates would want to oppose the national commitment to the care and education of underprivileged children. Nobody denies the important role of a country that provides a social security net and takes care of the shadows resulting from growth.

Although the current regime has more frequently emphasized the redistribution of wealth than any other regime, the livelihood of the poor has been worsening day by day. It is because, without proper growth, the government would face its limits despite its resolution to distribute wealth. The discord that has taken place between the deputy prime minister, who prefers growth, and presidential advisors, who prefer distribution, should be solved in order to replace the vicious cycle of growth and distribution with a positive economic cycle.