[FOUNTAIN]Let’s invent a solution for the economyThe 26th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was an inventor. He received a U.S. patent at age 40 for a floating dry dock. In the 19th century, most freight was transported through canals and rivers because overland transportation was not developed yet. When a cargo ship had to navigate a shallow river, it would often be beached. So Mr. Lincoln designed a buoyancy room fore and aft. By increasing the buoyancy according to the depth of the water, a ship could navigate anywhere.
The third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence, was also an inventor. He devised a dumbwaiter, a manually operated lift that delivered food from a kitchen downstairs to a dining room upstairs. Monticello, Mr. Jefferson’s private residence in Virginia that he designed, is equipped with this convenient invention.
To celebrate Inventors’ Day on May 19, the Blue House Web site released an article contributed by the Blue House spokesman entitled “The President is an Inventor.” The article introduces three inventions of Mr. Roh: a reading desk; Know-How 2000, a directory data program, and a persimmon-picking device. Mr. Roh designed the reading desk thirty years ago while he was studying for the bar exam and received a patent for it. According to the presidential spokesman, Yoon Tai-young, “The user can read books comfortably in any position because the angle can be freely adjusted.” After Mr. Roh failed to win a National Assembly seat in 1992, he founded a research institute and came up with “Know-How 2000” to manage the registered members of the institute. His latest invention was the persimmon-picking device to gather persimmons in the Blue House garden.
Let’s anticipate an invention from the president now that he is back at work. The invention we expect would not be an object. Instead, we want an innovative government that can give hope to the nation. Now is the time to contemplate the principles of national administration. His ideas and passion should be focused on resolving the economic and security concerns, improving the living quality of the citizens, and reinforcing national strength. Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Lincoln are remembered as leaders who paved the way for the United States to become an advanced country because they applied their inventor’s qualities to state affairs.
by Lee Sang-il
The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
More in Columns
A cautionary tale
A government in disarray
China’s thin skin
The Korean War from China’s view
Who’s laughing now?