SEONGNAM, KOREA: A city with nearly a million population considering for a ‘Youth Dividend’

SEONGNAM, KOREA: A city with nearly a million population considering for a ‘Youth Dividend’

Seongnam city is considering implementing a ‘Youth Dividend’, based on the idea of a basic income. If it happens, it will be the first case in Korea.

The city(성남시 城南市)is located about 20 km south from the centre of Seoul, and has a population of around 980,000 in its 142 square kilometers of land.

The mayor, Lee Jae-myeong (이재명) has been keen for poverty reduction. With his initiative, the city considers an introduction of a ‘Youth Dividend’. Although the idea is inspired by a universal and unconditional basic income, the detail of a ‘Youth Dividend’ is not decided yet. The city commissioned to an external agency for research on feasibility of implementation of it last June.

*This news is written based on the following news and information from some Korean Friends including Smila Youhyung Park (스밀라):

The image of map is from


INTERNATIONAL: Youth Activist Movement for Basic Income Forms at BIEN Congress

A new group, called Basic Income Generation (BIG), formed at the 2014 BIEN Congress in Montreal. Although the group began as a youth movement, Basic Income Generation is a Basic Income activist collective with open-ended membership (without age, occupational, or locational restriction). Basic Income Generation aims to facilitate the direct support of BIEN to movements and actions in support of unconditional basic income around the world.

Basic Income Generation is the product of a process started in late 2012 by two Korean Basic Income activists, Juon Kim and Kieun Song, who first proposed that a Basic Income Global Youth Network (BIGYN). After a few exchange of emails and a Skype meeting, it was decided that activists would gather up all the young people present at the next BIEN General Assembly to ask them what they thought of the idea and how to move it forward. The group thus organized two informal gatherings in Montreal, which led the group to turn into Basic Income Generation (on a proposal from Stanislas Jourdan), on the Swiss model of ‘Generation Basic Income’ that was created to support their national citizen initiative, and lead it to succeed.

Part of the reason for the choice of its name, is that Basic Income Generation is not defined by some trait of its membership, but by its objectives: Helping BIEN to be more present and efficient in its support of Basic Income activism worldwide, as well as helping BIEN to develop new communication strategies and material, while facilitating exchanges between Basic Income activist from all over the world.

More information about Basic Income Generation (including information on how to get involved) is on its Facebook page:

Basic Income Generation

Basic Income Generation

SOUTH KOREA: Kwen Moon Seok, steering committee member of Basic Income Korean Network dies

[BIKN – August 2013]

Third, Kwen Moon Seok, a beloved steering committee member of the Basic Income Korean Network (BIKN), passed away in May 2013. He was only in his mid 30s and left his wife and an infant daughter behind. Before his death, he had devoted himself to setting up an new network called, “alba-yondae (Solidarity of tentative workers)” and had been respected by many young people who joined the network. According to a member of BIKN, “He was one of the most sincere and hard working activist. … May rest in peace.”

More information about Kwen Moon Seok (in Korean) is online here.

Hoon Kang, Nam and Popho E. S. Bark-Yi, “Special Issue: Basic Income and Issues of Alternative Economic Strategies”

[BI News – August 2013, BIKN contributed to this report]

A Korean academic journal, Marxism 21, published a special edition on basic income entitled, “Basic Income and Issues of Alternative Economic Strategies.” Marxism 21 is a quarterly academic journal published by the Institute for Social Sciences of Gyeongang National University (of South Korea) with financial support from the Korean Research Foundation. The special issue included the following two papers.

Nam Hoon Kang, “Precarious Workers and Basic Income”
ABSTRACT: This paper compares selective income support policy with basic income for precarious workers. In 2012, there were 17,027,000 precarious workers in Korea, which is about 62% of the total economically-active population. Under this situation, a basic income policy is more suitable than selective income support. If there were perfect information and no administrative costs, selective income support policy could have exactly the same economic effects as basic income. But given those constraints, it is impossible for selective income policy to have the same economic effects as basic income. The former has more administrative costs, blind spots, moral hazards, bad transition effects, lower labor incentives and labeling effects. If most of the population are precarious workers, basic income is more appropriate not only economically but also politically.

Popho E. S. Bark-Yi, “The System of Sexuality and Basic Income”
ABSTRACT: This paper suggests that the ideological idea that equates women to sexual objects, not to sexual subjects, is still pervasive in South Korean culture. The author argues that this idea puts women in an inferior position to men in social, economic, and political spheres. Arguing for this idea’s deconstruction, the author introduces the term ‘system of sexuality’. This highlights the key feature of the current system, in which relationships between women and men are deeply intertwined with and sustained by sexuality, economics and politics. Basic income implies unconditional cash payment to every individual regardless of gender, age, marital status, employment status or wealth. Negotiation power in relationships partially but significantly depends on one’s degree of economic independence. Women’s economic status, nevertheless, has been heavily weakened due to the heterosexual male-oriented economic system as well as the marriage system. Basic income which guarantees each and every woman a certain level of income will offer a meaningful contribution to enhance women’s negotiation power within the current system of sexuality.

Hoon Kang, Nam, and Popho E. S. Bark-Yi, “Special Issue: Basic Income and Issues of Alternative Economic Strategies” Marxism 21, vol. 30, 2013 is online in English