with eyes open wide
OK, guys. This is super serious. It is about time that we put some pressure on money wiring companies such as Western Union. Mr. Dilip Ratha, economist at the World Bank, gave a great TED Talk (not yet published) at TEDGlobal 2014 explaining why being able to send money home is so important for the local economy that receives the funds. An article written based on his talk is in the link below.
Personally I have seen the impact that sending money can make in poor regions. There are millions of small towns all over the world that do not have any sort of local economy mainly because there are very few job opportunities. Instead of asking these families to leave their homelands and give up their ancestral land, it’s much better for some of the family members to leave and work abroad to save money for their families back home. Then with a large sum of money saved, a family can start a local business or live more comfortably for a longer period of time on the saved funds.
Loans and credit are commonplace to most Westerners; we have more than we need! But for poor people, no lender will touch them with a long stick. Funds from a family member are usually the only means of “credit” that a family has access to in order to better their lives.
So the fact that money wiring companies charge exorbitant rates is an example of how companies routinely take advantage of the poor, because they usually have no other option and no means of protesting. Let’s put an end to this!