[EDITORIALS]Students’ anti-market viewsThe results of a poll by the Federation of Korean Industries on primary and secondary school students’ views on the economy are raising concerns.
According to the poll, most of the students misunderstand and distrust the market economy. They hold quite negative views on the opening of domestic markets, including the sale of local real estate to foreigners. And students in the higher grades have some antipathy toward Korean conglomerates, known as jaebeol. They are egalitarian-oriented, so 41 percent agreed with the proposition that a community whose members are equally badly off is better than a community whose members are unequally well off. Thirty-six percent disagreed.
Without the market, an economy cannot develop. In the global economy, we cannot live with our markets closed. So, it causes concern that students, who will lead Korea in the future, have biased and negative views about the market economy and corporations.
Companies themselves bear substantial responsibility. The illegal and irresponsible practices of some businessmen have produced the negative views the public and students hold about them. Accordingly, business leaders have to fulfill their duty of “noblesse oblige” ― the requirements of behavior imposed on the elite.
But education has a more serious responsibility for students’ biased views. In particular, some teachers who have focused on teaching ideologies and ideological struggles, rather than providing a normal education, are to blame. Politicians and the media, who provoke anti-business sentiment for political purposes, also should take responsibility.
If Korea wants to develop politically and socially, as well as economically, it must have the correct view on the economy. The JoongAng Ilbo has recently begun the “education on the economy” program for young students, because it has recognized the necessity of the right view on the economy.
A national campaign is needed to establish the proper view of the economy in the minds of students who will lead the future of Korea.