Kiva Fat Cats Eat Sardines While Waiting For Pie

The Pondering Pig Kiva Investment Group Board Meeting continues…

PPig: Hey, thanks, Jessica Flannery, founder of Kiva, for sticking your head through the door to give us a few words of encouragement. I found this interview/podcast with Jessica on Britt Bravo’s blog. If it wasn’t for Jessica and her husband Matt, we might still be wondering how to spread some of our wealth around.

OK, maybe we’re not wealthy in North American terms, maybe we do have to meet at Portley’s Lunch Counter after he closes, but compared to the guys in Mozambique and Honduras and Azerbaijan- North Americans are pretty fat cats.

Look at the Human Development Index

Ok, don’t look at it. It’s pretty boring. I’ll tell you about it. The HDI is a fairly questionable list of every country that keeps statistics and how they compare to each other on how long people live, how much education they have, and how much money they make. You can question the statistics right down the line – and you should – but the true statistics are bound to make countries look worse, not better.

According to the Index, guess who are the fattest cats in the world? If you guessed the United States you guessed wrong. We’re down at number 8. Canada is couple rungs above us at number 6. The fattest cats in the world live in sardine country, naturally …NORWAY!

And the skinniest cats live in a little African country you never heard of: Niger. People in Norway live twice as long as people in Niger. They’re forty times wealthier. And the educational statistics from Niger are, well, fatal.

Belladonna: So what’s this got to do with Kiva, Pig? You suggesting we should fix up Niger, than move on to the next country on this list?

PPig: Well, I was wondering if something like that makes strategic sense. Not Niger, because Kiva isn’t working there yet, but maybe Mozambique. They are the skinniest cats on the Kiva website according to the HDI.

Kirstie: I think poor people are poor, period. It doesn’t matter where you live. Kiva borrowers have a dream, they have a hope, they think they can feed their families better, maybe fix their roof – whatever, if they can get a business loan to build up their businesses. I don’t see why it matters what country they’re in.

PPig: True enough. But we do have to choose. I counted 41 people hoping for a loan on Kiva this morning. If you loan $25 to everybody, that’s $1025 today and more coming tomorrow. We have to pick a person, so to speak. Who is it going to be? Right? Am I right? How do you decide? I’d like to know and Portley’s Lunch Counter is open for discussion on this topic.



Image credits: Nations Online, Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Hermatikk, Patrushka

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