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Readers’ VOICE

On school meals ...

It should be subjective. Children who come from families of a low income should be able to get lunch in school for free. Those who come from higher income families should have to pay. How you decide what is high and low, I don’t know. But having a blanket system is just populist, lazy and a waste of public money.

― Michael Madders, Incheon, via Facebook

Yes (all kids should be covered), if the process will be managed by smart people. Good usage of tax dollars if you ask me, if managed properly!

― Holly Hamilton, Gunpo, via Twitter

Because welfare such as free meals needs tremendous money, first I would like to approach this problem with an accurate number.

Korea’s budget next year is about $300 billion. Of this, welfare consists of about quarter, $80 billion.

To put this in perspective, as reference I would mention the budgets of other fields. The military and the educational budgets are $30 billion and $40 billion, respectively.

In addition, the more time passes, the more money there is spent on welfare. If, for example, some people benefit from the nation, the others demand the same.

If the nation ends one welfare policy, the people who benefit from that policy will demonstrate or show force.

In Seoul, the vote is scheduled to take place on Aug. 24 regarding free meals of elementary, middle and high school students.

The “yes” side insists that if the nation serves free meals to our students, it will spend no more than $0.8 billion.

Also this plan is restricted to Seoul and the money which is spent is for our students’ future.

But there can be an alternative plan such as free meals only to students whose household income is in the bottom 50 percent or donations from rich people.

The money which we have is not endless.

Perhaps one library or one computer is more important to our students.

― So Kyung-suu, Seoul
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