Kicker: OPINION (ENVIRONMENT) How Do You Think of Private Planes? A Problem of Overusing Private Planes By Sol-Hyang Park, Editor-in-chief email@example.com World-famous pop star Taylor Swift became the star who emitted the most carbon dioxide (CO2) this year. According to the Washington Post on July 30, the celebrity who emits the most carbon by private plane was Taylor Swift. Since January of this year, she has emitted 8,293 tons of carbon. She flew a total of 22,923 minutes with 170 flights - her average flight time is 80 minutes, and the average flight distance is about 224 km. This is a huge number, especially considering that she did not go on a world tour this year. Her spokesperson said, "Her private plane is regularly loaned out to other people, It is wrong to blame her for all of this.” Increased Carbon Emissions Due to Excessive Use of Private Planes Airplanes emit a lot more carbon than other transportation methods. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), the amount of carbon generated per passenger moving 1km is 14g for trains and 68g for buses, but 285g for airplanes. Especially, in the case of private planes, the carbon emission per capita is much higher than that of ordinary passenger planes. However, the private plane business is booming in Hollywood after the COVID-19 pandemic. More celebrities are using private planes to prevent the risk of corona infection. According to sustainability-focused research firm ‘Yard’, on the 25th, many celebrities have emitted an average of 3376.64 tons of carbon from their private jets since January. A person using commercial airplanes emits 7 tons of carbon per year on average, whereas the celebrities used 482 times the annual average in about 7 months. In addition to Taylor Swift, boxer Floyd Mayweather (7076.8 tons), singer rapper Jay-Z (6981.3 tons), former basketball player Arod (5342.7 tons), musician Blake Shelton (4495 tons), film director Steven Spielberg (4465 tons) , model Kim Kardashian (4268.5 tons), actor Mark Wahlberg (3772.85 tons), broadcast host Oprah Winfrey (3493.17 tons), model Kylie Jenner's husband, rapper Travis Scott (3033.3 tons), etc. were named as the top 10 people with the most carbon emissions. Earth We Need to Protect Together As the environmental problems are arising with the use of such private planes, negative reactions such as “Does she live in the Earth alone?” “regulation is necessary such as imposing a carbon tax.” “I feel guilty about using air conditioning - they are nuisance to the earth.” Infact, in a capitalist society, using a private plane with their own money is not a problem. Celebrities suffering from paparazzi often use private planes for safety reasons, and many CEOs also use private planes to save time in business. However, we definitely need to think about the environment. The phrase 'save electricity and water', which has been heard since our childhood, does not come out without a reason. It is undeniably true that the Earth is ours, so we must protect the earth's environment for not only us now, but also for future generations as well. It is for this reason that ESG management of a company becomes essential, Starbucks straws are supplied with paper, and many fashion companies continue to use sustainable materials for making their products. Therefore, just as environmental regulations are applied to governments and companies, I think that making such regulations at the individual level is also a matter to be considered. For example, if more than a certain amount of carbon is emitted by the use of a private plane, a warning is given, and if the warning is severe, a certain amount of fine is imposed. For a long time, humans have been overexploiting nature. We will now have to solve the environmental problems caused by humans on our own - that is our role as humans. With some effort and practice, our surroundings will change little by little. Even if it is cumbersome, let’s try small actions such as using a tumbler rather than a plastic container, reducing unnecessary electricity and private planes - Let's preserve the beautiful planet by protecting with all efforts when it is possible. Sources : https://www.bbc.com/korean/international-61419562 https://www.chosun.com/international/international_general/2022/07/31/E6PYUHNRQJFFNFSEGOH3N57ERE/
Kicker: Opinion (KIOSK) Kiosk - Technology for People, or People for Technology? The Weak Obscured by the Advantages of Automated Devices By Sol-Hyang Park, Editor-in-chief firstname.lastname@example.org As technology advances, unmanned services are increasing. ‘Kiosk’ is a representative example. We can see many kiosks at gas stations, fast food restaurants, or ticket offices around us, and they are increasing every year. The emergence and rapid spread of the kiosk would have been a gift of technology development and a means of making life easier. However, for some, it is something that makes them feel like they are falling behind. I would like to think about people who are isolated by the advantage of convenience, looking at the characteristics of these automated devices. Soaring Kiosks Due to Covid-19 Many companies have been introducing Kiosks quickly, since they can reduce labor costs and maximize efficiency. The phenomenon has accelerated due to the prolonged COVID-19 situation, which has to reduce face-to-face interactions. According to Shinhan Investment Corp, the number of kiosks installed in the private sector tripled, comparing 2019 and 2021. Kiosks brought great convenience to life for those who can quickly adapt to the machine. However, those who do not are alienated from the service. Kiosk, a Technique for Everyone? The kiosk does not provide the right eye level for infants, wheelchair users, and the disabled. It does not provide braille or voice services for the visually impaired. People who are not good at machines try to use kiosks somehow, but after about 10 seconds of stopping, the screen goes back to the beginning. This is a repetition of giving up for the people unfamiliar with kiosks - such as pressing the option of filling the screen several times and choosing various payment methods. If not using kiosks, they can ask the store clerk. Even so, it is not easy for them. According to MBN's interviews* with the visually impaired, a visually impaired man said, "I'm embarrassed to tell the staff about the situation in front of other customers. Even if I try to use a kiosk, I give up if the person in the back waits." He also appealed, saying, “I want to receive a warm service that doesn't hurt my heart." In such a store where kiosks are taken for granted, it is difficult to ask for help to a clerk or the person behind. This will apply not only to the disabled, but also to many elderly people. * https://www.mbn.co.kr/news/society/4406168 The Direction We Need to Go In addition to fast food restaurants where you can see many difficulties as above, services of banking, administrative agencies, airports, railroads, medical institutions, and movie theaters etc. in almost all private sectors are being replaced by unmanned. It is becoming a tougher society for the weak. However, in a capitalist society where efficiency is important, we cannot unconditionally hinder the development of technology that is already far ahead. Instead, we can improve the technology in the direction of consideration for the alienated, such as making kiosk interfaces easier so that anyone can use services regardless of age, gender, nationality, or disability. (For example, adapting simple device placement, voice service, large letters, etc.) Beyond simple service uses, information access methods for those who are excluded and hard to get information benefits need to be steadily devised. There will be ways such as providing media education to get necessary information on a variety of things, from trivial things, such as ticket benefits, to voice phishing prevention methods. Does new technology bring convenience to humanity now? Is it really beneficial for all humankind? A society which is hidden by the convenience of technology and does not hear the stories of the excluded is unjust. The criterion for “convenience” is relative and subjective. We must seek ways to see, respect, and coexist with diverse forms of life existing in society. Sources: https://brunch.co.kr/@jinha0802/20 https://www.koit.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=80313 http://www.headlinejeju.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=472954
Kicker: OPINION (DELIVERY) Monopoly on Delivery Platform Enterprises email@example.com Choi Yeong-Jin, Editor Are you familiar with delivery food? Lots of people agree that making their own meal is such a hard thing to do, and they often feel the urge to just call to the restaurant and order their dinner instead of deciding what to eat, searching for the recipe, and preparing the meal. If you have enough experiences with delivery food, you might have felt that the delivery fee is way above your head. Many point out that the problem with the expensive delivery fee is with the monopoly of delivery platforms which is causing a big issue not only to the customer, but also at the restaurants as well. Food Delivery What Races are We? We are the Delivery Races Many people are enraged with the platform environment in delivery services. It is criticized as a monopoly* and making it harder for the start-ups* to open up their own franchises. “Delivery Races”, the number one delivery enterprise in Korea is almost considered as the one and only delivery franchise. Although there are other franchises like “Yogiyo”, the second biggest delivery company, and some others, almost all people use Delivery Races in order for delivery services. Since there is no meaningful competition happening in delivery platforms, restaurants and customers have no other choices but to follow if Delivery Races decides to raise the delivery charge. Before to deeply focus on the commission* system of Delivery Races, I must alert you that Delivery Races is a company that offers services based on a delivery app, not delivering the food themselves. If the customer orders the food by using the app, it is the proxy* deliverer who brings the food to our house. Therefore, delivery enterprises, like Delivery Races, make a contract with the delivery proxy companies for the delivery itself. It is also surprising that more than 95 percent of total delivery orders in the Delivery Races application are being carried out by the delivery proxy companies. *Monopoly: An organization or group that has complete control of something, especially an area of business, so that others have no share. *Start-up: A new business, or the activities involved in starting a new business. *Commission: A payment to someone who sells goods that is directly related to the amount sold, or a system that uses such payments. *Proxy: Authority given to a person to act for someone else, such as by voting for them in an election, or the person who this authority is given to. Who is Responsible for the High Delivery Fee? Sometimes we pay more than 6,000 won for the delivery fee. Then we wonder, we can order another side menu with this money, and why are we just wasting the money meaninglessly? After the coronavirus and after level two-point five social distancing was held in Korea for a long while, customers’ urge for delivery food has skyrocketed* in a big rate. To obtain a bigger fortune, delivery enterprises and restaurants have increased the delivery fee quite a lot. Now you know that setting the delivery fee has little to do with the platform itself, you may question: then who gets my money? Deciding the total delivery fee is up to the local delivery proxy company, and it is the restaurant that decides the actual delivery fee that the customer pays. However, the fact that Delivery Races takes advantages by monopoly does not change. *Skyrocket: To rise extremely quickly or make extremely quick progress towards success. Kakao Mobility’s Exploitation* Over Taxi Drivers Another monopoly held on a platform is about Kakao Mobility. Kakao Mobility’s insane* commission policy and unfair vehicle division led to an angry workers’ demonstration*. Pro membership that Kakao Mobility launched became a big problem, too. What Pro membership offers to taxi drivers is if the drivers pay an extra 99,000 won for the additional service, they get more chance to get customers. The reason why this policy has become a big issue is because normal taxi drivers are experiencing big disadvantages because of it as their monthly salary has been cut in half. Kakao Mobility, apparently, has countered the taxi drivers’ demo in every single argument they have claimed, but it is hard to believe their reasoning as Kakao Mobility is holding the key to the power dynamics*. *Exploitation: The use of something in order to get an advantage from it. *Insane: Extremely unreasonable, or mentally ill. *Demonstration: An occasion when a group of people march or stand together to show that they disagree with or support something or someone. *Dynamic: The forces that control the relationships people or things have with each other and how those relationships can change. The main reason of business is to make money, and I do understand that people can act dirty to make more money as they already do. However, in this case when big enterprises either absorb other companies that participate in the same area, or exploit their workers, it is outrageous* as a customer. Though I am not someone who enjoys delivery food, I have heard from lots of people around me that the high delivery fee sometimes becomes such a heavy burden for poor university students to pay. Therefore, I think the enterprises should not only provide high quality services to both their customers and their workers, but also to do their best to make both them and their customers satisfied by setting a reasonable and affordable price for the service. *Outrageous: Unacceptable, offensive, violent, or unusual. Sources: https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20200408047300061 https://news.mt.co.kr/mtview.php?no=2020091510082530355 https://www.edaily.co.kr/news/read?newsId=02341926625896840&mediaCodeNo=257
Kicker: OPINION (VACCINE) Are You Really Satisfied with Your Vaccine? The Process of Returning Back to Our Daily Routine By Dong-Wook Kim, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org In Korea, as the first vaccination rate exceeds 77% and the vaccination completion rate exceeds 50 percent. Moreover, the first vaccination rate is about to reach 80%. However, according to a survey of unvaccinated people, the biggest reason for not getting vaccinated is the fear of side effects from the vaccine. Even 0.6% of the people are giving up to get the second round even though they got their first vaccines. What are the public opinions of the vaccine? Are the side effects really that serious? What are the things we need to check before we go back to our normal lives? Public Opinion on Vaccines Before discussing about the effectiveness of vaccines, it is helpful to know the public opinion on vaccines. According to the public opinion survey held by the Seoul National University research team at the graduate school of health, nearly 90 percent of the respondents said that they were stressed or tired from COVID-19. The most suffering side were self-employers who experienced a significant economic loss. Next was production workers and housewives who increased the burden of raising children as daycare centers and schools were closed due to online lectures. What thoughts do these people have about vaccines? The prevailing perception was that vaccination will be beneficial, but more than half of the respondents answered that it is dangerous and felt anxiety about the vaccine. According to the research in July about asking whether they would get vaccinated when their turn came, 65.4 percent gave a positive answer. The ratio is slightly below the government’s collective immunity target of 70 percent. One in five people said they had no intention of getting vaccinated especially respondents of a young age. Those in their 40s and older showed less than 15 percent negative opinions but those in their 20s and 30s were much higher. Most of the negative opinions said that they could not believe the safety of the vaccine. Some said that they were dissatisfied because they could not choose the vaccine they wanted. Interestingly, more than half of the respondents said they were optimistic about achieving collective immunity, but only 46 percent responded that they expected to be recover their daily lives to pre-COVID19 routine within this year. What factors influenced people about these various opinions about vaccines and collective immunity? Side Effects & Poor Clinical Trials Nationally, vaccine made to occur a series of reports. There were side effects or deaths of people diagnosed with leukemia after being vaccinated in Daejeon. A healthy person with no sign of serious illness died after getting vaccinated in Daejeon. The bereaved family wanted a close investigation about the death because they thought the vaccine is the only cause of death. As such, citizens’ anxiety is growing due to a series of side effects from vaccination. Therefore, even though there is a fatality rate of less than 1 percent due to COVID19, people are more interested in reports of adverse reactions after vaccination. What exactly did the media broadcast about vaccine side effects? To find out about how social discourse was formed and changed, news articles about the vaccine were collected and divided to three parts. The divided data went into the topic modeling analysis to check the connectivity of the keyword ‘vaccine’. During the analysis, some interesting words came out from July to September. Topic Modeling with the Keyword ‘Vaccine’ During 2021.07 ~2021.09 Topic No. Top 5 Words 1 Sinnovac quarantine connection disorder 2 Biden Johnson agreement prime minister 3 myocarditis pregnant pericarditis thrombosis According to the result of topic modeling analysis, topic number 3 consisted of side effects of the vaccines. Myocarditis, pericarditis, thrombosis is the side effect that has commonly happened. Inferring that the vaccination campaign started in July, it can be seen that the media is making a lot of comments on the side effects of the vaccine. Topic number one is about advance booking of vaccines online. However, as a lot of people gather during a short period, the site was disabled and people who were about to reserve a vaccine had a huge interference. It seems that the government did not expect this many people gathering for the vaccine assuming that they miscalculated the people who wanted to get vaccinated. Meme about COVID19 Vaccine’s Side Effects Furthermore, there were also reports of internal revelations that clinical trials for vaccines were poorly conducted. Ventavia research group, in charge of clinical trials, fired an employee who pointed out the poor conduct several times. The person who reveled the clinical trial was Brooke Jackson, who worked as a clinical monitor in the company. Recognizing that the vaccine clinical trial process is poor in data management, integrity issues and patient safety issues, she repeatedly informed her superiors but nothing has changed. As negative reports about vaccines continue in the media and the government’s passive announcement after the medical accident, it is hard to believe whether the vaccine is safe or not. Although public opinion about vaccines is not very bad and the mortality rate is low, people will distrust the vaccine until they feel confident about the medicine. However, as the vaccination rate increases, the government is implementing a new policy to get back to our lives before the pandemic. Of course, everyone wants to go back to when there were no people wearing masks outside but poor response to various problems can slow down this hope. There might be side effects or a late supply of vaccines, and hiding the fact will cause worse disasters. Vaccine companies should also be careful about clinical trials and side effects for not only the profit but also for a better world with no pandemic. Sources: https://www.joongang.co.kr/article/25004320#home https://health.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2021/09/09/2021090900869.html https://www.dongascience.com/news.php?idx=50453
Kicker: OPINION (MINIMUM WAGE) The Raise of Minimum Wage Who is it for? By Dong- wook Kim, Editor email@example.com Due to the fourth pandemic, the sales damages are inherited to not only self-employers but to the students who are looking for part-time positions. The movement of self-employers is extraordinary. Reducing labor costs is unavoidable since the minimum wage in 2022 has been confirmed at 9,160 won. Increasing the minimum wage is expected to affect self-employers and students economically. What is the purpose of increasing the minimum wage? What are the side effects of this decision? What is a Minimum Wage System? Minimum wage system is a system for protecting low-wage workers. Some non-regular workers fail to receive a decent amount of wage. The government intervenes in the process to set the minimum wage between the labor and the management. This system stabilizes workers’ lives and improves the quality of the workforce to contribute to the sound development of the national economy. The policy leads to avoid competitive approaches based on low wages and promote fair competition between the companies by requiring proper wages to be paid. Current State of the Minimum Wage System Ranking of OECD Countries by National Minimum Wage (Unit: USD) As of 2020, the minimum wage was 8,590 won. However, from 2021 this year, it has increased 1.5% year-on-year to 8,720 won. The increase of the minimum wage seems to show a right upward graph as the years go by. However, Korea’s minimum wage is lower than other OECD countries. The OECD recommends a minimum wage of 50% of the average wage for all workers. Compared to OECD data, the minimum wage of 8,590 won decided by the minimum wage commission recently is ranked 12th behind Spain. If the government set the wage to 10,000 won, it is estimated to rank ninth, between the United Kingdom and Canada. The Irony of the Workers Against the Rising Wage According to the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, they held a survey of about seven hundred job seekers on the 2022 minimum wage. Surprisingly, 63.8% answered that the wage should be the same or lower than 2021. By age group, those in their 60s and older were the highest at 80.8%, followed by those in their 20s at 67.3% and those in their 30s at 64.4%. Common sense would be a 100% agreement for the workers if there is a raise. However, job seekers’ response to next year’s minimum wage hike appears to be based on the judgment that the rise of the wage will not make self-employed people look for a part time job. Workers Protesting about the Rising Minimum Wage Increase or decrease in employment of low-wage workers when wage is increased by 1% Size Industry Classification Ratio Classification Ratio Less than five -9.25 Mining -13.89 5~29 -2.05 Wholesale -11.68 30~299 -2.39 Financial -7.35 More than 300 2.30 etc. -0.60 It is the same case with the regular workers. Jobs are estimated to be reduced if there is a rise of minimum wage. According to this chart that explains the increase or decrease in the employment of workers, the low-wage jobs with less than five people will cut about 9% of the current employers. If the minimum wage is raised by 1%, the mining industry will cut 13.9% of its employers, while wholesale and financial insurance industries will cut 7.4%, respectively. To summarize, the steeper the minimum wage rises, the greater the effect of employment reduction happens. Before the job seekers get paid more, the reality is that they are having a hard time getting a job or laid off in their jobs. Government Support for Self-Employers: Pie in the Sky You may ask what is the relationship between the government support and the minimum wage? The self-employers are not fully responsible for the rising minimum wage. There is some governmental support for self-employers and for even medium-sized businesses. The government has decided to provide government subsidies maximum of 130,000 won per worker per month to medium-sized businesses and small businesses with less than 30 employees which will be burdened by the minimum wage hike next year. According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, about three million workers across the country are expected to benefit. Critics criticize that this is an infinite loop to avoid criticism. If there is a raise, the government will support more workers. But where does the money come from? In the end, the taxes that the employer pay will cover the budget to support themselves. In the Long Run, Inflation It is true that the raise of the minimum wage will stimulate the consumption of low-income workers in the short term, but in the long run, it will lead to inflation. One of the analysts in a securities company analyzed the relationship between the price stimulation and income. It has been confirmed that households receiving the minimum wage had less consumption expenditure. On the other hand, the household with the increased income spent more money. As earned income increases, consumption is significantly increased. At the same time, the higher income elasticity of consumption of households not affected by the minimum wage can also be identified. Thus, in order to expand overall consumption, it is interpreted that the increase rate of ordinary wages should be raised rather than just raising the minimum wage. The more it is worth compared to the figure of labor, the better. However, if it is somewhat beyond the threshold, everyone in society can have a crisis together. The same is true of the minimum wage hike. The raise of the wage is not necessarily good for the self-employed, but also for the workers as the majority of the opposition comes from the latter. Setting wages in consideration of prices and the economic situation should be carried out carefully. Sources: https://www.donga.com/news/Society/article/all/20200715/101971077/1 https://www.hani.co.kr/arti/society/labor/923223.html https://www.donga.com/news/Economy/article/all/20210713/107936116/1 https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/inflation.asp
Kicker: OPINION Driving Through Roadblocks Deployed on Vehicle Electrification Roadmap Electric cars suddenly became a real deal within years Do-Hyuk Kim, Cub Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org A decade ago, movies dreaming about near future always featured all electric vehicles everywhere. Alongside flying spacesuit and all-digital world, electric cars possessed their own position in post-2050 cliché. Despite this consistent existence in cinema, electric cars were considered product of tomorrow or incomplete form of substitutional vehicle in real life. Nissan Leaf, which was introduced in 2010, boasted mind-blowing range of up to 113 kilometers, and required 10 hours to fill up for that kind of pathetic range. Everyone thought pure electricity can’t make the car ‘work’, but that’s the story until now. Recently launched Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 claims-by Hyundai-429 kilometers of range and can fill up it’s juice to 100 percent in 40 minutes. Blimey, the technological advancement achieved by electric cars are truly astonishing. But there is still some problems which come from both electric car itself and social infrastructure. Abnormal climate already taking place on earth, importance of eradicating emission-related problems have become urgent than ever. Is there any way to rapidly increase electric car’s market share? Let’s find out. Range of Electric Cars: Is That Really a Big Deal? Most people who aren’t experienced electric cars are worried about their maximum range by a single charge. Electric cars with small battery come with range that sounds pitiful, but most popular ones come with reasonable maximum range of 400 kilometers. I know that unlike internal combustion powered cars which can fill up anytime when gauge reaches empty at any petrol station, electric cars can’t be used from absolutely no charge to full, since charging spots are limited, but most travel of ordinary people doesn’t extend more than 200 kilometers. That means driving an electric car with maximum range of 400 kilometers – which there are plenty even in Korea – you can come back home without a single charge. Of course, this is based on driving style that’s not exuberant and on warm day for battery to display its full performance, but it’s not a bad figure at all. Also, since Korea is a small nation, travelling distance in three figures means using motorway, and you can charge for ten or twenty minutes and you’re ready to come back home after reaching destination. Latest electric cars like Hyundai’s IONIQ 5, Mercedes-Benz’s EQA and Porsche’s Taycan all support super-fast charging showing up to 150 kilowatt of charging speed. This means you can charge from 20 percent to 80 percent in around 20 minutes. You can plug in your electric car at charging station in rest area and go to loo or fetch a cup of coffee and charging is already done. Based on my electric car driving experience, charging speed is all that matters. Despite this fact, most people fear electric cars having short maximum range and experiencing inconvenience while waiting my car to fill up sufficiently. To repel fear derived from stereotypes of people, this fact should be more advertised. Ministry of Environment should point out this factor of electric cars do make sense today, but it’s not being done. Biggest Obstacle of Purchasing Electric Car Is By Far the Price Imagine you’re about to buy a new car, and what aspect of the vehicle you might consider most? I am definitely sure that pricing of the car determines whether you’re going to make a purchase or not. Actually, this attitude belongs to all products, but pricing of the car is more important for consumers since its price range is higher than any other industrial product beside house. Would you buy electric car for the sake of saving our planet paying double the price of the same car? Most people definitely won’t. Model with Internal Combustion Engine of Hyundai’s Kona’s price start from under twenty million won, while BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) model of the same car costs more than twice that. This is due to the expensive price of the battery, which accounts for nearly half of the extremely high price of an electric car. To resolve this issue, each nations’ government is giving subsidies for electric car consumers to drive electric car’s market share, and it worked well until now. Government-provided subsidy charged on electric cars is dropping year by year, already declined under ten million won, and is soon going to reach few pence within years. Government’s policy is to support maximum number of buyers who order their new electric car, not drag new consumers into electric car world. This means electric car’s price will stay high for upcoming years, unlike EU where electric car sales are strong. Abnormal climate changes genuinely are sinking into entire earth’s population, and Korea suffered from strong local precipitation during entire summer this year. Reducing emissions’ importance is higher than ever. We really need to get radical and start changing in big numbers, so is there any solution to pump up electric car market share? Can Electric Car Still Make Sense? First solution I suppose is making non-electric cars inefficient to run. People normally consider car’s price as a key factor of purchasing a vehicle, but they also consider how much will it cost to run while owning the car. Electric cars benefit from this factor, since charging an electric car is much cheaper than filling up at the pump in petrol station. But since price gap between electric cars and internal combustion engine powered car is so big, and charging fee of an electric car has risen within years, it’s hard to justify spending extra cash on an electric car. Current charging fee of electric car is 292 won per kilowatt-hour on rapid charger, and conventional electric cars nowdays have batteries bigger than 60 kilowatt-hour, so calculation tells electric cars costs around twenty-thousand won per 300 ~ 400 kilometers. This is near half of what petrol-powered conventional saloon car’s running costs. This is not enough to get return of massive price gap by saving running costs during car ownership. Simple solution to this is to impose much more tax on gas for ruining the environment. Gas prices currently consist a lot of tax, which is almost half of what we see in petrol stations. Also, every car owner of Korea should pay annual tax depending on how big is the engine installed on their car, currently 200 won per cubic centimeter (cc). Bigger internal combustion engine means bigger emission figure, so imposing more tax per cubic centimeter make sense. My opinion is to elevate this tax rate to 500 won per cubic centimeter. This will result Hyundai’s Sonata 2.0 – which is considered as a standard vehicle in Korea – owners pay one million won every year owning it, skyrocketing from current four-hundred thousand won. Imposing more tax on these points will make each refuel and ownership itself way more burden than now how internal combustion powered car owners feel, and they would naturally switch to electric cars for easing the strain. More tax will increase tax revenue of government for few years, so the central government can extend subsidy for an electric car purchase. Best of both worlds. Electric Car Only Promotion Should Be On Its Way Faster Second solution coming up is give electric car buyers more merit they can actually feel. Electric cars can use motorway for half the price of internal combustion engined cars do, which is until 2022. Korea’s electric car occupancy of the road is still below EU and China, so it’s premature to end it next year. Government should designate hard-to-reach target of electric car’s market share and constantly provide this benefit until Korea successfully reach the target. Electric cars can also use public car parks for half the price, but that’s quite beneficial to residents of Seoul only. Residents living in major cities of other provinces are not compelled to use public car parks since they have loads of free space to leave their cars behind. My suggestion is that government force Ministry of Environment to quickly install charging stations in every single public car park, so electric car owners can conveniently charge up and get one parking space reserved. Then provide two hours of free parking for electric car owners who came for charging up their cars. This system will encourage both kinds of people who live in metropolitan area whom are obsessed from stressful parking to buy electric cars, and people living in outskirts of city or other provinces to enjoy free parking experience. Similar benefits were once offered to hybrid-electric cars, and owners of them were satisfied by this small yet meticulous promotion of environment-friendly vehicles. Battery electric vehicles should also quickly receive support from government of saving these small expenditures to increase satisfaction of electric car ownership and to publicize it. World is changing faster than what we have expected over the years, and developed nations such as United States and EU implementing strong policies to rapidly change into electric-car-infested world. Most car manufacturers already released their visions to swap their whole range of internal combustion engined cars into fully electrified battery electric vehicles until 2030 or 2035. It is now time for Korea to keep pace with those advanced countries to save our planet, and both government and our citizens should pay attention considering this issue seriously. Electric cars might give us some little amount of discomfort, but that’s not intolerable.Climate problems are changing our citizen’s lives and further influencing cosmopolitan culture, and most of them are hard to withstand. Tolerance of small inconveniences can make everyone smile at last.
Kicker: OPINION (MEME) Memes as a Double-edged Sword The Age of Meme, A New Digital Trend Code By Sol-Hyang Park, Reporter email@example.com It is the heyday of ‘Meme.’ Memes made through YouTube and various online communities, such as “Rollin Rollin," “Sadala," "One Kkang a day,” are not just entertainment, but are also influencing offline business trends. Memes, which used to belong to a non-mainstream culture enjoyed by a small number of netizens who enjoyed social activities online, are now new digital trend code that anyone can easily enjoy and follow through SNS. Origin of Memes “Internet meme” or “meme” is a secondary creation or parody that spread from the Internet to the community or social networking. Originally, it was derived from the academic term "meme" first proposed by zoologist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book "The Selfish Gene.” In the book, meme meant "spiritual reasons such as religion, ideas, and ideologies that have been reproduced and passed on throughout generations," just like human genes. This has been expanded to the meaning "a cultural element in a work that is parody, modulated, and spread" to call for a new spreading culture that has exploded since the Internet was distributed in the early 2000s. Particularly, people in English-speaking communities have used this word to refer to the essential things used in chatting and UCC activities, which also became widely used among netizens in Korea. In addition, we call a person who produces or distributes memes as a "memer". Examples of Memes Meme encompasses every word, photo, video, song, action, etc. Anything that is easy to remember or addictive on the Internet is likely to become a meme. We can also call the social and cultural phenomena or buzzwords that were popular in the past before the word meme appeared, as memes. Memes by Period in Korea As for examples of Korean memes in the early 2000s, there are "You go, Hawai (a famous line from the movie “Friend”)," The Fruit of Love (Community Fund Badge), and Ulzzang Culture (developed with the advent of Cyworld)." Also, in the 2010s, there were memes such as smartphone, Facebook, greenlight (used in the TV program "Witch Hunt"), and juice spilling memes (a scene from the drama "I Must Have Loved You"). In the 2020s, there are memes such as social distancing (corona influence), Rollin (music of Brave Girls), and Money Games (web entertainment show based on a Naver webtoon "Money Game"). In particular, since 2020 affected by the Corona pandemic, many more Internet memes have been created as Internet usage has increased relatively. In fact, the concept of memes was introduced to the public in Korea relatively recently, since singer Rain's "Gang" memes. At that time, Rain's song “Gang” became popular again in 2020 through MBC's "Hang out with Yoo.” The process of re-rising and the derivative words such as “1 kang a day” could not be explained without using the concept of the meme, and Rain himself used the word meme. Previously, people used words such as “drip” much more than “meme”. There also can be a worldwide meme. For example, with the development of the Internet, people began to use "memes(funny pictures with texts)" frequently in the community. It is called “meme” in English, and 'jjal' in Korea. People are using a lot of humorous memes that intuitively express feelings or situations that cannot be explained by text alone. As such, meme is a pop culture beyond languages. Meme Marketing Many companies also focus on this meme phenomenon, and apply it to their marketing, which is called meme marketing. They organize promotional strategies with meme elements that are talked about and parodied in many Internet communities and social media. This kind of meme marketing has much greater ripple effect than normal advertising, thanks to the meme's own characteristics. This is because if consumers think it is funny, they will share and distribute themselves, even reprocessing them to create another meme. Thanks to the meme, it has a strong promotional effect without spending too much money. Of course, not all meme marketing succeeds. The meme trend can already have cooled down, so proper timing and witty planning would be important. An example of effective meme marketing is Burger King's "All Day King" ad, which parodies scenes from the SBS drama "The Age of Wildlings" in 2003.Actor Kim Young-chul, who played a role in the drama, negotiated the price of a hamburger saying "4 $.” This ad is a parody of the scene in which he negotiates with the U.S. military in the drama. Originally, this scene was used as a meme, and steadily became popular. Based on this humor code that netizens have long loved, Burger King successfully delivered the message of the best quality hamburgers at the cheapest price with humor. It is said that after the ad, the average sales of each store rose more than 70% . On the contrary, there are cases where a company used meme contents without permission, so obsessed with memes, in the end, rather worsened their brand image. In July last year, CJ Food's "Hatban" was blamed for unauthorized use of singer Sunmi's contents. Hatban promoted black rice with a post on Instagram using the signature pose of Sunmi's song "Purple Night." They also mentioned her in promotional comments. The problem was that Sunmi was not their promotional model, and they did not ask for permission from the original author in advance. As many people criticized the lack of copyright awareness, they finally made an apology that they acknowledged their faults, and deeply regretted. Memes as a Double-edged sword Memes give light fun to many people's daily lives and are even used in corporate marketing. For young MZ generation, it is an essential digital communication code, leading the trend. However, memes can be a dangerous weapon. Like was mentioned, focusing only on the fun and ripple power of memes can make unethical mistakes such as violating copyright or human rights. Since there is a strong tendency to make anything funny, memers can abuse other people's works without permission, or ridicule others. A lot of memes pour out in just one day, and many memers are still looking for the object of memes. If this phenomenon continues, it can be overshadowed by fun and forget the basic things to keep. Moreover, memes are propagated and distributed very quickly, so even if we try to correct them later, there would be no turning back after they have already become memes. Meme culture is now a new channel of communication, and also a vital part of people’s lives exhausted from Corona. Fun things that were overlooked in the past are rediscovered, entertaining people in many ways.However, the power of memes is so strong that memers may make irreversible mistakes. So we will always have to make memes and enjoy them in due degree!
Kicker: OPINION (MOBILE PHONES) The Only Mobile Phone Company in Korea: Samsung by Yoo-Jung Kim, Editor-In-Chief/ Eun-Jea Choi, Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org/Welvoeeun123@naver.com LG Electronics recently closed its mobile phone business. In 1990, the company closed its first mobile phone business 26 years after entering the market. LG's business ended with a bad result of accumulated deficit of 5 trillion won for its mobile phone business. There are many reasons why LG's mobile phone business failed. Among many reasons, LG is trying to focus on the reason why it failed to meet the needs of the MZ generation. Let's find out the types and functions of mobile phones favored by the MZ generation and the trends of the mobile market through the strongest Samsung in mobile phone business. History of the LG Smart Phone Business The early LG mobile phone market ranked third in the world market. LG was booming in the mobile phone market from 1995 to 2014. In particular, the G3 model sold 10 million units in 2014. Unfortunately, there has been a deficit since 2015. There are various reasons for LG Smartphone's business failure and deficit. Causes of Failure in the LG Smart Phone Business The first reason is that the success of feature phones has slowed the development of smartphone markets. Other companies started their smartphone business early in the period when they were successful as feature phones. Many experts say that LG chose to enjoy the success of the feature phone a little more than to move quickly in the times. The second reason is that LG missed the consumers’ needs due to our tenacity to unique models. LG has been trying various types of fresh products such as modular Smartphone G5 and dual-screen Smartphone. In this regard, it has helped develop Korean smartphone technology, but it has been shown that it was far from consumers. Many say that LG's attempts have undermined its competitiveness in the smartphone market. Lastly, LG has fallen behind in competition for preference of Smartphones from consumers. Homogeneity has a big impact in Korea. As more consumers from Samsung and Apple among the majority of consumers, LG mobile phone consumers continued to be shaken. In fact, LG accounted for 5% of the smartphone brand preference of people in their 20s, which includes many students from Sangmyung University and affects the smartphone business. <2019 Smartphone Brand Preference Survey Results> Results from the Stop of the LG Smart Phone Business There are a lot of things affected by the stop of LG's mobile phone business. First of all, some 3,700 smartphone workers related to LG's mobile phone business were moved to other headquarters*, and office workers are expected to be relocated before July 31st, when the business will end. In addition to employees, the impact on consumers is also a very large part. Although it will stop its business, it said that AS service will continue for 4 years. However, it can be difficult to get related mobile phone parts, and the price of a second-hand* phone can drop significantly or make it difficult to sell, and thiscan have a negative affect on consumers. On the other hand, there are parts that have a good influence. The stock market is taking a very positive stance because it can shake off losses in LG's mobile phone business and increase profits. These advantages also exist for competitors because Samsung and Apple do not have to be competitive and can reduce the benefits they originally gave to consumers. <LG Electronics Stock Price Rise Graph> *headquarer: an organization are its main offices. *second-hand: things are not new and have been owned by someone else. Samsung's Monopoly Era? Experts estimate that the monopoly* of Samsung's mobile phone era will begin. This is because existing LG cell phone users are likely to move on to Samsung phones with the most similar smart phone structure and are not expected to change to the Apple system because they are domestic brands. However, it is difficult to conclude because the younger generation uses Apple's iPhone a lot. However, many speculate that Samsung's era in the mobile industry will open as Samsung Electronics has recently been rapidly absorbing LG Electronics' loyal customers and Samsung Electronics is launching a large-scale used phone compensation program. According to the mobile telecommunications industry, about 80% of LG Electronics' V50 used phone price guarantee program subscribers chose the latest Galaxy smartphone, and Samsung's share in the domestic mobile market stood at 65% and 13% last year. In response, LG is planning to focus on future businesses such as automobiles and robots, as mobile workers are the core of developing 6G mobile telecommunication and cameras. <Share of Smartphone markets in South Korea in 2020> *monopoly: If a company, person, or state has a monopoly on something such as an industry, they have complete control over it, so that it is impossible for others to become involved in it. The shutting down of LG's mobile phone business does not just mean the end of the business. As mentioned before, it can have a big impact among consumers and various businesses and people, and it is a part where we can look forward to the future business trends that LG Electronics is pursuing in the future. Due to the U.S.-China trade dispute, the smartphone competition between Apple and Samsung, excluding Huawei, will be overheated, and people's choices are also unpredictable. Therefore, for the development of domestic companies, the psychology and preferences of mobile phone consumers should be well understood, and companies should develop various future businesses as well as mobile businesses to actively realize the domestic industry.
Kicker: OPINION Stimulus Check: The Double-edged Sword of the Pandemic Era by Nam-HoYun, Reporter email@example.com Since May of 2020, the government had given stimulus check to the people for 3 times. Politicians are discussing about the 4th stimulus check for selected people. Some say that it is a bait to get more votes by giving people money, while some say it is the best way to help out people who got hit hard by the global pandemic. As more and more people are opening their eyes to this idea, arguments surrounding the stimulus check seem to be unavoidable. Will it be a gift box everyone desperately needs or a Pandora’s Box that will bring us new conflicts and problems? Supporters: “Stimulus Check is Not an Option” No one is safe from the global pandemic yet. At the same time, it is hurting the vast majority of people both mentally and financially. That is why the supporters believe that the government should actively intervene and help their citizens. As of May 10, during the first stimulus check period, the Korean government had spent 2.2% of its GDP. Japan had spent 22%, 13% for the U.S, and 12% for the Swedish government. Plus, as of the third quarter last year, Korea’s national debt was 45.9% compared to GDP, while the average of advanced countries was 131.4%. The U.S was 127.2%, Japan was 257.2%, and the U.K was 130.1%. Korea’s national debt ratio was even lower than China with 63%. The lower the percentage is,the more the government can unpack their money to aid people. Lastly, there are many people who need financial support. The rate of self-employment in Korea was a quarter of the total employment in 2014, and it kept going up. However, the number of self-employed is decreasing. Most of them are in debt. They are in need of money and support. Supporters firmly believe that the government should step in and give stimulus checks. <Monthly self-employment rate in 2020> Opposers: “Stimulus Check is Just a Mirage” Opposers do not think it has a positive effect. They believe it creates other problems. First, household debt is increasing in spite of stimulus checks. According to the Institution of International Finance, in the third quarter of last year, Korea had 100.6% household debt ratio compared to GDP. The average of advanced countries was 78%; the U.S. was 81.2%. In other words, more and more people are carrying their increasing debt on their back. Second, the way the government selects who they are going to support is vague. For instance, the self-employed person who had more than 5 employers could not get the third stimulus check last year. Likewise, people who opened up a store after November of 2019 were excluded. There was an irony going on among the people who needed the check, but could not. Finally, opposers say that it makes people more divided. The first stimulus check was for every citizen. The second and the third one were for certain people like self-employed. Some criticize the amount of money (3 million Won for businesses that were banned, 2 million Won for businesses that were under restrictions) they gave to the owners. Owners who had more than 2 businesses could only get one stimulus check. Without more precision and study, stimulus check will not stimulate people and the economy. You have to keep in mind that there are studies and documents that are significantly different. Some experts suggest positive effects of the stimulus check while some say the opposite. While there will be arguments regarding the next stimulus check, people have to realize the problems others are facing right now. We, as a society should find our way out even though it is not in the form of a stimulus check. Sources: https://m.hankookilbo.com/News/Read/A2020072011120001650?dtype=1&dtypecode=dfb5b563-203b-4096-b614 d30cd0377c1f&did=ZU&prnewsid=A2020072014250002836 https://biz.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2021/01/11/2021011102359.html