Thursday, August 19, 2010

One of the things about America that excited the 16-year-old the Korean as he emigrated was the way American teens entered into adulthood faster. Once turned 18, boom -- American children/young adults would move out of their parents' house, go off to a faraway college and stop financially relying on their parents. The Korean thought it was a more mature phenomenon that what happens in Korea, in which Korean children/young adults after high school would frequently live with their parents until they get married, because everything/everyone is located in Seoul, college financial aid was scant and jobs are harder to find immediately after college graduation.

A little more than a decade later, it seems American children/young adults are becoming about as dependent to their parents as their Korean counterparts. Deja vu all over again.


  1. You forgot to mention how expensive housing is in comparison to the U.S. The amount of money needed to purchase even modest living space in South Korea is outrageous. Most Koreans can't afford to "leave the nest" until well into their 30's. Generally, the average wages are poor in comparison. Even fusing two average Korean salaries by way of marriage, takes quite some time in saving for "private living".

    You also need to consider the ratio of population to livable land space. South Korea has a massive population. I believe it's population is approximately 50 million in a country a tad larger than the state of Indiana. Compounding the problem is the fact that about 70% of the country is mountainous and it's not easy or pratical to build on steep mountain sides. So, if this data is corrrect, you have 50 million people living in the state of Rhode Island in regard to livable space.

  2. Son of a... it deleted my post.

    People are the engine of change, therefore if they don't change it through actions nothing will change, you need activism preferably violence to make people sit up and take notice. Voting is NOT an engine of change, voting is an activism sponge.

    1989 Chinese changed their system to something else. 2008 Bikers got noticed when we blocked the M62 all morning. Same in London.

    if people don't instigate the change nothing happens. Koreans don't want to instigate the change therefore nothing happens.

    there are 2 things at work here:

    #1 Low wages because people stay at home and need less money the revelation on day 22 in Seoul that people were paid 2500krw an hour was shocking! But on these wages they live OK lives (note OK not good) It costs 15000KRW to use the metro in Manchester but wages are higher so are costs.

    #2 Low wages serve the interests of businesses. It's why min wage (which distorts the market) constantly fails in Asia. Biz gets low wages it makes more profit!

    But the biggie is simply people won't do anything about it. They want to keep the status quo, I witnessed and was grabbed by cops in a Sincheon riot, which was nothing! The Korean guy even noted on his post about the status of ESL teachers and angry young men. angry young men bitch on Naver and thats it! What will that change nothing! Ok so the other extreme of murder is not good either (like they do in Iraq) but there is definately something better than bitching online where their opinions mean squat right!

    2008 for instance 5000 bikers showed up and blocked the motorway legally, the cops couldn't touch us, same with the dartford crossing in the 1990s we clogged it up and we won! Koreans are metaphorically constantly take it in the ass and don't complain. The cops tried to intimidate us but we stood firm and we won.

    until there are bodies on the streets of Seoul nothing will change, you think Lee Myung Bak gives a damn about people posting shit on Naver about him? Or you think he would care if a lot of Korean people approached his house with rope? The poll tax riots in England were an excellent example.

    This has infected western economies because they keep running massive scam pyramid schemes, where the old people constantly vote for stuff from young people and pull the ladders up. The crazy house price inflation for instance made housing unaffordable for younger people when wages stagnated.

    The old solution was to house share! But the UK government passed a law of HMOs so house shares are no longer legal! With double pressure on expensive accomodation and stagnating wages simply those in western economies are facing the same pressures as they are doing in Korea and Asia in general.

  3. There are already policies in place such as one home per household around Seoul (don't know the details). Parents with the means buy up "permission" or legal allowance to buy a house years in advance for their children. But not everyone can do that.

    What is worse is the wages. In South Korea, services account for less of the economy compared to other developed countries which means lower wages.

    Actually, I'd say there is far too much activism in Korea. There were massive nationwide protests against US beef imports. Farmers released hundreds of livestock onto roads at lifting protectionism from farming. People cut off their fingers or put themselves on fire during anti-Japanese protests. Someone ate the Japanese flag. There are candellight vigils for just about everything. There is a specific dedicated group for stalking ESL teachers making sure they don't do anything they don't like.

  4. This is rubbish.

    Co-habiting with family doesn't mean one isn't "grown up." The reality is that most Koreans have a child-like mindset until at least their late 20s, whereas more independent Western youth mature (mentally) very quickly - regardless of if they live at home or not. A little more analysis (as usual) is needed, TK.

    This isn't a slight against Koreans at all, by the way. Slow maturation allows for a much "deeper" growth. When Koreans finally do grow up, they tend to have been able to develop many virtues that Western youth weren't able to.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I agree with trudeau89 in that just because there are more extended families doesn't make one less mature. This is more of an cultural issue! As the west especially America values individual freedom, the east culture value the collective unit which is often the family.

    I mean the American youths need to learn a thing or two about the respect for elders and humility that Korean people are so known for:)

  7. "The reality is that most Koreans have a child-like mindset until at least their late 20s, whereas more independent Western youth mature (mentally) very quickly"

    Really? To me the article was pointing out that it's Western youth who aren't maturing until their late 20's/30's. That's the point that AAK is trying to make, 10 years later Westerners are exhibiting similar behavior as their Korean counterparts. I definitely see this behavior around me.

    I also disagree with the implication that Korean collective mindset is not as good as the Western individual mindset. One isn't better than the other, they're just different. Sheena Iyengar just did a talk on this: On The Art of Choosing.

  8. There is no implication in my words of a Western triumphalism. Far from it. I oppose Western superiority at any corner. I think there are some wonderful things about Western culture, and some shameful things. I think there are some fantastic things about Korean culture, and some questionable things.

    As John Stuart Mill so wisely put it, "Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest."

    But Rayetstar, you are falsely connecting the age in which one moves out from their family's home to the age they "mature" in an emotional, mental, intellectual sense. I fail to see the connection. I found the New York Times article so difficult to read through because it reeked of the worst kind of baby-boomer arrogance (possibly the only kind of arrogance worse than Western arrogance!). The whole article was a whiny tirade of, "we moved out young, why won't our damn kids?"

    The reason is simple and totally ignored. The baby boomers had the benefit of a generous welfare state and a societal acceptance of the state's proper role in helping nurture an individual to her fullest potential. Tuition fees were a fraction back then to what they are now. There was all sorts of government money and government support for young people. This all disappeared in the typhoon of supply-side stupidity that ushered in the Reagan years.

    Lower tuition fees. Rebuild the welfare state. Invest in young people like North American society invested in the bay boomers. Then your damn kids will move out.

  9. Latino culture is the same way (collective). There is always the mentality of okay, it's better if you don't leave till you get married but we also as their children understand that at some point we have to take care of our parents as well. We would look really bad in the eyes of others (specially Mexican culture) if we didn't take care of our elderly parents and put them in the care of strangers. Therein lies the balance of things.

    Also, because of the way collective cultures are formed we tend to look at things in a deeper manner i.e. "oh shit what will the family say?" So I completely disagree with the child mentality shit. On the contrary, I think anyone who is part of a collective culture, from a younger age has a lot of pressure to grow up and not act childish. Trust me, 99.9% of the family would stop talking to you if you acted like anyone from the Jersey Shore.

  10. 1989 Chinese changed their system to something else

    To what? I think you're confusing China with the East Asian countries that actually managed to slough of their dictatorial leadership in the mid- to late-1980s.

    you need activism preferably violence to make people sit up and take notice.

    Violent protests in democratic countries is a masturbatory exercise.

    WORD VERIFICATION: nonip, which is as appropriate on AAK as it will be anywhere. ;)

  11. The process of change started in 1979 actually when Deng Xiao Ping said you know it's not working lets try something else. But the pace of change was incredibly slow, so much that little had been done by 1988.

    In 1989 lots of people were gunned down in Beijing. On the face of it the people in Beijing were gunned down in their 1000s. On the face of it they lost badly.

    In dying, losing or whatever they made the CCP in China sit up and think hmm shit we need to do something to prevent this from happening again, therefore pace of change started in 1979 was accelerated and China started to suck in jobs from all over the place.

    The CCP bribed the population with money to stay in power, but overall there was change. Although the nasty elements of the CCP are still there there was still change.

    Violent protest is NOT a futile exercise.

    Open your wallet and look inside what is in there? This is a silver bullet which kills your arguement about violence.

  12. Americans and Koreans are about the same in terms of maturity. The big dynamic is your generation. Young adults today are spoiled. Obviously the rent vs. key money thing is a factor but that's a side issue to maturity. Very few people have it but most people think they do. Maturity is a relative value not a set value. What is mean is only 20% can be in the top 20% but everyone can get a score of 80% or more. Maturity is the first cast not the second. So no matter what most people are immature.

  13. Violent protests hurt the innocent far too often. That's not to say it isn't effective and sometimes is the only way, but not sure it's wise to actively promote it.

    Also, just because one does not leave the house/family early does not mean they are not mature. In fact, staying with the family for longer means they interact with the family a lot more and form closer bonds, keeping families intact and making it more likely that they will form stable long term families which results in a more cohesive society.


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