Poor Economics-Would Someone Please Read This Book

I read but don’t buy books generally speaking.  The Ottawa Public Library is my main go to place for books.  Thankfully there is no limit to the number of times you can borrow a book but after a while guilt has kicked in with this book and I will not borrow it again. 

Would someone please read “Poor Economics”and give me a report.

This all started when we were given a gift certificate to KIVA a micro-loan organization. From their website “Kiva Microfunds is a 501 non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income / underserved entrepreneurs and students in 82 countries. Kiva’s mission is “to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.””.   You are able to read the profiles those who are requesting loans and you pledge your donation to that loan.  Once repaid you receive an email and are able to re-loan to another entrepreneur/student.  This sounds very good, the concept of micro-loans and it led to me to read reviews about KIVA, where most but not all are positive. 

My Mom used to say “Stop pulling on that thread or the whole thing will unravel.”  

 I started pulling on the thread.  The question for me was if you have the means and the will to donate to help those in need, what’s the best use of your donation?  Do you rely on the Moneysense review of charities?  Their report ends by saying the information they have gathered shouldn’t be the only thing you use in deciding where to donate.  Do you poor through publicly available information on each charity?  Mind boggling.

What about the book “Poor Economics”

Somewhere in my research the book Poor Economics was recommended.  I have tried to read it.  Many times I have tried to read it but I find it a tough slog and the library loan period runs out and I take it back only to re-borrow it later.   One of the comments on the book cover is “A marvellously insightful book by two outstanding researchers on the real nature of poverty”.  And well it may be but for me the insights are buried within the text.  Highlights of key points in chapters would help me.  Formatting that makes the book look more approachable would help me. 

What does the book say?

I made it halfway through the book finally.  There are some very interesting findings.  Now that I’m returning to the library AGAIN I flipped to the back of the book to see if there’s a summary.  They say there are five key lessons,  First “The poor lack critical pieces of information and believe things that are not true.”  Second “The poor bear responsibility for too many aspects of their lives.  The richer you are, the move the “right decisions are made for you”.

There are three more lessons but if I quoted them here then why would you read the book?

When it comes to donating I think I’ll go with an excerpt of Abraham Lincoln’s quote “When I do good, I feel good.”  I’ll do some research into organizations but not get into a knot about the whole thing.  How do you go about deciding where to donate?