Lee unveils new economic goalsPresident Lee Myung-bak yesterday said he would govern in his remaining time in office by pursuing a more compassionate market economy to address the country’s widening income gap and jobless recovery following the 2008 financial crisis.
Devoting the bulk of his annual Liberation Day address to his administration’s new guiding principle, Lee said his latest vision would balance development against the ill effects of a competition-driven society - calling the new form of governance “ecosystemic development.”
“We have to come up with a new development mechanism through which the preservation of the global environment can go hand in hand with economic prosperity,” Lee said, “growth with an improvement in the quality of life, economic progress with social cohesiveness, and national progress with individual progress.”
The president in his speech, given at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, also stressed the need for a new form of market economy - one that “evolves from greedy management to ethical management, from the freedom of capital to the responsibility of capital, and from the vicious circle of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer to mutual prosperity.”
Repeating his calls for the nation’s conglomerates to shoulder more social responsibilities and to improve the public’s quality of life, Lee said his administration’s recent initiative to promote “shared growth” among large and small companies was a key component to ecosystemic development.
Humanity, creativity and responsibility, Lee added, were the key values in his new vision for the nation.
The president’s latest governing theme is the fourth since entering the Blue House in 2008. In his first year, Lee promoted low-carbon green growth, followed by working-class-friendly centrism in his second year. Last year, he unveiled his administration’s campaign for a fair society.
Kim Du-woo, senior secretary to the president for public relations, later said that Lee’s plan represented a new model for development in which competing aims - environmentalism versus growth, development versus social cohesion, national progress versus individual progress - can coexist.
“He is emphasizing the importance of overcoming the shortcomings of unlimited competition associated with the market economy and neo-liberalism as well as the shortcomings of a welfare government,” Kim said.
The opposition Democratic Party, meanwhile, did not mince words in responding to the president’s calls for fiscal responsibility and for a new form of market economy.
“Once again this year, Lee mentioned a new market economy model and stressed fiscal soundness, but he lacked the substance on how to realize the goals,” the DP spokesman Lee Yong-sup said, calling Lee’s pledges in all of his Liberation Day addresses since taking office as “empty words.”
The president, in his address yesterday, also warned against populist, pork-barrel pledges ahead of next year’s legislative and presidential elections, saying such promises could harm the nation’s fiscal health.
“We have to ensure that the recent global fiscal crisis teaches us a lesson,” Lee said. “Unlike other crises, fiscal crises are the most dangerous as we do not have the proper means to tackle them. It is instrumental to maintain fiscal soundness to properly respond to any crisis.”
Lee attributed Korea’s relatively fast recovery from the 2008 global recession to the nation’s sound fiscal situation and pledged to balance the budget by 2013 when his term ends.
The president did not specify how his administration would achieve a balanced budget, though his senior spokesman, Kim, said later that the president’s pledge did not necessarily mean cuts to welfare spending.
But Lee, who has not hidden his opposition to the series of pledges from lawmakers to expand welfare programs, bluntly warned the public yesterday from buying into them.
“In some countries, competitive welfare populism by lawmakers brought about national bankruptcy,” Lee said. “We have to avoid repeating the same mistakes. If the state budget is depleted, it would be impossible to continue implementing welfare policies.”
Alluding to the spate of competing welfare proposals coming from both sides of the aisle as well as to the upcoming Seoul referendum on the free school lunch program, the president also criticized those who insisted on welfare for all, instead of targeted programs for the disadvantaged.
“We should not make the error of giving financial aid to those who are well off, thus preventing such assistance from flowing into the hands of those in desperate need,” Lee said. “We have to remain vigilant so that policies formulated for present convenience do not become an unmanageable burden for future generations.”
Both Grand National Party and Democratic Party lawmakers in recent months have proposed competing welfare programs, from tuition cuts to free child care and medical care.
The Democratic Party responded to Lee’s warning against populist promises yesterday, saying, “Lee shamelessly blamed the welfare programs for continuing fiscal deficits and snowballing national debts by calling them populist measures,” the DP spokesman said.
By Ser Myo-ja [email@example.com]
한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
“탐욕 경영서 윤리 경영으로”
MB, 광복절 경축사 통해
‘공생 발전’ 새 모델 제시
이명박 대통령은 15일 광복절 경축사를 통해 “오늘 우리가 분명히 인식해야 할 것은 기존의 시장경제가 새로운 단계로 진화해야 한다는 사실”이라며 “‘탐욕 경영’에서 ‘윤리 경영’으로, ‘자본의 자유’에서 ‘자본의 책임’으로, ‘부익부 빈익빈’에서 ‘상생 번영’으로 진화하는 시장경제의 모델이 요구되고 있다”고 말했다.
그러면서 새 시장경제의 중심 가치를 ‘더불어 사는 사람을 사랑하는 인간애’(Humanity), ‘창의’(Creativity), ‘책임(Responsibility)의 공유’ 등으로 규정하고 “파멸적 위기를 피할 수 있는 ‘지속적 성장’과, 격차를 줄이는 ‘포용적 성장’이 세계가 가야 할 길”이라고 강조했다.
이어 이 대통령은 국정운영 기조였던 ‘공정사회’ ‘ 친서민 중도실용’ ‘녹색 성장’ 등을 종합해 한 단계 발전시킨 ‘공생 발전(Ecosystemic Development)’이란 개념을 시장경제의 새 모델로 제시한 뒤 “‘발전의 양’ 못지않게 ‘발전의 질’이 중요하다. 길어진 생애주기 전체에 걸쳐 자신의 행복을 자유롭게 추구할 수 있는 사회가 돼야 한다”고 말했다. 이와 관련, 김두우 청와대 홍보수석은 “공생 발전은 무한경쟁의 시장경제나 신자유주의도, 복지국가도 모두 극복해야 한다는 의미의 새로운 국가 발전 모델”이라고 설명했다.
이 대통령은 무상급식 논란 등을 겨냥, “정치권의 경쟁적인 포퓰리즘이 국가부도 사태를 낳은 국가들의 전철을 밟아선 안 된다”며 “ 2013년(회계연도 기준)까지 가능하다면 균형재정을 달성하도록 최선을 다하겠다”고 다짐했다. 그러나 독도 문제 등에 대해선 직접 거론하지 않고 “일본은 미래세대에게 올바른 역사를 가르칠 책임이 있다”고만 했다.