Work Ethic | Savings Mindset of Teachers in Korea
Ask any college-age American their net worth or their spending limit, and oftentimes they mistakenly factor in their credit card limits as though those numbers were virtual money. But whether by virtue of massive debts already accumulated or the desire to save for the future, Korea attracts its share of English teachers who have a sound financial strategy.
In contrast to those they left behind. Read economist-writer-comedian Ben Stein’s take on the less than prudent, spendthrift Americans who are now saddled with bad mortgages, a trillion dollars in consumer debt, and of course, not a clue to scratch their way out.
I wish I could teach that work ethic to those close to me. I wish I could teach them that money is a scarce good, worth fighting for and protecting. But I very much fear that my son, more up-to-date than I am in almost every way, is more of a modern-day American than I am. To hustle and scuffle for a deal is something he cannot even imagine. To not be able to eat at any restaurant he feels like eating at is just not on his wavelength. Of course, that’s my fault. (I have learned that everything bad that happens anywhere is my fault.) And I hope to be able to leave him well enough provided for to ease his eventual transition into some form of self-sufficiency.
But I keep thinking of my friend in California, and what a perfect specimen of what we have become that she has become. I keep lecturing my son, as Pop lectured me, to learn prudence. I keep lecturing myself to learn it; I am far from a small player in the extravagance game.
Maybe, upon second thought, I did not learn well about prudence. Then I think that maybe it’s too late for far too many of us. The age when money was a free good, available in unlimited quantities just for signing a note, may well be over. What the heck will we do when we have to start acting like mature adults? How will we cope with limits? With reality?
read the rest at [NY Times]