Shameful excessesFor the past four years the incumbent administration has been in office, the number of civil workers has increased by 48,000. The increase is the largest of any administration since Roh Tae-woo. It is a good thing to increase manpower in the education and law enforcement fields. However, the government should have tightened its budget for other sectors. It didn’t.
Advanced countries pursue small-sized governments. Japan, for instance, plans to reduce its civil workers by 16,000 by 2010. The case is the opposite here. A variety of committees has been created and every government body works hard to become larger. Wages for civil workers have increased by 5 trillion won ($5.3 billion), which can solely be paid with taxpayers’ money.
Once the number of government employees is increased, it is hard to reduce it because it is very rare for a civil servant to get fired once employed. As the youth know about this, they line up to get a job in this workplace from heaven.
In the first year of this government, the number of regulations issued by the government was 7,838. Last year, the number climbed to 8,083. As civil servants use regulations as weapons and the public sector wants to pass regulations, corruption often occurs between the two.
In his New Year’s address, President Roh Moo-hyun said an effective government is more important than a small government. But the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland lowered the effectiveness of Korea’s administration from 31st to 47th last year. That makes the president’s remark a shameful one. While all this happens, the national debt has exceeded 300 trillion won and the average amount that each citizen needs to pay in tax totals to 3.8 million won this year. The large government dampens economic vitality.