[EDITORIALS]A move in the right directionThe governing Uri Party produced an economic revival plan that emphasizes a lower income tax and expanded expenditure. The party is taking a more forward-looking attitude by accepting tax cuts that it had opposed. There can be different views on the plan’s effectiveness and timing, but it is a positive change that the party, which denied there was an economic crisis and was indifferent to the people’s livelihood, is showing an interest in the economy.
Because of the prolonged slump, most business owners are facing the limit of their business capabilities. Various economic indices are shrinking, prices are rising, incomes have been reduced, and unemployment has increased. Although it came belatedly, the governing party’s change is believed to be the result of its recognition of reality. We sincerely hope such an atmosphere spreads within the party. At the same time, the Grand National Party and others must cooperate with the Uri Party so that the change can be extended to saving the economy and stabilizing people’s livelihoods.
Should these plans take effect, however, the uneasiness of the business community and people must be dissipated first. Behind the long-term economic slump, non-economic factors play a strong role. Since the current government took office, anti-business sentiment and antipathy toward the “haves” have deepened, and economic policies far from the principles of capitalism and the market economy make businessmen and consumers anxious. And such leftist-oriented policies as setting history right, abolishing the National Security Act and revising the private school law amplify people’s anxieties. Investment and consumption are shrinking, capital is flowing out of the country and the economy is drifting into a long-term recession.
Therefore, if such uneasiness is not dissipated with plans for increasing expenditures and lowering taxes, Korea’s economic problems will not be solved. At the Uri Party’s economic policy symposium it was also asserted that the consistency, predictability and flexibility of economic policies should be maintained. The governing party must listen to these words carefully. And the president himself must spearhead the move. It must give confidence to people not with words, but with deeds. It is expected that the governing party’s long-awaited change will result in a policy of embracing the people, assuring them stability and ultimate recovery.