[EDITORIALS]A mob for which target?Kim Byong-joon, the president’s chief secretary for national policy, hinted yesterday that he might utilize civic groups to help the government squash real estate speculation. He also singled out some real estate agents and newspapers as the major forces that are systematically blocking the normalization of the nation’s real estate market.
In a nutshell, what he means is that the Korean government’s anti-speculation policies are good but that they have enemies, so therefore the government will need the help of common citizens in the near future.
Someone needs to ask Mr. Kim what he is complaining about. This administration has done whatever it wanted to do. Its core anti-speculation bills, dubbed “August 31” and later “March 30,” were even rammed through the National Assembly. The government also brandished the magic “tax wand,” insisting that it will solve every problem. However, it does not seem to be satisfied yet.
It is the Korean people who have tolerated the situation. They did not oppose the government’s plan to build an administrative city that is meant to lower housing prices in the Seoul metropolitan area. Even when the administration insisted that innovative cities and corporate cities should be built to scatter the population, Koreans accepted it. They believed what President Roh Moo-hyun’s administration argued when it poured trillions of won into turning the entire country into a construction field and an object of excessive housing speculation. But what is the fruit? Maybe this administration has done what it promised to do during the election, but most people are left with a deep sense of deprivation.
Here are some user responses to newspaper articles on major Internet portal sites for reference:
“The government was in the front row to raise housing prices in the name of balanced regional development. Now it is trying to save the situation with taxes.”
“The government exists to serve the general public. But this administration is dropping ‘tax bombs’ to satisfy its grudge against the haves.”
What they are trying to say is that the government has failed and that it should take responsibility. Every opinion poll shows that the government’s anti-speculation policy has gone wrong. Given the situation, the government’s plan to take advantage of civic groups is very dangerous. In which direction would they point their rage? If the opinion polls are correct, it should be the Blue House.
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