Good leadership is hard to come by. Most people have a certain level of disgust for their organization’s leadership. It fact, 60% of all working people in the US feel their organizations are not well led. In North Korea, we have a classic example of poor leadership that is elitist, based in personal power, and exploitive. And as the Economist recognized in this weeks issue, “it is time to get tougher with the nastiest regime on the planet.”
War is not good! What does that statement mean? Obviously, when war occurs on your land it will devastate the land, kill people, and obliterate economic growth. Therefore, war is not good. The relationship between North and South Korea is tenuous, but there are positives. There is a joint venture on the border between the two countries. North Korea has shut down the border, and South Koreans who work at the facility located in North Korea are not able to go home. The fact is, they don’t want to go home. The people that work for this company have said that the politicians need to go somewhere else and deal with their issues and leave them alone. They are just fine. War will destroy the ability of people to have a better life.
In North Korea there is a new merchant class emerging. If the world wants to undermine Kim, then it needs to connect with these merchants. According to the Economist, “The world must redouble its efforts to engage with these and other possible agents of change. This includes teaching more mid-ranking officials how societies work when they are organized around market economies and underpinned by laws; and funding defector radio stations beaming news back into the North.”
Two hundred years of economic growth have brought much of the world higher standards of living. There is a reason why North Korea is economically stunted. Corruptions, collusion, and cronyism are major players in the political existence of North Korea, but even more serious is its continued adherence to an archaic ideology. Yes, global commitment to the free market has caused huge gaps between the richest and poorest countries, and much of that was due to opportunity, exploitation and philosophy. But I agree with Jeffry Sachs when he states, “The key point for these countries [both rich and poor] is that there are practical solutions to almost all of their problems. Bad policies of the past can be corrected.”
China is a classic example of free market influence. Is it a perfect expression of free market ideology? No, and it will never be such. But it is a global player, and much of its huge market is now open to the world. It has changed. The free market can change North Korea too. Innovation and initiative are powerful tools for change.
And that is my thought for the day!