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Some Middle and High School Textbooks Show Anti-Business Sentiment

Some Middle and High School Textbooks Show Anti-Business Sentiment

Posted June. 09, 2005 06:22,   


A survey showed that some middle and high school economics textbooks explained business and the market economy in a negative light.

On June 8, the Citizens United for a Better Society conducted a survey on the texts of five economics-related textbooks with 160 professors of economics and business administration nationwide. It found out that 61 percent of them answered, “Economics textbooks that explain businesses and the market economy negatively are the main cause for anti-business and anti-market sentiment.

Regarding corporate ownership structure, one high school textbook described it as, “Only companies transforming from owner-oriented to professional manager-oriented management can maintain their competitiveness.” On this, 78 percent of those surveyed pointed out, “It was not appropriate to explain professional management as an absolutely right path.” They reasoned corporate structure was a matter of choice, and ownership-oriented management might be more effective in some cases.

Regarding the parts that said, “Companies contribute to national development by returning part of their profits to society,” 69 percent answered, “It might raise misunderstandings about the genuine functions of businesses, possibly making them look as if they were public entities.”

It was also pointed out negative aspects of market economy were highlighted in some expressions, such as, “That a market economy is better than a planned economy does not mean the former is perfect,” and “Excessive egoism in pursuing one’s own interests leads to frequent conflicts among corporate members.”

Cho Dong-geun, the director of the Research Institute of the Market Economy (professor of economics at Myungji University) said, “I was surprised to see so many anti-market connotations in some economics textbooks,” emphasizing, “A balanced education in economics is needed starting in middle and high school.”

The Citizens United for a Better Society said, “Requests will be made to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development to rectify some controversial parts, and complaint letters will be sent to related publishers.”