|Comic strip Chang Dori by Artist Park Sun-chan published by Kyunghyang Shinmun on May 21, 2018. Section 1: President Park Chung-hee (shortly after he took over power by a military coup) bottle-feeds jaebeol bosses (resembling Chairman Chung Ju-yung of Hyundai Group, Chairman Lee Byung-chul of Samsung Group and Chairman Koo Cha-kyung of LG Group) shortly after he took over the control of government with a coup (dipicted by a rifle on his right shoulder.)Section 2: Now Chung, Lee and Koo are gone and so have some of their second-genration ones as their offspring young jaebeol chairmen prostrate before their tombs. They are saying: “The founding chairmen who commanded respect from the people and who were the targert of respect and awe.”Section 3: The second and third generation jaebeol chairmen riding expensive cars look down upon the common people.Section 4: The common people are hit with a cup of water and a bag of peanuts. Incidentally, the first daughter of Chairman Cho Yang-ho of Korean Air threw a bag of peanuts on the employees and his second daughter threw a cup of water on the Korean Air workers.|
While Vice Chairman Lee Jay-yong of Korea’s biggest jaebeol business group, Samsung, was detained for five months since Feb. 17, 2017 for suspected involvement in shady deals with the now-discredited former President Park Geun-hye, many people said (unjustifiably), “Wouldn’t that do a big damage to the economy of Korea?”
It turned out that the ‘worries’ were totally ungrounded and some even suspected, “They might have come from some paid ‘rumor mills’ concocting and spreading false rumors for the benefit of jaebeol (big businesses).”
To the pleasant astonishment of the Korean people who had been worried over the possible ill effect of detention of Lee JY, business performances at most of the Samsaung companies surged upward, best and largest in the history of the Samsung Business Group.
According to Huffington Post on July 7, 2017, Samsung Electrics, the flagship company of the Samsung Group, posted a turnover of 60 trillion won and business profits of 14 trillion won. The turnover was 18.69% higher than that of the preceding year and the profit 17.79% larger than that of the preceding year.
The business profits increased by 41.41% compared with the preceding period and by 71.99% over the corresponding period of the preceding year.
The figures appear to be sheer proof that in Korea jaebeol chairmen do more harm than good to the business organizations.
A similar situation was also disclosed at the Korean Air where the entire family of Chairman Cho Yang-ho (his wife and two daughters) took the law into their own hands and perpetrated all sorts of acts of scorn in the minds of the general public.
No one knows how long the ‘do justice to the common people’ atmosphere will continue in Korea. However, many people believe that the jaebeol and others who had wielded undue power over the common people in the past had better wake up, and treat the common people in a fair and proper manner.
Kim Sua firstname.lastname@example.org
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