[EDITORIALS]A national emergencyThere is widespread concern that the government’s economic policy does not have direction. The government likes to talk about opening the era of $20,000 per capita gross domestic product for Koreans, but its economic policy looks anything like a plan that can make its talk reality.
The government is not doing what it takes to attract foreign business and capital to Korea. In fact, its actions seem to encourage Korean businesses to leave, fueling concern about an industrial vacuum.
The new government has said its top priority is the economy, but it has not even forged a consensus on how to revive the economy and why it is so urgent to do so. Labor unions go on strikes for economic reasons, and businesses have their own economic reasons for criticizing the workers’ actions. The government tries to mediate between the two sides in the interest of the economy, but there is no consensus on what is fundamentally important.
We believe the fundamental importance is creating jobs. What happens when workers go on strike and companies move their businesses abroad? Jobs are lost. And when jobs are lost, there are that many more people who are not able to support themselves, which starts a downward spiral for society.
When a person loses his job, he may be able to rely on government assistance or social welfare, but a country that continues to shed jobs will not have the resources to support the such a system. There is nothing surprising in advanced economies’ efforts to create jobs
The government, unions and businesses must pool all their resources to create jobs. We are approaching a serious situation on the economic front. China is a rival that continues to take away jobs from Korea, and we have not been able to develop industries that will fill the vacuum.
The result is that one out of four people in their late teens and early twenties is jobless. The situation is not much better for people who are just coming out of college. It is time for all economic entities to pay attention to job creation. The JoongAng Ilbo series on job creation is a timely look at this critical issue.