[FOUNTAIN]Let’s make a deal

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[FOUNTAIN]Let’s make a deal

In 1932, when America was still unable to recover from the shock of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic presidential candidate, delivered a historic nomination acceptance speech. “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people,” he said. That was the moment when the New Deal was born.
Although the grand name “New Deal” was used, there was nothing about the content of the deal in the speech. The New Deal government program was specified with the three Rs: relief, recovery and reform, after Mr. Roosevelt was inaugurated as president the next year. In the phrase, “deal” does not mean a transaction or a trade, but an agreement between the government and the people.
In this sense of the word, the origin of “deal” is found elsewhere. The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, who stepped into the office in 1901 unexpectedly when President William McKinley was assassinated, first used this term.
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt presented a revolutionary policy that totally reversed the former president’s basic policy. It was called the “Square Deal.”
That derived from the intention that no one would be treated unfairly by policy. It was devised with the intention to stop the arbitrariness of the huge monopoly companies that still existed at the time.
Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was actually a new deal in literary terms to differentiate itself from the Square Deal of the first President Roosevelt.
That New Deal has been experiencing hard times since it was introduced in Korea. In November 2004, the Korean government announced a Korean-style New Deal with a large number of economic policies gathered together. Even the new term “Digital New Deal” was made to aim at a second boom for start-up companies. But ever since Lee Hae-chan, the former prime minister, said, “Let’s not use foreign words in naming our government policies,” the word New Deal disappeared, unnoticed.
Recently, Uri Party Chairman Kim Geun-tae’s New Deal to rescue the economy has been bitterly insulted and snubbed by the Blue House. Chairman Kim strongly opposed the original Korean-style New Deal when serving as the minister of health and welfare.
Although he opposed the idea strongly at first, it seems the New Deal must possess something attractive for politicians, because Mr. Kim is again promoting this policy. The New Deal or any deals ― we don’t care. What we care about is the revitalization of the economy.


by Kim Jong-soo

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

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