저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
When the Roh Moo-hyun administration was inaugurated two years ago, there were expectations that it would substantially narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. However, the situation has further deteriorated, as demonstrated in a survey by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs. Of the 3,000 people questioned by the government-run institute, 93.5 percent, or 2,605, said the income disparity between the haves and the have-nots was serious. This outcome is not surprising in light of the prolonged economic stagnation since the Roh administration took office. It is not hard to imagine that job insecurity resulting from the economic slump has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. So an urgent task for addressing the problem is to expand job opportunities through the stimulation of the economy. But the economy cannot be boosted unless corporations, especially family-owned conglomerates, cooperate with the government. To the disappointment of the government that has repeatedly promised to concentrate efforts on reviving the economy, large enterprises are remaining passive due to the restrictions on their activities. Against this backdrop, the government ought to lift or significantly ease regulations as quickly as possible to help big businesses expand their facility investment and carry out new projects. Besides cooperation between the government and industry, the rival political camps ought to combine efforts to realize an economic recovery this year as they have pledged. Needless to say, the government should bear the lion's share of the responsibility for the mismanagement of the economy. However, the ruling Uri Party and the main opposition Grand National Party have added to economic woes with their incessant wrangling over political issues. Despite their vow to put an end to clashes in order to help the economy, bitter confrontation is still likely over three reform bills that the government party hopes to pass in the current special session of the National Assembly. The opposition GNP is determined to block them from even being put on the agenda. As most people think there is no reason to tackle the three controversial bills in a hurry, the government party ought to drop its plan and endeavor to seek ways to boost the economy in cooperation with the GNP. If the present session becomes an arena for partisan conflict like the previous four-month session, the outlook for the economy this year will remain bleak. The consequences will be worsened job insecurity and income disparity between the rich and the poor.