Capitalism or feudalism?
THE Fair Trade Commission released a chart Monday, which illustrates the family-controlled conglomerates and their subsidiaries. The diagram … drew attention to two things: how these families dominate huge corporate empires with limited equity, and whether and how long Korea should let the Chaebol system continue as it is. According to the antitrust agency, the equity share of Chaebol owners has dropped below one per cent for the first time, but the ‘intra-family’ equity ¯ those held by family members, relatives, affiliated firms and board members ¯ rose to … the highest level in the past two decades.structure of 63
What this signifies is simple: the efforts of successive governments, except probably the current one, to rein in Chaebol’s economic power succeeded outwardly but failed inwardly…. Elections or not, it is long past time for the nation to seriously think about whether it should continue to leave the entire economy in the hands of a few dozen families and their vassals. People who support the Chaebol system … say the conglomerates and their owners are only victims of their hard-won success. …The Chaebol supporters brush aside critics as just envious socialists….
True, the founders of major Chaebol, including Samsung, Hyundai and LG, were entrepreneurs, but many of their children and grandchildren seem to have inherited only their money, not the spirit of enterprise and genius. …Chaebol families and a handful of their professional managements cannot cope with the rapidly changing industrial structure of the future which demands enormous creativity and originality. The increasing economic polarisation and deepening estrangement within the rest of society will also make another industrial leap by Korea difficult …What’s keeping the nation from transitioning from economic feudalism to advanced capitalism are the vested interests of Chaebol and their parasites … — (July 3)