Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Western Union is Evil - Part II

Today a friend sent in a 1Mandala project donation.  The donation was for 30$.  The Western Union fee was 12$.  That's a 40%!  Insane.

The fees basically get larger the less you send.  So for the global phenomenon of oversees workers sending small sums of money back to their families in developing countries, this means that the poorer one is, the more one pays.  Crazy.

Do you know why it's called Western Union? I read a book on the advent of the telegraph in the 1900's. Western Union was one of the first telegraph (telegram delivery) companies. It was a union of smaller telegraph services that merged to serve more broadly. It connected the Western American states to the Eastern states. Then the states to Europe and the world.

When the first telegram was instantaneously sent between England and America there was great rejoicing! How could wars continue? So mused a headline at the time-- now world leaders could communicate across the distances and talk! And if we can all talk and connect then any problem could be resolved before it became a war! This was the vision of the technology's pioneers.

And despite the massive wars of the last century, there is still wisdom and truth to that vision of interconnectedness and peace. The more we connect the harder time injustice has. To think that the company founded on such hopes and vision is now ripping global class separation wider.

Time to connect and unite.

Once again here is the Avaaz petition:

No comments: