“It seems that people think they can buy a young person with money, whereas they can't buy youthfulness.” A famous writer in broadcasting posted this on his SNS. He expressed harsh criticism about passion pay indirectly. Lately, “Passion Pay” has become a major social problem in Korea. This posting was especially well-received by young netizens. Of course, I could not agree more with what he said.
Have you searched for “Passion Pay” on the Internet? The newly-coined word “Passion Pay” is a cynical remark about the behavior in which a business or a company exploits a young applicant with nonpayment or pittance. Many articles which relate this can be found on web sites. This affects fashion designers, the intern system, guards, convenience stores and so on. Passion pay means a mutual contract where companies give opportunities to youths without any foundation, but the youths should not ask for any reward in exchange for being given opportunities. Simply put, it means, "I will give you a chance, but do not expect any reward from me."
Enterprises or companies seem to provide opportunities to fulfill dreams of youngsters who want to learn. It looks graceful when they help young people who have will and passion, but only superficially. With “sweet after bitter,” they withstand the passion pay.
There is a book titled Being Young is Being Painful which has been a best seller for years. It says that youth ought to endure all the hardship they experience because they grow mature through that experience. These ideas have become part of the social trend, but the problem is that this provides a psychological basis to entrepreneurs who do not have leadership. Our society forces the young to endure a situation in which they face economic problems like part time jobs and temporary positions. Also, it is very illegal for them to pay what is far beneath the minimum cost of living.
I am not saying that all young men have to receive a high salary. Of course, there should be a distinction between strenuous work and not. I read news that the unemployment rate among those under the age of 30 was the highest it's ever been. I think it is very unfortunate that many companies and corporations are not helpful, but they wring out the force of labor.
The future of Korea depends on the “2030 generation.” Thus, it is urgent to find a fundamental solution to save young men from an unreasonable passion pay structure. I think the future of Korea will be lost in darkness if the present young people who have a long time of suffering become middle-aged and they try to buy young men's passion cheaply again. I hope that the older generations realize that the youthful generation is the power of our entire country.