South Korea Elects First Female President

South Korea Elects First Female President
Conservative Park Geun-hye gained 51 percent of the vote to become the nation’s first female president, a notable achievement in a male-dominated society.

In her victory speech, she called for reconcilliation and for renewed efforts to confront South Korea’s widening pay gap. She is the daughter of the country’s longest-serving dictator, Park Chung-Hee, who was assassinated in 1979.

Evans J.R. Revere of the Brookings Institution sees Park’s victory as a welcome relief for the US because it “should help keep the two allies generally on the same page as they tackle a busy bilateral agenda.

“Instead of focusing on damage control and managing sharp differences, the two allies will now have an opportunity to build on the current strength of bilateral ties and take their partnership to an even higher level. Differences may arise, but the solid level of trust that has been built up between Washington and Seoul in recent years should help smooth any rough patches that arise,” adds Revere.

America: The Land Of Opportunity No More?
In the last decade the concentration of wealth in America has grown among the top earners, a reality which some contend is a threat “to the American creed of opportunity.”

The “combination of wealth concentration, industrial demise, and technological displacement will lead to a closure of upward mobility,” asserts Nathan Gardel in the Christian Science Monitor.

“The middle class is being hollowed out because manufacturing has been shifted out of the country and new digital technologies, which outsource white-collar work to consumers themselves, are replacing everyone from bank tellers to airline clerks,” he writes.

Girls Are Making Some Gains Among Geniuses
A recent article in The Economist looks at research examining trends among the brightest of American students. One of the conclusions that the researchers drew was that some, but not all, “of the historic difference between the brainiest men and women has vanished.”

They note that the cause of the gains were undetermined, but subscribed to the belief that it is due more to nurture than nature.

Does the entitlement state foster happiness?
Arthur Brooks writes in The Wall Street Journal that data suggest that an individual’s happiness is impacted by whether their salary is earned or unearned.

“Above basic subsistence, happiness comes not from money per se, but from the value creation it is rewarding. The University of Chicago’s General Social Survey reveals that people are twice as likely to feel “very happy” about their lives if they feel “very successful” or “completely successful” at work, rather than “somewhat successful.” The differences persist whether they earn more or less income,” he adds.



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