Thursday, December 19, 2019
Quality of Life and Welfare Policy
In the Peace Weekly, peace column, a specialist in welfare matters gives us her thoughts on policies and expectations for the future.
Quality of life is the way an individual subjectively sees and can participate and enjoy life— an evaluation standard that comprehensively understands the lives of a nation's people. Based on the factors that make life worthwhile, measured are the objective living conditions and the subjective perceptions and evaluations of citizens.
In a recent evaluation of the quality of life, Koreans are still interested in economic stability. In general, as society matures, interest in non-material values increases. In Korea, it is noteworthy that 'economic stability' has emerged as an important factor up to the present even though 30 years have passed.
In the OECD survey, Korea ranked 30th out of 40 countries, and one of the chronic problems that lowered the quality of life indicator ranking was anxiety due to the decrease in real income. Social psychologists say that the anxiety of modern people is caused by problems that cannot be overcome by individual efforts such as recession and inequality.
Important to recognize that when a state or government is not providing solutions to individual anxieties and social solidarity is difficult to anticipate, humans have difficulty enduring the uncertainties and eventually are expressed in radicalized thoughts and actions.
There is a high correlation between the many self-inflicted deaths because of unemployment and the difficulties of life. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare's 2018 Suicide Survey, the rate of suicide increases rapidly the longer you stay in the lowest strata of society and lower the income level. After the physiological needs, security is the first before all others that needs to be satisfied.
When this is missing, government-level social safety nets are not functioning properly and loopholes and limitations are exposed. In addition to the government, it is also essential to raise interest in society. The analysis suggests the public-private sector should cooperate closely with each other. All working to bring together the community.
Pope Francis said that if modern technological advances cause obvious inequalities and become hostile to the common good, it is not real progress, but unfortunate regression ruled by the law of the strongest. Emphasizing the need to reach out to those who cannot stand alone, warning that the existence of the poor, the marginated, can be treated as annoying, consumables.
The current government is providing the opportunity for "welfare" to shift away from political slogans to "policy." Last year, they spent the largest ever share for welfare spending in Korea, a positive factor in expanding the welfare system. However, despite these achievements, if the plans and directions are wrong, you have events like those described above.
Social welfare experts are calling for strategies for welfare structure reforms to ensure the sustainability of welfare systems. Welfare sustainability and development are shared responsibilities and should be pursued in cooperation with the public sector as well as businesses, workers and all segments of society. The blind spots in the system need to be uncovered, a project urgently needed to find answers by listening to voices in the field, and not only with table theory.