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Marbles

Social Costs Of Economic Progress

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We often hear how the rise of Western ideas of liberation and human rights have caused the loss of traditional values which have had serious consequences especially in the developing world.

 

What is missed is the role economic forces play in the shifting of values. Standards which were hitherto backbone of morality gradually become economically nonviable.

 

Economic development of the kind we see in South Korea, China, Brazil, India etc is hailed ad nauseam by everyone from any ideological background. Researchers swim in awe-inspiring growth figures, enriched middle and trading classes, registers of jobs, and whatnot. But there is little recognition of the cost fast economic activity levies on the host society.

 

You can find social parallels in each country listed above of the story quoted below.

 

Koreans could once be sure that their children would look after them in their old age, but no longer - many of those who worked hard to transform the country's economy find the next generation has other spending priorities. As a result, some elderly women are turning to prostitution.

 

The centre of this underground sex trade is a nearby park in the heart of Seoul. It's built around a temple to Confucius, whose ideas on venerating elders have shaped Korean culture for centuries.

 

Women in their 50s, 60, even their 70s, stand around the edges of the park, offering drinks to the men. Buy one, and it's the first step in a lonely journey that ends in a cheap motel nearby.

 

South Korea's grandparents are victims of their country's economic success.

 

As they worked to create Korea's economic miracle, they invested their savings in the next generation. In a Confucian society, successful children are the best form of pension.

 

But attitudes here have changed just as fast as living standards, and now many young people say they can't afford to support themselves and their parents in Korea's fast-paced, highly competitive society.

 

Most...women have only started selling sex later in life, as a result of this new kind of old-age poverty, according to Dr Lee Ho-Sun, who is perhaps the only researcher to have studied them in detail.

 

Read full HERE

 

 

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