Saturday, November 29, 2014

Steven Denney — South Korea’s Changing Attitudes on Inequality and Capitalism

Are Koreans becoming disenchanted with the local brand of capitalism?
The South Korean National Assembly (which has been uncharacteristically productive as of late) recently passed welfare reform legislation (three bills in total) to fix holes in the social safety net. Korean media identifies the impetus for the reform as coming from a particularly tragic triple suicide that occurred earlier this year, in which a mother and her two daughters took their own lives because of physical and financial hardships. As one illustration at the Hankyoreh suggests: The welfare system is broken and little is being done to help those at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder. One might reasonably expect that social dislocations in the era of neo-liberal capitalism in South Korea might negatively affect how Koreans view the capitalism economic system. Indeed, the structure of South Korea’s economy and how Koreans view it has been the focus of more recent work on South Korean political culture.
The Diplomat

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