For a while, I was hopeful that there might have been some sense in Korean courts. However, the Supreme Court made sure that common sense and critical thinking stayed dead and buried when they overruled the Seoul High Court and sided with local municipalities.
According to the Korea Times, one of the justices said,
"A regulation for the public good is not only important but also necessary. However, it can hardly be seen as depriving consumers of their right to choose as large retailers do not need protection."
Don't ask me how that makes any sense.
Of course, this is not the only instance of the government meddling in the economy that has screwed over consumers.
The Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act has shackled all telecom companies to offer the same discounts to their customers, thus forcing people to pay more for their smartphones.
The Book Discount Law prevents retail bookstores from selling books at a discount any higher than 15%.
But now someone has really messed up. Now there are rumors that the government plans to regulate discounts of imported beer.
Let's be frank. Shutting down large retail stores two Sundays out of a month is no big deal. People can plan ahead or just shop online. Making smartphones more expensive pissed off some people, but thankfully smartphones are becoming cheaper anyway. As for books, who reads books? And regulating online foreign purchases sound like it would be easy to skirt around.
But mess with beer? Do they not know what country they're governing? There has been debate about the accuracy of the claim that Koreans drink more than anyone else in the world. but it's without doubt that Koreans are heavy drinkers.
So dear Korean government, you done goofed. If you think the protests have been violent so far, wait until every single pissed off salaryman joins the fray. There will be hell to pay!
So if you know what's good for you, for God's sake, leave the beer alone!