[EDITORIALS]Hands Off the Markets, Seoul

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[EDITORIALS]Hands Off the Markets, Seoul

The government is making unreasonable moves in order to revive sagging stock markets. It has come up with policies which will harm the stability of the markets, such as plans to raise funds to stabilize plunging stock markets and to develop new, long-term stock investment products that guarantee redemption of losses with tax-payers' money. We understand the government's dilemma caused by the stagnant economy and troubled stock markets; however, the government policy is in danger of losing public confidence because it has repeatedly produced absurd steps.

The recent debates over the newly proposed long-term stock investment products show the government's view straightforwardly. The opposition and ruling parties agreed Monday that 5 percent of the investments will be tax-deductible in the first year and 7 percent in the second year. However, the products were originally designed to refund the possible losses from the taxpayers' money. Because the government is anxious to revive the stock markets, it came up with a plan unprecedented even in developed countries. However, the government has failed to carry out that plan due to severe public criticism.

However, 46 percent of our 10 million workers do not pay taxes because their incomes are below the tax exemption point. Considering such a reality, the products are, in fact, nothing more than pies in the sky.

Stock market investment should be an investor's responsibility. If the government focuses only on holding up the sagging markets through such artificial measures, the stock markets will become distorted and their ability to recover will be damaged. Doubts are mounting that the government is playing such unreasonable moves on purpose in consideration of next year's elections. It is not too late for the government to resolve the unfair conditions in our stock markets, such as price manipulation, in order to manage sound stock markets.

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