[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'Democracy is not complete without financial fairness'

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[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'Democracy is not complete without financial fairness'

The financial polarization of young people in their 20s and 30s is getting worse.
According to date from Statistics Korea, the wealthiest 20 percent of Koreans in their 20s and 30s has 35.27 times the assets of the bottom 20 percent.
This means the gap has widened in the last year, when the numbers showed that number was 35.20.
The average assets of the wealthiest 20 percent of young Koreans is 982 million won ($770,000), while the lowest 20 percent owns 28 million won.
Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Hoi-jae analyzed the data from a Statistics Korea survey to find that the average amount of assets held by young households in their 20s and 30s was 356.51 million won, a 38.02 million won increase compared to last year.
Kim insisted that “the income gap doesn’t explain how the rich have 35 times more assets than the poor. There should be a way for young people who don’t benefit from wealthy parents to still compete on a fair playing field."
“The gap between rich and poor existed five years ago. However, anyone could work their way up to the middle class. Now that’s impossible.”
“People were confident that they would be able to make a living if they worked hard enough, even when they were young and poor. Now, houses cost an average of a billion won. It discourages people from trying in the first place.”
“No matter how high you raise your voice to advocate for democracy, it’s not complete without financial fairness. When you have a large number of personal assets, you should pay your tax accordingly.”
“Knowledge holds great value in this society. There’s bound to be a big income gap depending on individual effort. Government officials should make efforts to create a system designed to reduce this income gap.”
“The parents who give their children a better start must have worked so hard to earn it. People should be striving to be able to give it, rather than just wanting to receive it.”
“People are ignoring the fact that the parents had to pay massive amounts of tax to hand their wealth to their children. That’s redistribution enough. They already pay what they’re required to pay. What more do you want? If you want to deny the most basic things like this, then what you want is socialism."

BY LEE SI-YEOUNG, YOO JI-WOO [yoo.jiwoo@joongang.co.kr]
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