Why don’t you go overseas?Over-eagerness from Kim Hyun-chul — a former economic adviser to President Moon Jae-in who was spearheading a state-led campaign to increase trade and business in Southeast Asia and India who resigned Tuesday — upset young jobseekers and self-employed citizens across the country. At a business seminar, he urged young jobseekers and retirees to not complain about the lack of work in Korea and instead find jobs and new opportunities in Southeast Asia like head coach Park Hang-seo who has demonstrated a Midas touch with the Vietnamese national soccer team.
Kim advised the self-employed to open up businesses in Southeast Asian markets because the number of Korean restaurants in the region is nearly triple that of Japanese restaurants. They were dumbfounding comments from a presidential economic policy adviser in charge of making jobs at home. Kim said he exaggerated his tone to speak about the opportunities in the Asean and Indian markets.
But his insensitive comments must have pained many people facing a hopeless job search and a business slump. Who would find comfort in his cold advice to people to leave their homes and country and go abroad to seek jobs and business opportunities? “If you like it so much, why don’t you go?” some wrote in response to the remarks.
The Moon administration has hardened the fragile economy with its experimental income-led growth policy. It imposed hard-line regulations and pro-union policies on companies at a critical transitional period, stalling their march in the evolution towards the fourth industrial revolution. A Blue House official who should feel responsibility for the economic mess rubbed salt in the wounds of the people through his heartless remarks. Does he want an exodus reminscent of Venezuela, where hundreds of people left their country to find jobs?
When it was an opposition, the Democratic Party (DP) lambasted the previous administration for encouraging the young to look toward the Middle East. It has invited the same criticism this time. The ruling power should first correct the policies wrecking hopes for the people and concentrate on making quality jobs and a strong business environment in Korea.
JoongAng Ilbo, Jan. 29, Page 30