In a story placed very prominently on both the Chosun’s and Dong-A’s websites, Yonhap warns that Park Geun-hye’s election may have sparked inter-generational tensions, with young folk expressing with discontent with online petitions calling for an end to welfare benefits for seniors.
On the day after the election, a netizen started an online petition at Daum’s Agora calling for an end to seniors being allowed to ride the subway for free. So far, that poll has garnered 9,150 signatures.
The netizen who started the petition argued that since old folk don’t like national welfare, the free subway rides for seniors system should be abolished. Perhaps then they might come to appreciate what welfare is, he said.
In signing the petition, another netizen commented that it was only logical that until the generation that truly supports welfare can get free subway rides, the elderly generation—which is ungrateful for welfare—should not be able to ride for free. Another netizen commented that since old people opposed free child care and half-priced tuitions, free subway rides and old-age pensions should be abolished, too.
Yet another netizens began an online petition to abandon basic old-age pensions. He argued that it’s clear old folk are people of means as demonstrated in the election, and that the time had come to collect those benefits from the people who call welfare “populism.” He said they had tried to persuade older voters that we should all live together, but these efforts had rewarded with accusations of being “commies.”
In the comments, supporters argued that those who cursed free school lunches for children as “commie” had no right to enjoy welfare benefits, and that old folk should be prepared to take responsibility for their vote; young people shouldn’t have to take responsibility for it.
Agora is a bastion of progressive netizendom, so there were many calls for restraint from those worried about generating a generational clash. Just a few noted that since they, too, would be old one day, they would also receive old-age benefits in the future.
At another major humor website, there was pretty opened discontent with the way older voters voted heavily for Park Geun-hye. One netizen said after the election that there were a lot of stupid old people, and that people in their 20s—40s knew the society in which we live better than the elderly. Another netizen declared he would no longer respect the elderly, for they had ruined the nation for his children and grandchildren. Other said they would no longer give up their seats to old people on buses and subways. And then there were the folk who said simply that they wanted to kill all old folk.
Some professor told Yonhap that inter-generational tensions began five years ago, and five years from now it would become a “war.” These tensions would increase as the economic criss begins in earnest and young people and old people fight over limited government resources.
Another professor said since Park’s victory was razor thin, their could be a lot of disappointment in the election result. Because inter-generational tensions regarding major social issues could express themselves at any time, the new administration needed to put forth policy active alternatives.
Marmot’s Note: I can’t imagine he’d be much of a Moon Jae-in fan, but Mark Steyn certainly could appreciate voters taking responsibility for their votes.
Anyway, I think I can see why an article like this would appeal to the Chosun and Dong-A—not only are young people lazy and entitled, but they’re unappreciative of the sacrifices of the older generation. And rude to boot!