[EDITORIALS]Wake up, Uri, and governAs the economic slump continues, more and more families are coming undone.
As unemployment rises, the reduction in income and increase in credit card debt are driving people to despair, violence, divorce and desertion as breadwinners become homeless.
This is not the case only for low-income people, but for middle-income Koreans and even some professionals.
A document that the Office of Policy Coordination submitted to the governing Uri Party shows how dire the people’s plight has become. With more and more households struggling to make ends meet, divorces have increased about 40 percent in the past three years.
More children are housed in state institutions. An estimated 90,000 households live in virtual caves where unpaid bills have triggered cuts of all utilities. There are families finding it hard to pay school fees, and statistics show that personal bankruptcies in the nation are rising fast.
The document ends by warning that the bad economy is eroding our families.
We do not need such documents to know that our families are coming apart. Look around us and we can easily find a family broken, or a middle class fallen apart. Housewives are selling their smiles and alcohol in “entertainment” honkytonks because they cannot get other jobs, even as cleaning women.
Lines at the food charity centers are getting longer. There are tales of fathers and mothers committing suicide with their children because they could not make ends meet.
The real problem we face, however, is that there seems to be no way to alleviate these sufferings. The situation will only get worse if consumers continue to keep their billfolds closed and small and medium businesses go belly up. The only solution is jobs and more jobs. That is the sole path to paying off debts and leading a normal family life. In order to create more jobs, the economy must pick up.
Surely the governing Uri Party is well aware of this situation. Thus, we would like to ask them just how much longer they are going to argue over ideology and reform when the reality is so miserable.
The most important task at hand is revitalizing the economy. If the Uri Party is a true governing party, responsible and accountable to the public, we believe that it will soon realize what it has to do.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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