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[Opinion] Government Should Deregulate Fundamentally

Posted July. 04, 2002 22:29,   


Generally speaking, the more tightening control over the members, the more administrator distrusts them in any nation or any organization. In Korea, the government traditionally used to distrust the people deeply. This is one of the reason why the restriction by the government is more tightened compared to other countries.

Why have the administrators distrusted the people in our society? Are there only distrustful people in the governmental organization? Are there any matter with honesty and sincerity in the society? Unfortunately, I think we have to look for the solution from the latter.

Recently, even though getting better, when there is no intensive control we can still see a lots of traffic offences such as overtaking, violation of traffic signal, driving on side road. Considering traffic offences being visible, we can suspect easily the state of order in finance, taxation, education and construction is not different from the traffic order.

However, honesty and sincerity are not matter of the people’s nature, but matter of social by-products from government control. The social system, including government control, doesn’t compensate honest and sincere people.

If we observe government regulations, we can find that the regulations are legislated with an assumption. The assumption is that all people are potential offenders. Approval & permission system, strict registration standards, complicated process strict restriction for qualification, etc come out from this background. The system is far from the principle that believe in people first and punish the offender strictly. The system consider majority of people as the subject to monitor and control to catch small number of potential intimidators. It is a kind of collective punishment. Under this kind of circumstance, people can’t be led to be honest and sincere. Even though being honest and sincere, there is no compensation for them, and consequently, people become passive as others.

To make thing worse is that many regulations are too unrealistic to obey. In case of regulations concerned in construction education fire control safety and food sanitation, the executors and the people restricted know very well that the regulations are unrealistic and they are maintained nominally. The word “promote law-abiding sprit” is only familiar with our society.

Therefore, It is impossible almost to live without offending regulations in any way in Korea. Under the circumstance, the people who are tactful and have backing behind them win, and the people who are honest and sincere lose. When they are punished, they think it as their misfortune rather than their fault.

In other words, a lot of regulations destroy honesty, self-imposed control, and law-abiding spirit. So the administrators distrust the people further, and introduce tightening restriction system. In a word, it is a vicious circle. Therefore, most of people agree with that our regulations imply so much negative factors and unrealistic. So, they should be reformed fundamentally. However, we don’t deduct any results to solve the matters in meetings.

Public officers consider that the delay of reformation is due to the people’s insincerity and dishonesty. On the other hand, people consider it as the result of bureaucracy. As doctor can see only patients and prosecutor can see only crimes, public officer having regulated in a field tends to suspect if businessman or people offend the regulation if possible; financial authority against financial institutions, transport authority against transport companies, education authority against education foundation and central government against local government.

It is a big mistake if a public officer thinks that it is so early to deregulate for people to manage by themselves because they are not sincere and don’t have the ability.

Self-control and law-abiding spirit is not inherited by nature, but it is obtained by freedom. And it should not be prerequisite for deregulation. If a driving beginner doesn’t drive because of the fear of accident, he can’t drive forever! If we are afraid of trial and error and restrict business and people, we will live heteronomously forever.

Jong Suk Kim (Prof. of Hongik Univ., Economics)