Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 15 - News from the Land of the Morning Calm

Korea Joongang Daily articles

"Taxi companies profit, drivers left out in the cold"
"[First in a two-part series] Law denoting cabs as public transport could add to woes"
1400대 '택시재벌', 개인에게 택시 빌려준 뒤…Jan 12,2013|home|top

Businesses will do whatever they can to make money. They will skirt the law, they will use accounting tricks, and they may even endanger public safety. Case in point is some cab companies in Seoul that hire drivers as subcontractors to avoid paying them health benefits and wages befitting regular drivers. Subcontracted drivers also do not have to pass background checks like regular drivers do.
"Korea’s first all-organic farmer dies at age 100"
‘My father ate organic meals for 40 years and always loved others.’ - Won Hye-young
'흙의 힘' 얘기하던 유기농 아버지, 흙으로 돌아가다Jan 12,2013

Won Kyung-sun's an inspiring figure. He worked tirelessly as an organic farmer and teacher. I found his life interesting because I'd never heard of him before and liked his ideas about feeding the hungry. His group donated part of their profits to charities to alleviate world hunger.
"Park insists on cut in military duty"
"As transition team is briefed, Defense Ministry disagrees with her pledge"
朴, '군복무 18개월 힘들다' 국방부 의견 듣고는…Jan 12,2013

Park Geun-hye made this vow at the 11th hour during her campaign. Did she do it to mirror contender Moon Jae-in's similar proposal? Perhaps. Park's idea centers on shortening the country's mandatory military service and hiring more officers to make up for the shortage of enlisted men. Such an idea demands time and money that may not be feasible now. What do you think?
"Proposal doesn’t reflect reality"
"It is wrong and unreasonable to bundle the entire senior group as dependents." Jan 12,2013

This article focuses on how best to care with Korea's aging population. Currently, there are debates about raising the retirement age and how best to expand government services to older people.
"Won’s rise over 1,060 is concern to small firms"
달러화에 엔화까지… 日아베, 한국경제를 공포로 떨게 만들다Jan 12,2013

A numbers-heavy article about the exchange rates and how it'll affect Korea's economy. The won has grown in strength against the dollar in recent times. I'm including it because changes in the exchange rate affect how much money expats have when they send money overseas. For example, I sent money home last year at 1126won per dollar and this year the rate stood at 1070won per dollar. The change in the rate meant a few more dollars going to the US account.
Expect a future post about sending money home, for it's an integral part of expat life.

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