|▲ Nobel Laureate Banerjee|
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Governor Won Hee-ryong and Professor Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics, held a youth session on the topic of “Inequality and Inclusive Prosperity” at the 16th Jeju Forum on June 24. Through the session, they created an opportunity for communication with future generations and shared their professional knowledge and experiences to solve the problem of inequality, which is one of the biggest challenges facing the young generation.
Banerjee said, “With changes in the industry, skills that were considered important in the past are no longer needed or are considered less important.” He added, “Although Korea has very solid employment insurance, it is guaranteed for the job transfer process; it is important to create a work transfer environment in which one’s dignity is linked to one’s job.”
He also said, “I don’t think there is a need to impose a wealth tax on single-family homes. It is possible,” he explained. “The design can be designed in a variety of ways, such as the government levying taxes on the increase in real estate value and imposing a tax in the form of an equity system in which the loss is returned when the value declines,” he explained.
Regarding the Head Start policy to support vulnerable children, Banerjee said, “The goal of Head Start is to create conditions for children to go to college through building cultural capital that is nurtured while reading and discussing books at home.” He advised, “It would have a long-term and lasting effect if the government takes the lead and provides this experience for children.”
About the basic income system, he said, “Selecting a target for basic income is inefficient in developing countries, but not in Korea, which has a good data system.” He explained, “As Korea has undergone rapid industrial change, it is necessary to redefine the target and establish a long-term and well-invested welfare insurance system.”
|▲ Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Governor Won Hee-ryong|
Governor Won Hee-ryong remarked, “Due to industrial changes, new jobs are created while others disappear. For industries that can be converted from existing industries, opportunities such as job transfer should be provided, and the necessary income for living expenses during that process should be guaranteed.”
He continued, “Factors such as educational background, work, and family environment are creating a modern-day class structure, giving young people immense frustration and despair before they even start.” Won argued, “The seniority-based pay system, which is overly protected by the older generation, needs to be readjusted between generations to provide younger generations more jobs and rewards.”
Regarding basic income, “Universal basic income is a payment in cash to everyone, which has limitations in execution due to scarce resources,” said Won, adding that “it is not appropriate to provide universal cash aid in unpredictable risk situations; what matters is how to efficiently utilize and support the existing job welfare system.”
At the same time, he said, “Lack of educational opportunities leads to lack of means to overcome the gaps in life.” He emphasized that “It is important to provide financial support, but especially critical to help them develop the ability to navigate on their own.”
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