The `true answer' to Korean farmers' problems

After reading ``Economic boom leaves [South Korean] farmers in the dust'' [April 27-May 3], one really wonders just what information this newspaper is attempting to display. The third paragraph reads, ```If the government would give me anything I wanted,'' says Chun Jong Hwan, ``I would ask for more machinery.''' Mr. Chun's neighbors agree. Later, it is mentioned that Mr. Chun borrows about $9,400 (should be $940) each year from the government with an interest of 10 percent, and about the same amount from private sources with an interest of 20 percent. Next we read that the farmer, his wife, two of his sons, and their wives and their children almost support themselves from the production of the just under 1-acre farm. And rice is harvested only once each year. Next we read that the yearly income for that farm is almost $15,000 (should read $1,500) each year - hardly enough to even feed 10 persons. Then, toward the end of the article, we read that two young farmers also feel that the government has not done very much for the farmers.

The results of reading this article display that the Monitor is continuously attempting to promote socialism, even though it is - and always has been - a confirmed parasite on the people. The true answer to the Korean farmers' troubles is to scrap the less productive farms; manufacture computers, automobiles, etc.; and export them for dollars. Then buy rice or whatever from the United States, Australia, Argentina, the EC, or wherever.

Please, Korea, do not follow the US and support farms and dairies primarily to gain votes and subsidies, but endeavor to enter the free market and beat your competitors. That is the way for people to live a little higher life each generation. C. Keith Lochard Tongduchon, South Korea

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address to ``readers write.''

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