[EDITORIALS]Proposed policy divisiveKim Byong-joon, the presidential policy planning chief, has disclosed the direction of a comprehensive real estate policy that will be announced later this month. Mr. Kim said there were people who thought, if they waited a few years, that the real estate policy would collapse in the next administration, “but that is not right.” He pledged, “The government will create interest groups that can help sustain [the forthcoming] real estate policy.” He intends to make sure the new policy is maintained even after the term of this administration by creating classes and regions that will benefit from it.
Mr. Kim has repeatedly stressed he would make the policy as difficult to change as the constitution. This amounts to a proclamation that the new policy’s essence lies in dividing people according to class and region then binding them with the shackles of their own interests.
He gave an example: “If the government invests increased revenue from the new tax system to certain sectors, there will be people who benefit from it, and interests will also be created in some parts of the nation. Then, these people [who benefit from it] will try to maintain the real estate system, watching its implementation and exerting efforts to keep it.” His words can be interpreted thus: If the government collects large amounts of tax from people who own a multiple number of land or expensive housing units in the Seoul area, and distributes that money to people who have no house or live in the provinces, the second group will desperately oppose any attempt to revise the policy.
In other words, Mr. Kim wants to preserve the forthcoming system by amplifying conflicts among classes and regions. By adding fuel to the sense of deprivation of the have-nots, he intends to suppress the dissatisfaction and resistance of the haves. It is a Robin Hood way of thinking ― rob from the rich to distribute to the poor. We wonder whether such a negative tactic is the only way for Korea to keep the policy consistent. If the new system is accompanied by even greater side effects, what will the government do?
It is not right that the national policy should be swayed by such a crude sense of justice and distorted egalitarianism. If the tax system is degraded to become a means of instigating conflict, and real estate policy used to satisfying the grudge of the have-nots and divide benefits, there is no future for this country.