Tuesday, July 7, 2009

President Lee give it all away (or at least what we know about)

President Lee Myungbak has decided to give away "the bulk of his lifetime savings," a total of 33.2 billion won (currently about US$26.2). 

By setting up scholarships and other financial assistance that will dole out 90 million won each month, the president fulfills a pledge he made just before he was elected president in December 2007.

And I apologize for my cynical parenthetical subheading above. We've seen too many presidents amass slush funds to pay for a comfortable retirement* and I would be disappointed but not entirely surprised if it happens when Lee leaves the Blue House, too. But yeah, I probably shouldn't treat him as guilty when we don't even know he's done something wrong yet, especially when he deserves kudos for all this.

But I'm an aßßhole. 

* How much is needed for a comfortable retirement in Seoul (or wherever in Korea you like)? I figure it's the cost of a decent-sized apartment in the city and a modest country villa somewhere in your favorite provincial region (for me that would be on the East Coast or in Cheju-do), plus maybe 5 million won per month (going up with inflation). I figure $3 million would cover everything so I could quit working. Then I could blog 24/7 instead of paying others promising to pay others to do it for me.

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