Friday, February 20, 2009

Can you spare 25 cents?

It's amazing how much consumption takes place in this country. A few dollars here, a few dollars there, a couple hundred here, a couple hundred there--on something that is going to give us no long-term returns or real fulfillment. Americans are willing to consider the purchase of a multi-hundred dollar TV, but will wonder if their $25 is being put to good use in a charity.  We are so resistant in helping other people simply become self-sufficient. I just watched a short documentary about a certain Dr. Yunis and how his loan of 25 cents helped a woman in India buy a rice maker so that she could sell rice and independently support her starving family. I also watched a clip about Kiva, an online organization that helps people like us (who have money to spare) give loans to poor working people in third world countries and help them become independent through their own businesses. All it takes is a few spare dollars on our part. "But maybe," we think," I can't spare that much because I'm a poor college student and I need every dime." I think we'd be surprised how much money we end up blowing over the course of a few months that was "necessary funds."
So I'm getting into this entrepreneurial kick and I'm thinking "how much do high school kids  (and other people) spend on soft drinks, snacks and little goodies, from snack bars and vending machines? If I could just own one of those vending machines, making it non-profit, and took all the money that was deposited into it, hundreds of loans could be made. Those loans would be paid back, allowing me to continue my one-vending-machine business and continue to help others around the world. Those high schoolers would have no idea...
 I guess the point I'm trying to get at with all this rambling is that we, as massive consumers of useless goods, could be putting out money to a much better use. Despite what's happening with the economy, there are still extremely profitable companies, multi-billion dollar industries and people like you and me that have enough extra cash in our pockets to eat out every now and then. Maybe we could forego the movies and ice cream just once or twice this month, and give that money to a man or woman in India, Uganda, Costa Rica or Moldova is is desperately trying to provide for and feed their family by working hard and starting a small business. maybe, just maybe we can spare our pocket change.

Saturday, February 7, 2009's a blog

Ah, my first day at bogging, what fun.