Thursday, March 10, 2011

And now for something completely different

Why do humans make such a big deal out of wealth? My guess is sexual selection. They're drawn to those most likely to provide for offspring. But doesn't the birth rate decrease to two offspring per mated pair the further a country gets from poverty? So the more resources available for offspring, the less their number?

I 'm sorry. I meant this to be a nice posting, which is hard for me. Where I was going before giving humans a hard time was the good that can be accomplished with money. Its ability to defy physics and cycle through systems if used carefully is fascinating, and I even have a good example. The World Traveling 25 dollars.

Mr. Derick William Dalton, out of guilt or court-order, or perhaps philanthropic bent (cough, cough), sent 25 dollars as a microloan to a woman in the Phillipines. She used it to start a food market and provide for her kids. Along with bundles of 25 bucks from other lenders, she got the money she needed, and has since paid it all back. Interest free. But this was not the end for the fearless 25 dollars.

Followed by a heroic-sounding John Williams score and a red line, it sailed over a tan and blue map to the Dominican Republic, where it helped a small group start a clothing store. When its work there was done, it contributed to a general store in a nearby town, then headed to Mexico as part of a home improvement loan. I would be impressed right there. But the 25 was just getting started.

Lebanon and a construction company. Mongolia for a butcher shop. Bolivia for weaving supplies, Uganda for automobile spare parts for retail, and then Cambodia to be in a student loan. Next, I think the 25 will use all its frequent flier miles to see its own back-up specie at Fort Knox, then get to work again.

First, I am duly and sincerely impressed. DWD has gotten more work out of the 25 than anyone has ever gotten out of him. I can't get the interest-free part, though. How are the lenders of the 25 bucks supposed get reimbursed for the temporary absence of their money? How are the CEOs of companies that organize the lending supposed to get filthy-rich if they don't charge usury? Maybe they should take a break, examine some bigshot bank managers and Wall Street tycoons. Those people know how to run money and make it work for them.

A note from DWD: is a non-profit organization which funds its work through donations, allowing 100% of all money lent to reach borrowers in developing nations and areas of poverty nearly world-wide. Skip a week of latte and help a fellow Homo sapiens. Then another. And another. It's worked out better than anything I did through Washington Mutual or Countrywide.

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