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[Op-Ed] Education on Market Economics

Posted November. 11, 2009 08:24,   


A recent article focused on "minimizing children risk" as a requirement for a happy retirement. Children risk refers to a phenomenon in which grown-up children lacking economic sense give hardship to their parents. Not a few people with a successful career and whose children graduate from prestigious universities have suffered from children risk. Kang Chang-hee, director of the Mirae Asset Retirement Grants Research Center, says, “If you want to reduce children risk, you have to provide the proper economic education to your young children to help them stand on their own two feet instead of excessive spending on private education.”

Usually, the term "economic education" reminds many of financial investment. Efficient investment should not be ignored, but teaching children market principles and the significance of the market economy is definitely necessary. In the past, most economics textbooks were full of complicated numerical formulas and graphs. Now, many provide exciting explanations on the economy for youths and non-experts.

A few days ago, KT CEO Lee Seok-chae was named chairman of the National Council on Economic Education. In a phone interview, he said, “Instead of providing only economic knowledge, I want to let youths understand the superiority of the market economy, which has been proven by North Korea’s suffering and South Korea’s miracle of economic achievement.” He also said entrepreneurs who contributed to the miracle of the Han River should be appreciated further as Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller are respected in the United States. “Every man has downsides but youths must remember that entrepreneurs worked hard to achieve even a small thing,” Lee said.

Some who are keenly aware of social issues pose as intellectuals by condemning companies the market. Nevertheless, they enjoy all the benefits and abundance stemming from the market economy. As the "sense of economy suitable for teachers’ labor unions" spreads in schools, hypocritical behavior has also emerged. Such a mindset aggravates not only personal life but also a nation. Homes, schools, the government and society should cooperate to help youths fully understand the market economy and carve out their own lives.

Editorial Writer Kwon Sun-hwal (shkwon@donga.com)