Time to get real

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Time to get real

President-elect Lee Myung-bak and his transition committee have come up with many ambitious policies.
It is understandable that the new administration has lofty goals and a strong will to carry them out.
It is desirable for the new administration to initiate positive changes in society and to encourage people to entertain new hopes.
But will is not enough to achieve goals when it comes to policy.
In particular, promising to achieve a certain economic growth rate may mislead people.
In the long run, the new administration may wind up fettered by the promise.
During the presidential election campaign, Lee promised the economy would grow by 7 percent annually, the national per-capita income would reach $40,000 and that our country would become the world’s seventh most powerful in the next decade. That is a very ambitious pledge.
It was a good campaign slogan, considering that the economy has been bad and the people desperately want the economy to be revived.
But the time to shout slogans has passed. It is time to take charge of the administration and carry out policies. Therefore, policy goals formed during the power transition must be feasible.
The president-elect must forget the pledges he made to attract voters and form new goals.
To promise to revive the economy is one thing and to promise to achieve 7 percent growth is another.
If he wants to revive the economy, he should give priority to economic growth when making economy policies, and should come up with the necessary measures and implement them.
There is no reason to name a certain percentage when it comes to the growth rate. A government-led growth policy worked under authoritarian rule, but it won’t any more.
If a government sets a number as a goal, it might form unreasonable policies in an attempt to achieve it. Even if a government achieves its goal in this way, the economy might suffer in the long run.
In advanced countries, presidents do not promise economic growth rates. A growth rate is not a goal but the result of economic policy.
President-elect Lee and his transition committee should stop playing with numbers and instead focus on drawing up feasible, necessary measures to revive the economy.
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