Invisible handcuffsThere is no limit to China’s economic growth. The growth rate during the first half of this year is estimated to be 11.1 percent. While Koreans were satisfied with 4 percent and were in a self-congratulatory mood, China grew three times faster. Their trade deficit was $112.5 billion in the red and $60 billion came in from foreign direct investment. By the end of the year, China will make the world’s largest profits from trade and will be the third biggest economy after the United States and Japan next year. That leaves us scared and envious.
China’s economic growth has comes from its escape from socialism and transformation into a pragmatic country. This is demonstrated by Dalian hosting an Intel factory.
The city complied with Intel’s fastidious demands. Intel was completely satisfied. As a result, Dalian became home to the new $2.5 billion factory which will create thousands of jobs. What Korea should have done has been accomplished by the Chinese. China, a country much bigger than Korea, is doing their best. How can Korea compete with that?
What about Korea? We lost jobs and investment chances by sticking to the left- wing egalitarianism that has been abandoned by other countries in the East and West who have understood it does not work.
As a result, Korea lost growth engines and the polarization of the classes worsened. We have been whirling in a vicious circle and our economy has suffered whiplash.
Korea is left in a poor situation. Impressive opportunities like the Dalian investment are hard to find, even with a precise search. In the first half of the year, foreign investment reached only $3.3 billion. This is a result of regulation imposed by government workers everywhere. They are hobbling our companies.
According to the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 35 baffling regulations have to be overcome to build a new factory here. This is giving entrepreneurs an underdog mentality and they have begun to think they can never beat the Chinese. They are considering moving their factories and companies overseas. This would be a tragedy.
However, we can’t just give up now. Korea still has an advantage in information technology, shipbuilding, automobiles and other areas. We still have time.
18th century philosopher Adam Smith called for an invisible hand, the government gave us invisible handcuffs. The government must cut off these shackles and deregulate. Left-wing ideology derived from antiquated populism has to be abandoned.