Tuesday, July 7, 2009

South Korea: young men take to manual labor: "a free market cultural revolution?"

In South Korea, below what is the world’s most communistic society, there is a quiet “free market cultural revolution.” At least that’s the case according to a story in The New York Times by Martin Fackler, “with wounded prided, unemployed Koreans quietly turn to manual labor,” link here. In a country that treats Internet addiction (according to a PBS Science Now report), young men take menial and hard labor jobs on crab boats, often unfit physically for the “low work” that is the best paying around. And in South Korea, it seems to be a source of personal shame, is kept quiet, as young men go into a cultural exile. There does seem to occur some natural justice. You have to "learn to work" as my own father used to say. The Left and the Right join together in this new practical experiment in equality: trading places. You pay your dues as well as pay your bills.

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