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Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung holds 1.5 bil. won as stocks

Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung holds 1.5 bil. won as stocks

Posted March. 25, 2017 07:11,   

Updated March. 25, 2017 07:16

한국어

Rich left-wingers always have their nicknames, regardless of nationality. In France, they are called “la gauche caviar” (or caviar left-wing) and “champagne left” in England. In Germany, they are called as “Toskaner Fraktion,” meaning leftists who spend their summer vacation at the sunny Toscana in Italy. In the U.S., they are referred to as the “5th avenue liberals,” as they live at the 5th Street near Central Park, the home to many rich New Yorkers.

Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung, who spent his childhood working, has contended for the Democratic Party primaries is a leftist politician going beyond universal welfare and calls for basic income. According to the reports on wealth changes announced by the Government Public Ethic Committee on Wednesday, Lee has secured 2.6 billion won. The maximum average asset of a 50s breadwinner is worth 400 million won. Even the average wealth of National Assemblymen in their 50s reach a mere 1 billion won. It was known that Lee increased wealth with the legal fees he earned during his barrister years.

A majority of his wealth come from the 1.48 billion-worth of shares held jointly with his wife. The equivalent value grew by 310 million won from last year’s 1.17 billion won. His portfolio is consisted of chaebol groups including Hyundai, LG, SK, and Doosan. This means that he reaped over 300 million won in 2016 alone by investing in these conglomerates. Once known as a politician with a strong will to dissolute the financial cliques, Lee took a different stance after announcing his presidential candidacy and said that what he meant was to eliminate family-run systems in large companies.

Palestinian Edward Said, author of the book “Orientalism” and a left-wing intellectual, always raised his voice against the U.S. foreign policies while living his entire life on the American soil. It will be an exaggeration to label Mayor Lee as a “Gangnam leftist.” He resonates with those in hardships, as he himself also went through ups and downs. How odd are these blind-folded self-contradicting people who talk down of this society as “a country where opportunism prevailed throughout the history,” when in fact a child laborer became a lawyer and a man of wealth with 2.6 billion in his hands by investing in enterprises.



pisong@donga.com