‘Experts’ share the blameThe new real estate measure released by the government on Wednesday makes people wonder if we can leave economic measures in the hands of economic policymakers. They seem to have decided to further ruin a real estate policy that has already turned out to be a failure, instead of correcting it.
The government’s real estate policy failed mainly because the government made numerous regulations in a bid to lower housing prices in affluent southern Seoul, resulting in a freeze of the natural supply and demand in the market. Economic bureaucrats call themselves economic experts, but they followed the president’s wrong diagnosis of problems and made unreasonable prescriptions. We believe that economic policymakers have known why the real estate policy would fail all along. It is very unlikely that these experts did not know basic economic principles. They simply did not have the courage to say the president was wrong. Probably, they want to make an excuse and say they had no choice but to back the president’s measure, as he demanded.
But this must end. We cannot let the government’s measures be distorted and the economic system be damaged only because of a couple of economic officials who want to occupy higher positions and become more powerful and successful.
Let’s take a look at the content of the government’s real estate measures and at their consequences.
As even the first measure was flawed, the government kept making hasty changes to control side effects. The government pushed plans to impose heavy taxes on owners of multiple houses, to regulate the prices of initial apartment sales, to let builders publicize building costs and even to supply houses to people, instead of allowing private construction companies to do so.
These government-led housing policies cannot function for long. We wonder if the ministers and vice ministers involved are only trying to avoid responsibility while they are in office and are not worried about what will happen afterwards.
If the government wants to take responsibility for supplying houses for working-class people with lower incomes, it should issue government bonds. It should not use a trick to attract contributions and to repay debts with taxpayers’ money.
If these officials are afraid to do anything that goes against the president, they should stop calling themselves experts and should share responsibility for failed policies.