Economists Slam Gov't for 'Populist' Policies

      February 02, 2018 12:58

      Prominent neoliberal economists on Thursday slammed the Moon Jae-in administration for populist policies that they fear are undermining fiscal health.

      Cho Jang-ok, a professor at Sogang University told a seminar at Kangwon National University on Thursday, "The government is going too far with typical leftwing policies like hiking the minimum wage, cutting working hours and levering contract workers into regular positions, which will end up hurting productivity while leading to a long-term depression like Japan's."

      "Cutting working hours is also a matter to be decided after extensive research and discussions, and it should be implemented freely in a mutual agreement between employers and employees rather than enforced by the government," he added.

      Cho cited meddling by Cheong Wa Dae officials as the biggest problem in formulating economic policy. "Cheong Wa Dae isn't properly preparing its economic policies. Such matters should be left to economic experts."

      Kang Sung-jin at Korea University said at the same event, "Government officials must listen to critics. I don't know why they aren't listening to opposing views."

      And Han Hong-yeol at Hanyang University said, "Recent government intervention in the real estate and cryptocurrency markets demonstrates the government's disdain for the market. The government needs to know that this is actually a lack of trust in the public."

      Former prime minister Chung Un-chan, who delivered the keynote speech, said, "There appears to be a general consensus on the need to slow down the pace of the minimum wage hike."

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