I wish I was in Seoul today.
I recently posted about Anna Fifield’s article on Korean family planning, and in particular the government’s plan to spend $30 billion over the next 5 years to try to boost the birthrate.
Here’s a story about how some of that $30 billion is going to be spent: a live gig by Bada today at which people with 2 kids will get a nice crisp 10,000 won note. I wish I could be there. Even if I were Korean, I wouldn’t qualify for the cash handout, but (not that I’m an expert) I think Bada is one of the best K-pop stars around, and I’d love to hear her live. I’m just stockpiling a few CD reviews so that when I’ve got nothing else to post about I’ll post a pop review. Bada’s second album (Aurora) will be getting a 9 or 10 out of 10 (as a benchmark, BoA’s No 1 and Girls on Top will probably be getting around 4 or 5).
Another story from the Chosun on upping the birthrate: Soldiers Given Chance to Make Love, not War – about the military being made more family-friendly.
“Military couples have a birthrate of 0.83, which is even lower than the nation’s average of 1.08,” a military official said. “The new measure will help increase our birthrate and also contribute to improving welfare and boosting morale in our armed forces.”
Update #2 (14 August 2006)
The falling birthrate is reducing the demand for teachers, according to the Chosun again.