[EDITORIALS]Job creation is essentialThe number of people in absolute poverty, whose monthly income is below the government-designated minimum, has increased by 52,500 in a year. Due to the prolonged recession, the number of bounced checks and laid-off people has increased.
Since the foreign exchange crisis in 1997, the gap between the rich and the poor has gotten even wider, and the “poverty problem” has become a major pending issue in our society. At present, people relying on various government subsidies, including those in absolute poverty, are estimated to total over 4.5 million. It means that 10 percent of the population is suffering from poverty.
In addition, the number of credit defaulters is around 4 million, and potential defaulters are estimated at around the same number. Considering that an economic recovery is hard to expect for the time being, the number of people in absolute poverty has the strong possibility of increasing further.
There are many people who lead a painful life, being excluded from the benefits of economic development. The fact that the number is increasing is proof that our society is not healthy. The conflict between social strata is getting more serious and society is becoming more uneasy.
The recent rise in the number of livelihood-related crimes has to do with this issue. Even more serious is the transfer of poverty from generation to generation. Among people who were in absolute poverty, only 6 percent are said to have succeeded in escaping it. We shouldn’t leave the problem unresolved any longer.
The government and the ruling party have presented various ideas to alleviate the situation, including providing living costs. There is no other way but to strengthen the social safety net for the poor. But there is a limit to pouring in budget money, as is done now. This year alone, the government had to allocate an additional 61.1 billion won ($ 52.4 million) from the nation’s coffers because of the rapid increase in the number of people in absolute poverty.
The fundamental solution lies in creating more jobs. With government subsidies, poverty cannot be prevented. By providing jobs, people can be made independent. Jobs not only guarantee a normal life, but also restore human pride.
Their participation in professional activities also contributes to making society healthy. Poverty can only be resolved through job creation.