Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Economic Impact of Hwang

A regular Korea Times columnist, Chang Se-moon, tries to explain the economic impact of the Hwang scandal. I say "tries" since when ever I read his work I am disappointed as it reads as a introduction to economics for 12 year olds. This is not to degrade his work, it is very likely that this is what he is tasked to do considering the average persons unfamiliarity of the subject, and the standard for reading English in Korea is Newsweek which is written at a 6th grade level. Anyway, I could quibble, but I won't. On the whole it does a good introductory survey of the sources of costs resulting from the scandal. However I want to share it for this howler of statement:

"Two members of the Korea's stem cell research group went to Pittsburg [sic] to hand over $10,000 to one Korean researcher and $20,000 to another Korean researcher who were working on the project at the University of Pittsburg [sic]...Since it is highly unlikely that the government funds allow such payment, I am assuming that private funds were used to make such payment."

How the heck is it difficult to believe that government funds were not used? Even more inexplicable, Chang goes on to list possible corruption in the private sector. Why is difficult believe that the government was not also involved? Or for that matter give the fact the Korean government has already been found previously to bribe nefarious people for Public Relations (yes this means you Kim Dae-jung), how is it difficult to believe it is not reverting to type?

Sorry, mini-rant over.


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