[EDITORIALS]Do what teachers tell youFive hundred professors of economics and business management in Korea have urged President Roh Moo-hyun “to come forward to save the economy.” In a signed statement, the professors said, “The fate of the Korean economy is at a crossroads because of the absence of leadership and declining entreprenership.” They prescribed consistent economic policies and stable labor-management relations as the cures for what ails Korea. It is unprecedented in Korean history that renowned senior economic scholars and economics faculty members have joined forces in such an action. Their statement calls attention to how serious a predicament our economy is in.
We have heard many worries and warnings on the future of the Korean economy. We can understand why the scholars felt so desperate about the economic reality that they were driven to cry out, “Now, let’s pay attention to our economy!”
“It is painful to see graduates idling their time away because they cannot find jobs,” a senior professor lamented.
The professors cited government leadership and consistency of policy as priority tasks. The problem is the unwillingness of the government to take action. The president, especially, should take the lead. President Roh must open his mind and listen to the scholars. Mr. Roh said at a luncheon with the leaders of the Federation of Korean Industries yesterday, “Trust me, the government will provide business the best services.” But Mr. Roh responded to complaints about a lack of transparency in government policy as he did in his New Year’s press conference: “I tried hard to find some, but there are no policies that are not transparent.”
How can there exist such a gap of understanding? In business and in academia, people complain a lot about the policies of the present government and Mr. Roh, but he himself says there are no problems. When both sides talk past each other, how can we find a solution? President Roh’s understanding of the economy must change first. Without understanding, the uneasiness of entrepreneurs will not disappear just because they were invited to lunch and heard a few sweet words. Leadership must be shown not with words but with action. Only then can the economy be revived and jobs be created.