Friday, December 9, 2011

How to Lend a Life

     We still need a great deal of help here in America, financially. I mean the economy has started to stabilize, but there's a still whole heap of debt out there. So many people still owe exorbitant sums of money to what must feel at this point like loan sharks. The way some people feel, I'd expect to walk into Bank of America and the teller would be in a pinstripe suit leaning on the wall flipping a nickel. Then I take a step back and realized "AW SNAP it's your own fault, debtors!" As it turns out, come to find out banks don't force us to borrow a shit-ton of dough, we go out and buy the dreck we don't need on credit.
     Which is why it blew my mind when I learned about a concept called microlending. Now microlending is when some rich investor in America makes a small loan, $50 or $100 or something insignificant like that, and they lend it to people in third world countries. These little loans, the price of a couple of seasons of South Park on DVD, or a brief crack binge, is enough startup capital for some starving foreigner to start generating money and pull themselves out of poverty to pay back the loan. They might be able to buy a fishing boat and nets, or a small stall to sell things from and BOOM! they have a new livelihood! STUPENDOUS!! Amazing! We can permanently change people's lives for the better for the same amount of cash I blew a month ago on a webcam that I haven't used at all.
     So I guess what fascinates me the most is the contrast. On the one hand, an individual with effectively nothing gets a loan for $50, and they can pay it back with interest. On the other hand, we have people here in the States with apartments and trailers full of heaps of what they will proudly admit is junk, and tens or hundred of thousands of dollars in debt they can't possibly pay back in the terms they agreed to, getting more loans! Because 37 inches is too small for a TV now that you got Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for your XBOX 360, and somehow, they haven't cut off the credit card yet! But I stray from my point. Some people get a loan because they want more than they can afford right now, and some people get a loan because they want to be able to afford more after the loan is paid back.

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