"Parents would rather add 10 centimeters to their children’s stature than bequeath them one billion won,” said Dr. Shin Dong-gil, a Hamsoa doctor, invoking a figure in Korean currency equal to about $850,000.
From A1 of today's New York Times - on South Korean "growth clinics" where children receive hormone shots, acupuncture treatments, and other remedies for the vertically challenged. Along with folded eyelids and flat noses, Asians are increasingly shedding their yellow skin - now by breaking from their history of middling height. The latest in a trend of what amounts to a determined mimicry of the occident - where crania reach into higher strata, if only literally.
10 centimeters. That's almost 4 inches - as a Korean-American myself, I'd be fine with 2 - but at over $200,000/inch I'm not sure it's worth it. Or is it?
A correlation between height and personal income is well documented, and not just in the U.S. An added inch of height amounts to about 2% of added annual income - making height even more of a decisive factor in pay than gender. For the average American, a 4 inch height advantage translates to an extra few hundred thousand dollars by retirement. But that's still a long way from making any significant gains from a near million dollar investment.
It may be that the returns are not financial but emotional. Taller people, on average, report happier feelings than shorter people. Maybe it's simply glee over what lives of comfort their height-earned dollars afford them. But we all know what money can't buy. So does height=$=: )? Or is it some other causal permutation?Perhaps relative height is less important than a sort of "magic height" - which for men, seems to be between 6' and 6' 2". Obama is 6' 2", McCain is 5' 7" (60% of the time, the taller Presidential candidate wins the popular vote). In 2005, the average height of a Fortune 500 CEO was 6 feet, with a whopping 30% over 6' 2" (compared with 3.9% in the general population). That year, one of these fortunate executives could expect an average of $12.7 million in compensation. I wonder if Dr. Shin is taking appointments.