Saturday, September 8, 2012

What's left?

A lesson learned from South Korea, a country that has been focusing on economic growth in the past decades. This is a story told in the form of a novel by Shin Kyung-sook about a society that moves from a poor country to the world 13th largest economy in a short period of time.

Here is a link to the article covering Shin Kyung-sook's work in the NYTimes

So, the question is: whether there is anything lost in this triumphant economic fairy tale? Similar to the U.S., South Korea society has seen a widening disparity between the rich and the poor. But that is not the end of the story. Another sad loss falls on the generation that pushes their kids to get good education so these kids can have better lives than their parents. Now, these kids are adults who get caught up in the hypercompetitive circus and have no time to take care of their aging parents. These parents, after spending most of their savings on their children's education, are left to spend the little time left in nursing homes.

As countries focus their attention on economic growth, we end up losing "human-to-human relationship" that sustain all of our lives. Isn't this sad? 

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