New economic leadershipAs we enter the second half of the year, stocks are plunging and international oil prices have seen a soaring increase. Economic concerns are pouring in from all quarters. At this juncture, the government released its plan on managing the national economy during the second half of the year. It is designed to change the policy direction from “growth” to “stability” in an urgent manner.
As the global market economy is confronted by an economic slump and skyrocketing oil prices, it has been nearly impossible to put forward growth-oriented policies. Therefore, we have recommended several times that the government should implement economic policies focusing on stability, rather than growth. We called upon the administration to lay a firm foundation for stabilizing the national economy and building growth potential, rather than sticking to its growth goals. It is rather fortunate that, even though belated, the government renewed its understanding on the actual situation and corrected its policy direction.
The correction of policy direction, however, does not guarantee that the government will cope better with expected challenges and disheartening economic factors in the future. Unless the government strives to correct its mistakes in judgement and policy failures and regain the support of the public, no policies will be effective in reality.
In particular, stability-oriented economic policy will never become a popular policy designed to satisfy people’s demands. Rather, the government will face many tasks that require the public to have more patience and make more sacrifices. If people no longer trust the government to support them, the government will fail to persuade the people, no matter how hard it explains the difficult economic situation.
In this regard, it is necessary to launch new leadership for the government’s economic team. We are well aware that a new leader should play a pivotal role in taking over the role of policy maker from the president, with all authority in his hands. This person should be at the forefront of persuading the public to share burdens. Based on stable macro-policies, these reform policies are needed to build growth engines reform of public corporations, deregulation and tax reduction.
All of this requires a talented economic leader who can drive implementation of policies. To do this, we need to overhaul the economic team across the board, including establishment of a deputy prime minister of the economy.