[EDITORIALS]Don’t just talk on the economyIt is understood that top government and Blue House economic affairs officials have decided to set up an “Economy Control Tower” that will coordinate pending economic issues. In the sense that confusion was created within the ruling camp because different voices were speaking without coordination, it was necessary to create a coordinating body.
The plan to introduce an integrated property tax was overturned by the government party even before the minister of finance and economy announced it officially. The draft revision of the Fair Trade Act was pushed through the Assembly by the Fair Trade Commission and the ruling party, despite the opposition of the business community and dissension among government branches. When the government emphasized the necessity “to boost the economy,” the Blue House policy planning chief, Lee Joung-woo, threw cold water on the idea by saying, “There is no intention to use pump-priming policies.” Although the president proclaims, whenever he is given the chance, that saving the economy is his first priority, the government party is absorbed in its reform bills.
People complain that they are confused about who decides economic policies and how they are coordinated inside the government. The decision to set up an economy control tower is belated.
But setting up a coordination body does not guarantee easy solutions to economic problems. The economic difficulties we face now are not caused by the absence of a policy-coordinating organ in the government. The problem lies in the absence of the mind and will to save the economy and alleviate people’s sufferings. The confusion over economic policy in the ruling camp is actually the product of a “reform first, economy later” administration. It was inevitable that the slogan, “Economy first,” had to be broken and twisted by the principle of “Reform first” of the ruling camp.
We must watch, therefore, the possibility that the “control tower” is only political rhetoric and gestures. The Uri Party said, “When the government and the Blue House show different views on economic issues, uneasiness over the economy increases unnecessarily.” If the ruling party, government and the Blue House only try to avoid showing conflicting views without the mindset of saving the economy, their efforts will be in vain. Coordinating words alone will not revive the economy.