[EDITORIALS]Last chance to fix the mess

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[EDITORIALS]Last chance to fix the mess

Officials responsible for real estate policies ― Construction Minister Choo Byung-jik, Blue House finance aide Chung Moon-soo and Chief public relations aide Lee Baek-man ― have expressed their intentions to resign. Their inappropriate policies and comments have driven stakes into the hearts of the people, so their offers to resign should have been made much earlier.
For starters, we would appreciate it if they did not get involved in the real estate policy announcements that will be made today. Since the people’s trust in them has already hit bottom, any intervention on their part will only diminish the effect of the new measures.
In order to get rid of the market’s distrust, the government must acknowledge its failures and make a clean start with a modest attitude.
If it gives the impression of arrogance or if it attempts to quibble or engage in shallow ploys, it will only fall into a deeper pit.
We hope that a new real estate team will cook up a new policy from scratch. The current policy cannot become any worse than it already is, so we don’t need any lingering attachments.
The real estate market is representative of capitalism, as it follows supply and demand. The new team should look back and consider whether or not the government has been too ideological in its past approaches.
First, it treated people living in Gangnam like some kind of sinners, then it expanded the scope to the “Bubble Seven” last spring. Most recently, everyone who owned housing became labeled a speculator.
The government should also stop writing publicity articles by utilizing, media outlets like its own Internet news feed service. Instead of calming the situation, it has been dividing the people and stirring up ill emotions. The new team should get lessons from its predecessors’ wrongdoings.
Now is not too late to begin building housing in places where people actually want to live like, Gangnam - not in weird places. It is textbook knowledge that in order to stabilize prices, you have to increase the supply in places where there is demand.
The government should ease capital gains taxes on households that own only one house for a long period of time in order to create breathing room for trade. The government should reconsider reckless development policies that designate the entire nation as a speculative zone.
The people are upset. This is the administration’s last opportunity to set things right.
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