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. man, and i thought statcounter was just a rad free service… now i realize that it’s actually a socially conscious organization of deep thinkers. couldn’t agree more with the blog about the ‘credit crisis’. i’ve had this very thought myself, and whenever i find that i’m getting bogged down in the prefab generalized anxiety created by the media about this whole debacle i remind myself that i am actually one of the most privileged, lucky people on earth, living in the most privileged societies in the world. thanks for posting this, and for all that you do.

  2. It is a shame that we are in a state of financial decline and worse financial dependence, a world without money at all would be a beautiful one. Lets face it, money gives power to a few, while it enslaves the rest of us. To live from paycheck to paycheck, one mortgage payment or credit card bill to the next, prevents humanity from discovering its true potential. While at the same time, it allows those who control all the money to control all of us.

    Despite the complacency of a roof over your head or food in our stomaches, and the contrast to much of the world who live outside, hungry and helpless, you should demand reform, abandon the money system, the government, who really only makes rules that manipulate us all into submission and slavery. Then instead of working to make your employer and your government money, you could work to make the standard of living for all human beings better, that includes those less fortunate. Using your money to sponsor the less fortunate, is a capitalist solution to to a humanist problem. Think of the skills and beliefs that you have, and how a world without money would allow them to flourish and grow into ways in which you can help others, and help yourself at the same time.

    Support humanity, abandon the money system, adopt the advancement of mankind, join the zeitgeist movement.

  3. It will be a really marvelous world if we can remember that we are all humans and we all come from the same source… People will feel so much elevated once they rediscover the power of helping other people.. spreading love… Money is not the ultimate power love is but we have forgotten this to our path to success… and success is not happiness.. love is happiness

    Love and light to you all!

  4. Hi best blog ive read in quite awhile,
    500 euros on its way to plan from us,
    nice to focus on something other than the in’s and out’s of making money,
    Best regards Marco

  5. Good to read so much genuine goodwill and true philanthropy. Restores my faith in the goodness of most of mankind. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have tended to support just one charity, The CF Trust, I have a son who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, but I will make a point of supporting this.
    Well done Statcounter.
    What a shame we have such terrible people attracted to become politicians and bankers, while the rest of us just do our best for ourselves and those around us.

  6. Excellent post my friend. I have traveled the world as a Merchant Marine and have seen all sorts of tragedy in my time. I too have feel back into my chair having similar thoughts. I too feel the exact same thing you do. I agree if most of could only make a small cut in our lives and give to others the world would be a better place. However my emotions run deep in this area. I mean we have the poor here in my country as well as you do. I often wonder why we can’t help our own people and then wonder how can we help others when we can’t help our own. Nevertheless some people do and that pleases me. Meanwhile remembering the times I believed grain to poor countries to watch the bandits come and haul most of it away and never reaching the ones whom need it most. Anyway I am ranbling on here. Thanks for the read and God Bless!

    BobM

  7. It is all great helping othe people in a bad situation but some charity workers can have wages of up to €50.000, I dont know about the charity you support but I know many other of the big ones that pay that to their workers.

    I think it is obscene that an organisation that calls itself non for profit can have fat cat wages, that money come from donations, most of them from people who are low waged themselves, and meanwhile those charities keep claiming “not for profit”, yeah right, not in stockmarket investment but they get lots of benefits out of the organisation, like for example having a job, if the charity you work for goes bust you are out the door.

    So I accuse big charities of hypocrites, save 3 Euros not going to Starbucks to pay for a malaria vaccine, but in the process 2 Euroes goes towards feeding fat cat wages too.

    No thank you

  8. Now is the time for us to make the links between what is happening in the City of London and on Wall Street today, and what has been happening to developing countries for years.

    Writing to local or national papers is one of the best ways to do this, as well as commenting on web forums and news websites, and talking to your friends.

    Here are some points you could make:

    * The current financial crisis is the result of reckless lending by private banks, just as the ongoing developing country debt crisis was the result of reckless lending by the rich world in past decades. People all round the world are suffering because of the lack of a fair system for dealing with debts.

    * The total debt of all developing countries is $2.9 trillion – around the same amount as has been pledged by rich country governments to bailout the banks in recent weeks.

    * It would take only $375 billion – with the cost spread out over many years – to cancel 100% of the debts of the world’s 49 poorest countries.

    * Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, has faced four hurricanes in a month and continues to suffer the effects of the global food crisis. But the World Bank and IMF have announced that its debt cancellation has been delayed by six months.

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