Casey Lartigue quoted in opposition to the minimum wage (Korea Herald 9/10)

Casey Lartigue quoted in today's Korea Herald by John Power in weekly Voice. He argues that the minimum wage law harms low-skilled workers and adds yet another unfunded mandate on business.
Some free market advocates take this argument further still ― they say the minimum wage shouldn’t be frozen or lowered, but abolished altogether. “It prices low-skilled workers out of the market with a forced arbitrary wage set by third-party people who don’t pay those wages, while it also adds yet another government-imposed cost on small companies already struggling to survive,” said Casey Lartigue, a former scholar of the U.S.-based Cato Institute and Seoul-based Center for Free Enterprise, and current international adviser to Freedom Factory Co.  Lartigue said the government should do less, not more, to help job seekers and the lowest-paid workers get a leg up. “According to some estimates, 75,000 to 100,000 jobs could be created if the Korean government reduced regulations on business and barriers to entry,” he said. “A new report by the World Economic Forum says that Korea’s competitiveness has fallen. The government creating a hospitable environment for business would do more for the poor ― and society in general ― than the constant unfunded mandates on business.”
See the Korea Herald for the full article.
Members of a labor union for part-time workers protest for a higher minimum wage in Seoul last month. (Yonhap News)


Korea--The Ireland of Europe?

It has been said that Korea is the Ireland of Asia. What does that tell the listener? That both are hot-headed and like to drink is the typical explanation.
I remember when I first heard it. I asked:

* What if you don't like Ireland? That means you probably won't like Korea?

* Do Korea and Ireland have close relations? Or if they are both hot-headed nations, could it be that they don't get along?

* Do people in Ireland describe Ireland as "the Korea of Europe"?

It isn't just the two countries.

I sometimes hear that (choose your favorite SKY university) is the "Harvard of Korea." Does anyone say that "Harvard is the Seoul National University of Korea"?

Chuseok is said to be the "Korean Thanksgiving." So...Koreans eat turkey and watch football?

Anyway, there's an article in the September 5, 2013 edition of the Korea Times with the headline: "Is Korea Ireland of Asia?"

Ireland--the Korea of Europe?

Also at my new blog.


Mulmangcho--September 1, 2013

Sunday we had four new volunteers join us at the Mulmangcho School for adolescent North Korean refugees. I had warned them that there would probably be no veteran teachers to help them, so it was sink or swim. They came armed with games and activities!

I'm always amazed by the people willing to take time out to go out to Yeoju, but Sunday was even more amazing: They thought it was a three-hour ride to the school. So they were delighted when they realized it takes about 75 minutes to get there. What I couldn't get over was: they were willing to spend six hours traveling to volunteer.

Two of the volunteers stayed in the afternoon to go pick some apples with the students and school leaders.

Prof. Park and the students also celebrated my latest birthday coming up, so that was good.

The school is going through some changes because a few of the students have graduated or moved on. And we are also going through a transition with our volunteers because some of our regulars have also moved on (to go back home or other activities).

The Mulmangcho group to sign up for updates.

More photos and details here.