[EDITORIALS]The culprits must leaveIt seems the only part of economic policy that the government cares about these days is the part that deals with real estate. The government will announce this week another plan to stabilize the real estate market. There are many rumors about what kind of measures will be included in the plan. Reaction to the rumors from the public suggests they are either indifferent or critical. The policies that the government had set forth until now have only disrupted the market and made it even more difficult for low-income families to find places to live. It is preposterous that the government should now announce yet another plan for the nation’s housing. The government has lost any credibility that it had on the issue and many people are so frustrated that the popular joke is that one should do the opposite of whatever the government tells the public to do on real estate.
The most urgently needed measure concerning the real estate market is for the government to recover the public trust. The first step toward recovering this trust is to acknowledge that its policies have failed so far and that it will not repeat its mistakes. Before establishing a new plan, the government should replace the existing policy makers with new and more capable people. Minister of Construction and Transportation Choo Byung-jik; Chung Moon-soo, a Blue House aide and one of the architects of the housing policy who told the National Assembly this week that he was “not a real estate expert;” and Kim Soo-hyun, a Blue House aide for social policies who acknowledged that “this administration’s real estate policy has failed,” should all be replaced forthwith. Considering the chaos that the old housing policy has wreaked in the market and the material and mental damage it has caused to countless innocent people, it is completely unacceptable that the same people who made the former catastrophic policy should still be at their desks making a new plan. The fact that they are continuing to mince their words and twist their policies only makes the public distrust the government more.
The government spokespeople also played a role in making the people distrust the current real estate policy. These people aggravated the situation and inflamed public sentiments with careless words and should also be replaced. In particular, Lee Baek-man, the Blue House senior secretary for public information who reportedly bragged that he was the greatest beneficiary of the surging real estate prices and claimed that the policy failure was totally the fault of others, should be made to take responsibility for deceiving the public. The government will continue to lose the public’s trust if it keeps the main culprits of its policy failure in their same posts. And a policy that does not have the trust of the people will never succeed.