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[Editorial] Lee Jung-woo Failed, What’s Next?

Posted July. 21, 2005 03:05,   


It is reported that the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning Chairman Lee Jung-woo, also known as President Roh Moo-hyun’s economic architect, will be replaced. Cheong Wa Dae emphasized on July 19, “Chairman Lee’s term is over, and he finished his assigned tasks. He is not being sacked.”

However, the resignation of Lee, who led 12 presidential national affairs advisory committees and took initiative in the decision of major policies above the Cabinet, should be called a firing. That is because of the miserable outcome of the economy.

Lee, who supports distribution over economic growth, has been in the middle of the controversy over “leftist policies” during the past two and a half years. The October 29, 2003 measures to control real estate prices with heavy taxing and 20 other related measures derived from that are examples. We think his biggest failure is that he did not distinguish between “scholastic belief” and “responsibility over policy.” If half of the economy is in a “psychology,” it will be difficult for him to escape the blame of shrinking company investment and consumption by lightening the “left turn” lamp by stressing the justice of distribution.

Cheong Wa Dae emphasized that despite Lee’s resignation, it will not change its direction of national affairs management. In reality, the perception of Chief of the Presidential Policy Office Kim Byung-joon, who has to take over parts of Chairman Lee’s role, just shatters expectations expecting something different. Yesterday, Kim wrote to “Cheong Wa Dae Briefing” an article arguing, “Some ‘large media organizations’ are creating a big glass wall that distorts the image between the government and the people. The participatory government and the president’s images are being distorted weirdly such as having horns in the head.” It was his rebuttal to the press criticizing plans for a coalition government as plans to escape economic reality.

In all, we can’t help but to ask what is President Roh’s perception of the current situation. This year, President Roh stressed in betting it all in the economy but continuously ignored remarks from experts that he could not breakthrough the troubles with the current personnel and policy frame. As stated before in this editorial, it seems difficult to solve the current general problems without changing the paradigm to run the country. We hope, that even now, to use Chairman Lee’s exit as an opportunity to renovate personnel and change policy, and, in all, reform the way the country is being run.