Anti-Corruption Law Takes Over Korea

Anti-Corruption Law Takes Over Korea

Let's welcome the new Kim Young-ran law to the world! The much-debated anti-corruption law that limits 'gifts' that can be given to people working for the government, media outlets and schools begins today.

It's been a long road ever since the measure was introduced in 2011 by Kim Young-ran who was the then head of the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission.

Approximately 4 million South Koreans working at over 40,000 governmental and private organizations are expected to be subject to the measures which limit meals at 30,000 won, gifts to 50,000 won and congratulatory and condolence money to 100,000 won.

For more details and examples, check out KLAWGURU.COM. One of the examples say students can't chip in below the amount with other students to buy their teacher a gift that goes over the 50,000 won amount.  

Bloomberg says Korea will say goodbye to boozy dinners under the crackdown. Yes, this what happens when you watch a sinking ferry with students trapped on board, see professors create false research results to support a deadly household chemical industry or find so many people struggling in a 'free-market economy' with growing distortion because of pay-to-play 'expenses' off the books. 

Restaurants have already adapted by creating special menus just under the legal limits. Smart. And maybe we will suddenly find that 10 fish don't really cost $500 after all. Or 10 apples in a gift box really don't have to be $100. 

In the short term, businesses that dialed in to the distorted market system will have to unhinge themselves. But under the vision of the law, perhaps we will really have less corruption and a return to a freer market. This law may actually do more to cut down on the shadow economy than previous heavy-handed measures. And it will create fewer awkward situations where you don't know whether you should have 'gifted' someone something and by how much. Awkward! Let's see how this plays out.

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