[EDITORIALS]Leave the economy to expertsThe verbal attacks on Lee Hun-jai, deputy prime minister of finance and economy, and the counterattacks, are heating up. After Mr. Lee made a remark to the effect that the generation in their late 30s and early 40s do not understand the economy, information on his acceptance of consulting fees from Kookmin Bank was publicized and a rumor of his resignation spread. Then there was speculation that the move to undermine Mr. Lee went into full swing.
Summing up everything, we can guess that some strange currents have been created between Mr. Lee and the young power holders. Because Mr. Lee has been quoted as saying, “I wonder whether Korea can implement a genuine market economy” and “I will not stick to my post,” the situation must be quite serious.
By advocating economic growth based on market principles, Mr. Lee has been in conflict with the distributional theory favored by powerful figures in the ruling camp. Because of that, “386 generation” politicians expressed dissatisfaction over a lack of reform-mindedness. The policies of publicizing the construction cost of apartments and entrusting civil servants’ properties to blind trusts, promoted by the Uri Party, conflict with the principles of a market economy and the right to private property. It is natural that Mr. Lee, in the position of the deputy prime minister of finance and economy, took a negative stance on such policies. One of the major reasons why the Korean economy is in difficulty now is not the absence or failure of economic policies, but because there is a tendency in Korea that the principles of market economy and the right to private property can be ignored or changed at random. If the move to undermine Mr. Lee is the product of such a background, there is no hope for the Korean economy.
We need a unified goal and a concentration of all our energy. By focusing on what we need to do to revive the economy, politicians, the government and businessmen all must run in one direction. If the ruling camp produces policies that can damage the fundamentals of the market economy and the protection of private property, how can our economy survive? If we turn a blind eye to the fact that the market economy and capitalism won the race and thereby shake the fundamentals of our economy, who would invest in Korea? The economy should be left in the hands of economic experts.