[EDITORIALS]Growth must come firstThe deputy prime minister and finance minister, Lee Hun-jai, pressed Our Open Party, saying, “There are concerns that the voices against the principles of a market economy will grow louder after the legislative elections. Please be active in countering such worries, both domestically and internationally.”
As the pro-government party gained a majority of seats in the National Assembly, concerns about political uncertainty have decreased. But anxiety and uneasiness about the corporate perspective and identity of Our Open Party members does not appear to be going away. Foreign media analyze that South Korea’s policies will tilt towards the left.
No one is opposed to the economic reform and “the consideration for, and giving aid to, the socially weak” policy of Our Open Party. The problem is one of priorities. In our economic reality, the problem is what must be the priority for the benefit of our nation. Even though the pro-government party is not going out of its way to stress “distribution of wealth,” Our Open Party’s progressive image and the advances made by the Democratic Labor Party in the recent elections are both reasons sufficient for worries about anti-market and anti-corporate policies of the government. The pro-government party and the cabinet must not underestimate the impact that this image may have on the economy.
Hence, instead of complaining, “When have we ever talked of anti-market, anti-corporate sentiment?” it is important for the party to actively emphasize pro-market, pro-corporate principles. There was a general belief that when the elections were over, political uncertainty would disappear and the investment situation would improve, but the economic environment does not show the slightest change. If this persists, the economy will not recover. In particular, small and medium businesses are suffering, and there is talk of a financial crisis caused by such businesses.
We must put economic recovery above all else. We must show this by our actions. The administration and Our Open Party must speak the same language, saying that they will respect market economy principles. The pro-government party must lend a hand to Mr. Lee’s statement, “Growth and employment are the top priorities.”