South Korea’s Moon Jae-in Launches a ‘Green’ New Deal
July 17, 2020 (EIRNS)—South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced his plan to escape from the COVID-19 economic crisis on July 14, calling it a “New Deal” after FDR’s New Deal—but he should have been honest and included the word “Green,” since the plan is nothing like FDR’s and more like the “Green New Deals” being promoted by Joe Biden and Ursula von der Leyen.
Although South Korea contained the coronavirus far better than nearly all the Western nations without any drastic shutdown of the economy, the global collapse has hit them hard, as a nation largely dependent on heavy industrial and high-tech exports. Moon called for “unprecedented investment in the Korean version of the New Deal,” with $94.5 billion invested over the next five years and another $37.2 billion expected from local governments. It promises 1.9 million new jobs with emphasis on advances in new technologies and the environment, including artificial intelligence, digitalization, green energy, even a “smart green industrial complex,” according to the Forbes account. Moon is quoted: “The Korean version of New Deal is a starting point for a leap forward to a country to lead the world.”
But the focus is explicitly anti-chaebol (family-owned conglomerates which are the core of the productive economy) and pro-Green, as has been Moon’s approach all along. Finance Minister Hong Nam-Ki said the program would “transform the nation’s fossil fuel-reliant economy into an eco-friendly one and increase state investment in artificial intelligence and fifth-generation telecommunication services.” The plan would establish 230,000 energy-saving homes and buildings and produce 1.13 million electric cars, according to Yonhap. This is a strategy for disaster.