American [no longer] In Korea

The New Jersey of Asia

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That Garbage Chute That Luke, Han, and Leia Get Trapped In

The typical image of a young Korean woman is petite, with pearly smooth skin. That's not a white-people stereotype, that's just the young Korean woman image in any media, and consequently, anybody's mind.

Whether it's true or not- I mean whatever, if you have eyes you know the answer to that- my school is somewhat of a different story.

You know the scene in Star Wars where Luke, Han, and Leia drop into the garbage chute and the walls slowly close in on them?

My school is that pit. There are hardly any people working here under the age of 40. They don't look depressed, but they don't seem very happy either. I think about what the massage lady told me, about her generation being characterized by one of boredom, and living for the mundane work life numbed by socially acceptable, even expected alcoholism and I wonder; between that and the insane academic schedules forced upon children, which is the bigger contributor to South Korea's prestigious silver cup for the highest suicide rate in the world?

What's it like when your entire identity is your job and your age, the latter serving merely as an indicator of how far away from being married you are?

Drop Out and Grow Rich : The Remix

On Tynan

A bunch of people e-mailed me about the Drop Out and Grow Rich article I posted yesterday. A friend of mine pointed out a few things, most importantly that I failed to give the college grad interest on his money. Fixing that (and making him pay interest if he was negative, but only after the first 4 years of college) put him very close to the high school grad with private school money. Never charging him interest for being negative got him slightly above that same person.

Then it was pointed out that the difference in earnings wasn't 900k as the college-mongers claimed. It was more like 1.3mil. I had no good data on salary increases, so I assumed the inflation rate. I guess it stands to reason that after a while job experience means more than the degree, so the gap gets smaller.

If I fudged the grad's income to equal a 900k lifetime earnings difference, the Dropout with Private School money is again the winner, but is still followed closely by the grad. If I fudge the dropout's starting income (to $29,692) to get the 900k difference, the grad still beats the dropout with public level money, but only by 300k. Also, the dropout would be beating him until age 58.

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