Monday, September 17, 2007

Always Something Worse

Courtesy of el guante and guest blogger majnoon:

Western Union is one of many remittance companies....but they are by far the largest and have the highest fees. For them to send a wire costs between $3 and $4, but they charge anywhere from $15 to $30 or more per transaction.

The best part of all of this is that they don't have to adhere to the Community Reinvestment Act. One of the few corporations that can proudly shout "We're worse than Wal-Mart!" For every $100 of profit, Western Union invests 41 cents. Wal-Mart invests $2.30 and Ben & Jerry's invests $7.50...

It's one of those things that, as someone who has never had to use services like WU, I just hadn't thought about. Boo on me. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with all of the underhanded dealings in the world, but we should do our best to try. See for details.

On a somewhat more positive note, I was driven to ridiculous happy giggling after watching this video taken at the Willy St. Fair this weekend. It shows a whole gaggle of kids learning (with mixed results but great enthusiasm) how to do basic breakdancing moves. So many tiny future b-boys and b-girls!

This comes courtesy of Elements of Change, a group started here in Wisconsin but with national ambitions. They incorporate the many positive aspects of hip-hop culture (of which, contrary to mainstream vilification efforts, there are many) into the education of "disadvantaged" kids in the hopes of cutting their drop-out, incarceration and suicide rates. Seems like a pretty noble goal to me--and definitely a creative, more effective way of going about it.

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The Lost Albatross