Wednesday, March 2, 2005


Since South Korea's jobless rate has hit a three-year high of 3.6%, President Roh decided to provide over "360,000 jobs for elderly, disabled and poor citizens over the next five years." What an idiot. What type of band-aid, garbage solution is this? What an amateur political move. There are already so many useless jobs in Korea, such as people waving you forward in department stores or parking garages, that mask the country's true jobless rate, and Roh is going to add more to this statistic while ignoring his poor economic policies and incentive plans to spur Korean industries. Please leave South Korea. Actually the earth.

More from Tech Central Station:

Using a crafty political guise of strengthening the social safety net and improving public welfare, President Roh Moo-hyun approved a job "creation" plan. The stated intention is for the government to provide 360,000 jobs for elderly, disabled and poor citizens over the next five years.

The populist intent behind this decision was obvious in the suggestion that such steps will lessen the disparities between rich and poor. Other new spending would arise from establishing over 1,000 new childcare centers along with increased childcare leave and the provision of high-speed Internet service in rural areas.

Two things should be immediately clear. First, most decision concerning government policies in any democracy reflects the desire to remain in power. And so it is that the term populism describes choices based upon political opportunism.

Second, whenever government officials announce the introduction of bold new plans, hold onto your pocketbook. Whatever their plan will inevitably increase the tax burden on either present or future generations. This is because new spending obligations either require raising taxes now or running deficits that imposes higher taxes on taxpayers in the future.

Some of the features are worth considering. In the job "creation" category, jobs for the elderly would involve work as forest or culture tour guides while low-income individuals would be involved in caring for the sick and the disabled. Such "participatory welfare" may be worse than simple transfer payments if there is a need to increase government employees to oversee the new programs or the actual work while it is carried out.
(full post)

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