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Author Topic: The tipping point reached?  (Read 9188 times)

Offline MJHanson

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2014, 08:12:56 AM »
Some of us don't want to go 'home'. Some of us are people of the world and feel at 'home' wherever we live. Some of us have never felt the country of our birth is 'home' due to various circumstances.

Not all of us foreigners live in Seoul. Owning a car does not make us insane.

Some of us have amazing teaching gigs. Some of us clear over $3 million Won a month for doing absolutely nothing. Some of us have been doing that at the same school for years. Some of us have never spent 1 second of our time since we've been in Korea doing anything work related outside of school/work hours.

Some of us are making the most money we've ever made for doing the least amount of work that has ever been asked of us. Some of us are quite experienced and truly appreciate it.

Some of us may move on to other countries but will never go 'home' because we like living in the East better than the West.

Believe it or not, some of us are perfectly happy and content with this arrangement.

Agree with a lot you said.

Many of us have cushy jobs. We work our minimal contracted hours, and deal with little to no outside bullshit. We don't have dopey meetings every week, and have never been asked to mandatory training session on the weekend. Let alone not paid for it.

Also coming from the USA gotta love the low cost health insurance.

Yes, the cheap insurance is a huge part of why I like Korea.  Non-Americans wouldn't understand!  And yet some young Americans say shit like, "Is there a way I can get around paying this stupid 80,000 won for insurance???"... Those kids have clearly never had to pay for themselves back home. 

Low taxes are also a huge part of it.  Taking home 87% of my salary AFTER insurance, pension, and taxes???  Yeah, try finding that in another developed country. 

I also agree with the poster above.  Some of us clear 4 or 5 million (or more) doing something we love!  If you hate teaching ESL, don't do it!  There are plenty of us here who love teaching English that would be happy to absorb your wages.  Some of us can ignore or just deal with the bad parts of Korea (there are many) and enjoy the benefits. 

Will Korea turn into Japan?  You mean... Will the unqualified teachers leave and improve the professionalism of TESOL here?  I sure hope so. 

Offline William George

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2014, 07:19:06 PM »
Owning a car does not make us insane.

Only wanting to live in the suburbs exposes deeper levels of madness to the world.

Offline RandomTask

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2014, 08:05:27 PM »
Insurance WAS cheap here.

It is on the rise, and drastically rises as you age.  Too many old people, and not enough young.

Have a serious accident, and you will soon learn how lacking this cheap insurance really is.  You are paying for very basic coverage that really doesn't cover a whole lot.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 08:09:22 PM by RandomTask »

Offline emwsu

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2014, 08:53:31 AM »
I left Korea a few years ago and came back because the life here is hard to get in USA. My old school offered me a job when I was looking for jobs in the states, and it was a better offer. I did an estimation based on the benefits we are offered in Korea and I would need a job in the states paying around $55-60,000 to be close to the same. And I highly doubt even with that wage I would have the quality of life that I have here. That wage estimation is for a rural area with lower rent, but cost of a car~ I think it could balance to city life.

Am I saving and making a lot of money? No, but Iím doing grad school, traveling and living life in Korea. Iím happy to break even at the end of the year. Something I doubt I would be able to do elsewhere in the world. But Iím looking at getting close to $10,000 when I graduate with my masters and leave Korea (have love the bonus/pension-saving plan). When I leave Iíll be happy to let those qualified teachers teach ESL.

As others said, think about the job you have and the tasks that are actually required. If you think you can do better at home, go. Give it a try. ESL and Korea isnít for everyone.

Offline tamjen

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2014, 09:19:49 AM »
Owning a car does not make us insane.

Only wanting to live in the suburbs exposes deeper levels of madness to the world.

I could totally agree with this statement if it was all anyone wanted and all they had experienced. My life has been quite the opposite for nigh on 5 decades. When you have had the life experiences I have had, living a quiet rural life is precisely what I desire. I've done the city thing man, it ain't all that and a bag of chips.
Hail Caesar

Offline oceancloud

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2014, 09:56:35 AM »
Well, if you don't like it, then you can go home. :)   first post baby... these verification letters are hard to read.  I've gotten it wrong like 4 times literally.

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2014, 05:45:18 AM »
If people want to site stagnate wages in Korea that is fine. However, they should realize that wages for most Americans have been stagnant for 3+ decades

These are two different things. (One is adjusted for inflation, while one is not.)

Median American household income in 1984 was 20K a year. Now it's over 50K. Adjusted for inflation, median household incomes are 15% more than they were in 1980. (Add to this, more households are single people compared to before.)

When people talk of ESL salaries stagnating it means adjusted for inflation they went way down. Japan's paying (in nominal wages) what it paid in the 80s; Taiwan's paying what it paid in the 90s, and in Europe and South America and the Middle East and North America and elsewhere, ESL salaries haven't been going up (to keep pace with inflation) for as long as anyone can remember. Hagwons and unis are paying the same as they were ten years ago (while expecting more, especially in the case of unis) even though the cost of living has shot up dramatically. Wages for Koreans have been going up. Wages for Western English teachers have not. Long term expats have told me they can remember a time when 2.1 mil a month was considered a respectable salary for a (Korean) college grad. Now it's considered pitiful. Nominal per capita GDP for South Korea nearly doubled over the past ten years. For English teachers, payment stayed the same (while prices rose). Expect this situation to continue in the future. (At 1-2% a year, America's inflation is currently very low, much lower than Korea's.) Just an FYI heads up: ESL as a long term career field is gradually becoming less and less of a good deal, and that includes for those who are qualified. You could say, "AMERICAS JUST AS BAD LOL!!!1", but no, it's not. It's not the same thing.

Offline joeyg

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2014, 12:29:01 PM »
Only an insane person (Or married with kids. Redundant, I know...) would want a car in Korea. Especially given the ease and cheapness of the public transportation here in even the small cities.

Getting a Korean license and buying a car was the best decision I made here. I see more of the country than you could ever access by using the rail and bus service. I meander through the countryside on a whim for outdoor picnics and bbqs. Gas is no pricier than in the UK and I can go grocery shopping and get enough for a couple weeks in 1 go. It's great for dating. And when I'm done I simply sell my car to someone else =)

If you don't live in the main cities, getting a car is a fantastic and enjoyable way to fully explore your surroundings. If you're in a bigger city, don't bother with a car... get a motobike =)

Offline lukamodric

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2014, 03:26:39 PM »
Only an insane person (Or married with kids. Redundant, I know...) would want a car in Korea. Especially given the ease and cheapness of the public transportation here in even the small cities.

Getting a Korean license and buying a car was the best decision I made here. I see more of the country than you could ever access by using the rail and bus service. I meander through the countryside on a whim for outdoor picnics and bbqs. Gas is no pricier than in the UK and I can go grocery shopping and get enough for a couple weeks in 1 go. It's great for dating. And when I'm done I simply sell my car to someone else =)

If you don't live in the main cities, getting a car is a fantastic and enjoyable way to fully explore your surroundings. If you're in a bigger city, don't bother with a car... get a motobike =)

I agree with this post however the motorbike idea requires someone either brave or stupid because the drivers care very little for the safety of motorbikes.

Offline jwharrison30

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2014, 03:28:17 PM »
Only an insane person (Or married with kids. Redundant, I know...) would want a car in Korea. Especially given the ease and cheapness of the public transportation here in even the small cities.

Getting a Korean license and buying a car was the best decision I made here. I see more of the country than you could ever access by using the rail and bus service. I meander through the countryside on a whim for outdoor picnics and bbqs. Gas is no pricier than in the UK and I can go grocery shopping and get enough for a couple weeks in 1 go. It's great for dating. And when I'm done I simply sell my car to someone else =)

If you don't live in the main cities, getting a car is a fantastic and enjoyable way to fully explore your surroundings. If you're in a bigger city, don't bother with a car... get a motobike =)

I agree with this post however the motorbike idea requires someone either brave or stupid because the drivers care very little for the safety of motorbikes.

Just drive it down the pavement!

beep beep move out the way, walking is for suckers

Offline lukamodric

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2014, 03:32:16 PM »
The OP has a good point, there used to be a fair few more Aussies here before the Australian mining boom. As Aussies can easily make around 50K a year on low paying jobs less and less are coming over to Korea, so its reasonable to assume the same will happen to demand from other countries.

Also the price of food in Korean supermarkets is getting silly.

Offline kate0611

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2014, 07:45:20 PM »
Salaries have remained about the same for the last 10 years since I have been here. I have looked online at salaries for jobs I could do at home and right now I could make a lot more money at home.  I couldn't say that 10  years ago.  However, I love my job  and I work for one of the best bosses I have ever had.   So it is my work environment and  personal situation that makes me stay here.  I am not here for the money.  If I was, I probably would have gone home long ago. 

Offline gtrain83

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2014, 08:44:01 PM »
If people want to site stagnate wages in Korea that is fine. However, they should realize that wages for most Americans have been stagnant for 3+ decades

These are two different things. (One is adjusted for inflation, while one is not.)

Median American household income in 1984 was 20K a year. Now it's over 50K. Adjusted for inflation, median household incomes are 15% more than they were in 1980. (Add to this, more households are single people compared to before.)

When people talk of ESL salaries stagnating it means adjusted for inflation they went way down. Japan's paying (in nominal wages) what it paid in the 80s; Taiwan's paying what it paid in the 90s, and in Europe and South America and the Middle East and North America and elsewhere, ESL salaries haven't been going up (to keep pace with inflation) for as long as anyone can remember. Hagwons and unis are paying the same as they were ten years ago (while expecting more, especially in the case of unis) even though the cost of living has shot up dramatically. Wages for Koreans have been going up. Wages for Western English teachers have not. Long term expats have told me they can remember a time when 2.1 mil a month was considered a respectable salary for a (Korean) college grad. Now it's considered pitiful. Nominal per capita GDP for South Korea nearly doubled over the past ten years. For English teachers, payment stayed the same (while prices rose). Expect this situation to continue in the future. (At 1-2% a year, America's inflation is currently very low, much lower than Korea's.) Just an FYI heads up: ESL as a long term career field is gradually becoming less and less of a good deal, and that includes for those who are qualified. You could say, "AMERICAS JUST AS BAD LOL!!!1", but no, it's not. It's not the same thing.

I think your numbers are wrong. Adjusted for in flation min wage should be around 22 dollars an hour but its at 8.  Yet middle america is 15% ahead? Im pretty sure many mid level jobs have seen a decrease in salary as well over the last 5~10yrs but i guess bc fox and the gop say everythings ok it must be

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2014, 10:06:51 PM »
I think your numbers are wrong. Adjusted for in flation min wage should be around 22 dollars an hour but its at 8.

Minimum wage in 1980 was $3.10. Adjusted for inflation that's $8.95.

1981-1989 it was $3.35, which in today's money would be $8.77-$6.43.

Now Obama is trying to increase minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Seattle already raised theirs to $15.

By the way, only 1% of the U.S. population makes minimum wage or less. Typical hourly earnings are roughly $25, and for a college grad it's even more.
http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2488169/American-dream-alive-US-ranks-highest-average-annual-income.html

Why would Fox and the GOP say everything is OK? The Democrats are in control, so it is in their interest to make things out to be worse than they really are (which they do).
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/unemployment-truthers-see-new-conspiracy

Offline ChickenLegsMcGee

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #34 on: October 08, 2014, 12:50:46 PM »
I think your numbers are wrong. Adjusted for in flation min wage should be around 22 dollars an hour but its at 8.

Minimum wage in 1980 was $3.10. Adjusted for inflation that's $8.95.

1981-1989 it was $3.35, which in today's money would be $8.77-$6.43.

Now Obama is trying to increase minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Seattle already raised theirs to $15.

By the way, only 1% of the U.S. population makes minimum wage or less. Typical hourly earnings are roughly $25, and for a college grad it's even more.
http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2488169/American-dream-alive-US-ranks-highest-average-annual-income.html

Why would Fox and the GOP say everything is OK? The Democrats are in control, so it is in their interest to make things out to be worse than they really are (which they do).
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/unemployment-truthers-see-new-conspiracy

The 1% is somewhat misleading. This number only shows those people who make federal minimum wage or less, not the minimum wage of each state. 23 states + DC have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage, and so anyone in those 23 states that make "minimum wage" were not included in your 1%.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm

http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2012.htm#2

Quote
The presence of a sizable number of workers with wages below the federal minimum does not necessarily indicate violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as there are exemptions to the minimum wage provisions of the law. The estimates of the numbers of minimum and subminimum wage workers presented in the accompanying tables pertain to workers paid at hourly rates; salaried and other non-hourly workers are excluded. As such, the actual number of workers with earnings at or below the prevailing federal minimum is undoubtedly understated. Research has shown that a relatively small number and share of salaried workers and others not paid by the hour have earnings that, when translated into hourly rates, are at or below the minimum wage. However, BLS does not routinely estimate hourly earnings for non-hourly workers because of data concerns that arise in producing these estimates.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 12:53:58 PM by richardtang1991 »
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Offline Mstrom

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2014, 01:04:27 PM »
That 1% also doesn't include people who are making 5 to 10 cents more than minimum wage I'd imagine.

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2014, 01:42:59 PM »
23 states + DC have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage

That's even better then (for people otherwise incapable of making more). You are right- a lot of states recently raised their minimum wage: Massachusetts: $11; Vermont: $10.50; Hawaii, Maryland, and Connecticut: $10.10; Minnesota: $9.50; Washington is now $9.32; Michigan: $9.25, etc. Chicago, New York City, and San Francisco are eyeing $15 an hour.

The demographic most likely to be making minimum wage is teenagers, and the majority (over half) of minimum wage earners are in the 16-24 bracket (even though this encompasses only eight years).

Most people in America aren't being paid minimum wage (or anywhere near it). It is a temporary condition. Those who prove themselves responsible can work up to higher positions.

What the minimum wage is isn't really all that related to how the American middle class is doing. (College grads average about $30 per hour.) Even so, adjusted for inflation, minimum wage is not going down. It's about the same as it was before (and is about to go up again).


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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2014, 01:46:41 PM »
Scroll across (right) to see the end of the chart.