[LETTERS to the editor]Don’t privatize telecoms and oil
The Lee Myung-bak administration has started its planned privatization of public corporations. Lee believes it would be beneficial to the nation.
It is true that privatization has benefits; it would lead to more competitiveness, which can also lead to development. However, in a couple of fields I don’t see any benefits to citizens through privatization: telecommunications and oil.
Telecom is a service industry. Even if it is privatized, there’s no technological development - which is the primary merit of privatization. I would not complain if it [the industry] provides good service to citizens. However, the fees, which are the most important aspect of telecom service, for cell phones in South Korea are very expensive compared to other countries - where telecom corporations are also privatized. Why such a difference?
South Korea’s telecom corporations offer usage plans that don’t help consumers very much economically. For example, if the charge for sending text messages is low, the calling fees are high. Also, whatever plans people choose, they always have to pay a minimum of 20,000 won to 30,000 won [$19.24?$28.86], which is not a small amount of money. In other countries telecoms offer plans that are really diverse, which benefit consumers.
If private telecom corporations keep charging unreasonable fees, then they should be taken over by the government.
Several weeks ago, I watched a television program which made comparisons of oil prices among many countries. And what a surprise! South Korea was almost the top in oil prices. Why should people pay unreasonable amounts of money to benefit oil companies and celebrities they use in advertising?
If these companies are owned by the government, we can spend the economic gains in other areas that would benefit all citizens.
Telecommunications and oil are indispensable for living. If it brings more benefits to the nation to have these industries owned by the government, then it should be done. Although it might be a complicated process, it should be pursued for the greater good.
Jung Eun Ah, a senior student,
Sookmyung Girl’s High School
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