How to Increase Your Income 200 Times

This is not a post about a surefire real estate scheme, or about how to earn thousands of dollars for just minutes a day working from home.  It is however a post about a surefire income increasing scheme.  

Korean School

Studying english at a Korean elementary school

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, since the 1960s Korea has increased its per capita income by 200x, from $100 to over $20,000. 

How did it happen? Korea has invested in – and values – education and research to an unbelievable degree. Part of this is cultural. Confucian ideals guide Korea to a significant degree. But there is a widespread understanding that education is they key to individual and collective prosperity. 

The typical Korean school day is roughly 9:00 am to 1:30 pm five days a week, with a half day every other Saturday. They have “optional” classes and activities until 6pm each day, and most students choose to participate in them. They include everything from English to robotics to golf. 

Their results are impressive.  Korea routinely ranks in the top 2 or 3 on OECD measure of aptitude.  98% of Korea’s students attend college after high school. Korea is the only country to go from international aid recipient to sitting on the OECD’s aid donor committee.  Personal income levels have increased 200-fold since the 1960s. 

Of course with this commitment comes tremendous pressure on kids. Science and technology are crammed down throats. Parents can keep kids up til midnight getting homework right. Cheating is a problem. Suicide rates are high. 

Also, it seems that this commitment to performance, metrics and rote education can only get you and your country so far. But that is for another post. 

We can learn much from the commitment to education Korea exhibits.

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