Election 100 days have passed.

The election fever is heating up.

There are bizarre personal attacks, divisions, and clumsy image-making, but the most powerful and legitimate means of competition must be a promise. can do.

But the same word of justice is visible on the flag of the pledge fluttering at the forefront.

Both Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung and People's Strength candidate Yoon Seok-yeol, the leaders in the presidential election, are advocating building a fair country as their number one goal.

On the 6th of this month, candidate Yoon Seok-yeol mentioned fairness eight times in his speech at the inauguration ceremony of the election committee, and announced that he would establish the basics of the country with 'Yun Seok-yeol's fairness'. Prior to this, in July, Candidate Jae-myung Lee defined the spirit of the times as 'ensure fairness' and made 'transformative and fair growth' as ​​a key pledge. The two candidates also emphasized with one voice at the national breakfast prayer meeting that they attended earlier this month, "We will make a fair country."

Is it only for presidential candidates? The Moon Jae-in administration also put up fairness as its slogan, and the Park Geun-hye administration and the Lee Myung-bak administration were no different. The fact that the powers of the past, present, and future all shout for fairness is also a reflection of the reality that all or at least half of the people are always thirsty for justice.

How, then, should we understand the paradox of feeling that fairness is lacking or lacking in a country where fairness is always the best value?

This is because, without a definition of 'fairness' agreed upon by the majority of the people, each is looking at a different color of fairness. Is the fairness of the employer and the fairness of the workers the same? What about fairness for regular workers and fairness for non-regular workers, or fairness for the rich and fairness for the poor? Is the teacher's process the same as the student's? Are the fairness of youth and old age, men and women equal? Why is the so-called fair reporting of the liberal media different from the fair reporting of the conservative media?

Even on the same rocky mountain, depending on the angle from which you look, you may see a sheep or a wolf. However, in our society, not only the national leaders but also the people look at the mountain of fairness from different positions and say that that is fairness. So everyone shouts for fairness,In reality, there are clamors for unfairness.

Depending on who views fairness from which ideological point of view, or what historical background, culture, and system one belongs to, not only the perception of fairness but also the principle of fairness judgment changes. Therefore, fairness can shine only when there is a universal consensus on the viewpoint and the demands of the times.

What kind of fairness do we really want in our time? We need to choose the fairness required by the spirit of the times, and both leaders and the people must agree on the definition. There is no best choice that can satisfy all ideologies and values ​​with different inclinations. It's just an ideal.

Indulging in idealism leads to a shift in intentions and consequences. This is the reason why policies with good intentions have bad consequences. Good intentions to raise workers' wages reduce jobs. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) workers who have to earn even a penny by adding work, the reduction in working hours only leads to a decrease in income. Why is it that my attempt to raise my child in a special way while expressing my support for the equalization policy outwardly is always discovered at every hearing?

It would be nice if so-called 'equality of opportunity' and 'equality of outcome' could be compatible at the same time, but in reality, it is difficult.

A virtuous cycle between growth and distribution is desirable, but the harsh reality is that if growth is emphasized, polarization will intensify, and if welfare is emphasized, the growth engine will be weakened.

The point of view of fairness changes depending on whether one chooses the freedom that recognizes differences according to ability or emphasizes equality of results.

Leaders must choose where to place the center of gravity of the process.

If you are afraid of running away from opposition votes by that choice, you need to emphasize the complementary measures, but at least select the emphasis.

It would be perfect if you declare that you can do both well, but the people know from experience that it is a lie.

What is the result of income-led growth of 'good water and good sperm', which promotes consumption by raising wages and increases production through it?

What about the evaluation of the current government's slogan of equal opportunity, fair process, and just outcome?

If you try to achieve everything, you will never succeed at one thing.

Was there ever a time when the word 'fairness' was wielded so confusingly?

A chaotic Republic of Korea where no one knows what fairness is, or at least has not reached an agreement on justice, where the past, present, and future all cry for fairness.

We must throw away the pretense of fairness, and the presidential candidates and the people must contemplate together, even now, what kind of fairness the spirit of the times desperately demands.

Ko Cheol-jong, editorial member