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Help start-ups create jobs

Feb 27,2017
Even before the Constitutional Court rules on the impeachment of Park Geun-hye, the next presidential race has already begun. Many ruling and opposition politicians are competing.

But none has proposed a clear vision in economic policy. Some mentioned increasing the number of civil servants or expanding transfer payment. But they cannot be considered a sustainable economic policy.

The big problem is the absence of startup policy. The biggest agenda of the current, failed, administration was startup promotion, and new contenders understandably want to keep a distance.

But not all policies of this failed administration are wrong. The leaders of the fourth industrial revolution will be the flexible and nimble startups, not a few, corporate giants.

Former Democratic Party leader Moon Jae-in promised 810,000 public jobs. However, the administrative tasks of civil servants are the jobs that are likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence.Even when they are not needed any longer, public jobs cannot be eliminated.

Considering the pension for public servants, the choice would lead to decades of unnecessary tax spending.

For the national economy to grow, we need more entrepreneurs, not public servants. 140,000 graduates of Stanford University set up 40,000 companies and created 5.6 million jobs.

The aggregated revenues of these companies are 3 quadrillion won ($2.63 trillion), more than twice Korea’s GDP.

At the same time, hundreds of thousands of young Koreans spend their youth studying for the civil service exam every year. Unless this grim reality is changed, the next administration is still hopeless.

Let’s increase corporate tax and use it as startup funding. The government should consider investing in startups as a kind of national R&D project and make a bold bet. Screening would be possible by utilizing private venture capital, and the government can recoup the investment from successful startups.

Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung’s “basic income” would not be enough to create jobs. Basic income is a payment to all citizens regardless of assets.

Moon’s plan to increase the number of public servants won’t be as effective as increasing entrepreneurs. With the money to hire 810,000 civil servants, let start-up companies hire 810,000 workers.



Park Byung-jong,
CEO of Callbus Lab