|'The Man Who Teaches Economics' by Kim Kwang-seoul|
Kim stresses the need for all members of the public to have at least a basic understanding of economics. At the corporate level, employees of all tiers must be aware of the financial state of their respective companies to facilitate both internal operations as well as transactions with outside partners.
At the student level, being knowledgeable in economics is advantageous as "the better one is able to predict upcoming economic trends, the better they will be able to make their future career decisions."
In part one, Kim describes the foundations of economics and simplifies it into a beginner-level introduction. He defines economics as the combination of consumption, investment, government expenditure and net exports. These, he emphasizes, are the ultimate core principles of economics, which all people must accept and adapt in their first steps into the field.
In part two, Kim illustrates 13 key components of economics. For example, he explains that trade can be seen as the division of labor between nations. He also provides insights into Free Trade Agreements (FTA), signed contracts between two or more countries to reduce trade tariffs, and provides hypothetical examples for the readers to better grasp such concepts. He provides real world examples such the US-China trade war, which began this year and involves new trade tariffs from both parties.
Another key component Kim outlines is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which he summarizes as big data, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, the cloud, robotics and block chains. He claims that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has led to a paradigm shift in business strategy including an expansion of non-personal interaction platforms, a universalization of smart factories, and the evolution of Omnichannel, a distribution platform seeking to converge the experiences of consumers into a one-stop experience.
In the final section of the book, Kim delves into 10 domestic and international cases to demonstrate the current global state of economics and how this looks for the world, and in particular, South Korea, heading into 2019. "Since 2017 and the first half of 2018, Korea is starting to enter its recovery stages following the political and economical instability of 2016," he says. He also suggests several ways that society can respond to the upcoming changes in the economy including enhancing economics monitoring systems, paying close attention to the changes in the benchmark interest rate, and developing technology to be compatible with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
By thoroughly breaking down economics and providing concrete examples through case studies and current events, Kim shows us how it is a way to gather knowledge about real estate, investment opportunities, banking and even the future.
Kim Kwang-seok is one of the nation's top experts in economics and business. Having completed his master's degree at the Department of Economics of Seoul National University, Kim also conducted research at the Hyundai Research Institute. He has given lectures across the country and is currently a professor on Oh My School, a popular online education site.
Jin Yu-young is a Korea Times intern.