The Credit Crisis – A Different Perspective

As I write this post, I’m sitting in an office in Dublin, Ireland. The weather is miserable outside… but we’re warm and protected indoors. The bad weather means that it’s really dark, even early in the day… but we fix this by switching on the lights. Even looking out the window makes me shiver… so I pull my comfy sweater a little closer around me. If I feel thirsty… I can help myself to a drink from the fridge. When lunchtime comes, we will all make our way down to the canteen for some food to keep us going for the few hours until we head home for dinner.

If you’re reading this post, then the chances are that you, like me, are one of the lucky ones.

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In recent weeks I have found myself worrying about my bank account, my savings, my mortgage, my job… My mind has been filled with thoughts about unemployment, repossessions, stock markets plummeting, banks going bust… As more & more bad news hit the headlines I began to wonder… can this get any worse?

Then it hit me… Yes.

Things could be an awful lot worse.

Despite the financial turmoil, despite the credit crisis, despite house prices falling, despite everything… I AM one of the lucky ones.

  • I don’t have to worry about feeding my family tonight.
  • I don’t wonder where my next meal will come from.
  • I don’t worry about my baby drinking dirty water.
  • I don’t have to sleep outdoors tonight or any night.

I have access to food, shelter and warm clothing. I have clean water on tap. I can visit a doctor if I need to. I have access to heat and electricity at the flick of a switch. I have access to education and training. I have job opportunities and leisure time. I even have the privilege of having some savings to worry about in these economic times…while many people don’t have even enough money to survive, never mind save.

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The world’s poorest people aren’t worried about the credit crisis. They are worried about feeding their families and struggling to survive on a daily basis.

At the moment many of us are cutting our spending… this is leading to a fall in charitable donations… there is a real fear that this may result in many of the world’s poorest people suffering even more than they already do.

So, despite the economic downturn, I have decided to make a small but determined effort in favor of those much less fortunate than me. Out goes the weekly treat of Hot Chocolate with extra marshmallows & whipped cream… in comes an extra weekly donation to charity. It may not be much, but it’s a start. If you think about it, by foregoing one tall latte, you could contribute $3 to someone in dire circumstances.

Could you sacrifice one trip to Starbucks per week?

…by SJ…

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As a part of our contribution to Blog Action Day 2008, StatCounter has decided to sponsor a child via the charity Plan Ireland.

Plan is an international development agency which works to implement programs at a grassroots level in health, education, water and sanitation. Children are at the heart of all Plan activities and their projects directly support more than 1,500,000 children and their families.

By becoming a sponsor with Plan, StatCounter, together with thousands of other donors worldwide will help to improve the quality of life of children living in poverty.

Plan’s active support for child development over a long period of time aims to improve the healthy development of children from before birth, through to an adulthood in which they can be valuable and productive members of their community.

If you would like more information about Plan, please click here. To sign up as a sponsor follow this link, or click here to make a single donation to Plan. Remember – every cent counts and every donation is appreciated.

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Plan Ireland’s Work in Togo

Togo is a small country in West Africa. Annual income per head is just $350 and the mortality rate for children under 5 is over 10%.

Plan is currently working on various projects in this area including:

  • erecting clean water points
  • training teachers
  • building and modernising schools
  • establishing voluntarily manned crèches to release younger girls from the responsibilities of child minding so as they can attend school

Plan are also working to tackle the stigma and discrimination associated with disability by establishing and equipping community based rehabilitation centers. It is hoped that, following this project, disabled children will no longer be locked away in homes, but instead be given the opportunity to be active participants in society with the opportunity to live their lives to their maximum potential.

Positive results are already emerging as communities are beginning to recognise that disabled children have an important role to play. As one community leader put it ‘this project has helped us re-find our children’.

Click here to visit the Plan website

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This post is our contribution to Blog Action Day 2008, a non-profit event aimed at changing the conversation on the internet to focus for one day on the mammoth issue of global poverty.

80 comments on “The Credit Crisis – A Different Perspective

  1. This century is witnessing a new trend of all isms, thoughts and faiths meeting at one point, like top of the pyramid, on consumerism. This new ism has taken the best advantage of human genius of technology, art, commerce and science. The whole world is a free market today. The communists and capitalists and those sitting on the fences are all together in buying and selling whatever is or can be made possible to trade. Besides movable and immovable tangible goods, things and concept like carbon trading, web spaces and even virginity is on sale. As the title of the ism goes there should be one consumer and one provider of consumable, but in this market every one is seller and every one is buyer. A new Lord has emerged to rule over the world called – Market. He is the only all pervading energy to keep consumerism alive by buying and selling – what?

    The unmanifest virtual world has replaced the real (unreal as per philosophy) world. Therefore the world has even gone farther than the so called unreal material world. The world today is unrealistically unreal. Can two ‘no’ can make one ‘yes’? I strangely feel that there could be one ‘yes’. For the first time the unmanifest form of God is showing His dominance over manifest one. For the first time the possessed wealth has crushed the ego of the very man, who used to possess it. For the first time the common person could be seen and heard by mighty and powerful people and vice versa; the transparency brought in by the technology would not allow any mystery or hypocrisy to take root and flourish. This all is the positive side of this technological revolution which had made a common man’s face empowered by the Universal Form of God.
    Your Blog proves this point and I am sure the majority of masses would emboleden itself to produce a very big power to counter such greed and lust borne market economy to restablish a fair falue for human vaalues and equity. I am from India and a former scout so doing a good turn is my religious duty, having had worked as corporate professional could experience socialism, capitalism and a mix of both. the real ism is humanity and charity. Business can not survive without charity, that is the soul of doing business. I have felt very happy to read the blog and share my happiness with all those who create value for others but are deprived to get their share due to so called market economy.

  2. Yes right now I am the lucky ones, but don’t know how long the stituation
    would remain same.

    Really a Great step from StatCounter !!!

  3. Thanks for this post and for taking the time to give to those less fortunate than yourself. I love the idea others posted about reselling used goods and donating the proceeds. I’m doing that this weekend. I’m forever in an attitude of gratitude!

  4. Also one a young mans pension and try to feed my 16 month daughter and my wife from overseas, on one pension is really hard, i have like 2 web domains and websites that they are going to close on me, I could not afford to keep them and to pay rent for hosting, also our currency drop like over 30% in the past 4 months

    to buy one aussie dollar was 93 cents US not it is 67 cents and dropping hard

    70% of business here are US or other foreign owned or runned which makes it soo hard to survive here and you all call it a lucky country, lucky that firearm laws are so stricked here only

  5. Actually this credit thing started like nearly a year ago it acually started to get worse, we all reaped it just recently

    This time last year i started my 1st office job but 4 months ago it went bust and alot of people benn sacked of it from that health insurance company i reckon also they will loose members as aswell since there is less people looking after manualed claims

    Also there will be a 30% drop in people taking on health insurance, we are lucky here that low income people still can get operations done for free nearly.

    But we all blame those greedy Ceo’s and their under dogs wanting a high income and some of them want a 100,000 dollars pay increase from the year before, while the 20,000 dallor wage jobs lucky to see a 3% pay increase over 10 years say 600 dollars extra per year

    it’s the top 5% people that are at fault of at least 95% of the debts, lying about each companies profit, not counting the loss or money they gotta owe to loans from banks

  6. First of all I would like to send my genuine words of approval to StatCounter that they support those kind of actions. As a young software development company we would like to contribute part of our income into those kind of charity actions as well, therefore I would like to ask someone to contact me at office_at_software-shopping-cart.com to tell me how to do it most efficiently.

    Warm regards,
    Paul
    Storm Interactive
    Director

  7. That is really awesome that you are thinking about and acting in a way to help the less fortunate. It is always good to keep in mind that there is always someone in a worse off condition. Too often we simply ignore them.

    Regarding the deflationary credit contraction, or Kondratieff Winter, it is just getting started. Figuratively, there is maybe 1″ of snow on the ground and this blizzard is going to be long and cold with feet of snow. Sadly, most people are oblivious to the impending storm and are still running around in their bathing suit thinking the summer weather is going to return.

    Anyway, keep yourself prepared and warm and I am sure you will do fine during this part of the natural cycle.

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