[EDITORIALS]Economic post holds potentialThe Blue House has revived the senior economic secretary position after two years. Dissenting opinions and policy confusion between the Blue House and its administration so far have adversely affected the economy. We hope that the new secretary will alleviate such confusion. Also, the revival of the position is seen as an expression of the president’s will to take better care of the economy.
We, however, do not believe all the policy confusion in the government will be removed just by reviving one position. In the past, Blue House economic secretaries both positively and negatively affected the economy. They helped presidents learn more about the economy and coordinated opinions among the Blue House, other government officials and the governing party. At the same time, however, there were some negative aspects, such as strong power struggles between economic secretaries and economic ministers.
The new secretary should be careful to avoid repeating past problems. We believe the economic policies of the nation should be centered on the economic team led by the deputy prime minister of the economy. The economic secretary’s role is to aid the president, help coordinate economic opinions among administration officials, the Blue House and the governing party, and support the economic team.
If we hear such things as, “The Blue House economic secretary and the deputy prime minister of economy are the two main pillars of the economy” again, then the system will fail.
We are also concerned that the current structure of the Blue House has some limits. The new senior economic secretary position will be under the control of the director-general for policy planning at the Blue House. Also, in the Blue House, there are already such positions as the presidential adviser for economic affairs and the policy planning committee chairman. Such a complex organization may cause even more confusion. All the economic issues inside the Blue House should be under the control of the economic secretary.
We hope that the revival of the position will help the nation emerge from its dire economic distress. But what is more important is the economic perception of the president and the Uri party. If they keep seeing economic issues in terms of political ideology, conflict between growth and distribution and negative sentiment against the rich and big businesses, then it would be futile to bring back the secretary’s post.