Happy Kiva Lenders take on Unhappy Kiva Lenders in a Lending Cage Match!

I just started a new group on Kiva called Happy Kiva Lenders and lent $100 to get things started.  Please join the group and lend some money on Kiva.

This is in direct response to a group on Kiva called Unhappy Kiva Lenders who are complaining about a recent Kiva decision to support loans to US citizens but seem to put up very little of their own cash. (see below)

I urge everyone to join the Happy Kiva Lenders team and lend some money.  Hopefully a lot more than the paltry amount the Unhappy Kiva Lenders have put up.

Update July 4th 2009 9:56 AM: @bdarfler was kind enough to point out that you need to identify the happy kiva lenders team when you lend in order for it to count towards the team. So here are the 4 steps to get you started.

  1. Sign up on kiva.org. All you need is an email address.
  2. Visit the Happy Kiva Lenders page and click Join.
  3. Choose some people and make loans.
  4. When you check out be sure to choose Happy Kiva Lenders as the team! It looks like this on the checkout page.

Where this all started...

I came across a story while surfing the web tonight titled "The Inevitable Anti-U.S. Backlash Has Started On Kiva" and it really bothered me.

A few things you need to know:
  1. Kiva.org is Kiva is a person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.
  2. Kiva used to only support loans to people outside the US. They recently changed that to allow lending to US people as well.
  3. According to wikipedia a "backlash is a popular negative reaction to something which has gained popularity, prominence, or influence."
  4. The Anti-U.S. Backlash article appears to be been authored by one person and plagiarized by another .  Here it is on TechCrunch by Leena Rao and here it is on TechDare by Steve
  5. Whoever actually wrote it. It's a load of crap.

The premise of the article is that Kiva's decision to start supporting lending to US residents, in addition to the 3rd world country residents they support, has resulted in a "Backlash." In other words there are some people that think Kiva should not support lending to people in the US.

Here's my problem.  Aually I have two:

  1. It's not a backlash. For it to be a backlash it has to be a "popular negative reaction." Another way to say it is, a backlash can't be a small group of people who have demonstrated a profound lack of willingness to do anything useful, but are willing to click on a link to say they think other people should it their way.
  2. It really bothers me when people who tell other people how to live their lives without setting an example of what they are preaching. 

If you look at the Kiva page for the Unhappy Kiva Lenders group mentioned in the backlash article you will see these statistics:

Number of Unhappy Kiva Lenders         381
Number of Loans                                     51
Number of Loans per Member                0.13
Total Amount Loaned                           $1,375.00

The people in that group have donated an average of $3.54 per person. (Yes three dollars and fifty four cents). The large majority of them, 328, have never donated a penny!

I wouldn’t call this a backlash, I’d call it TechCrunch pushing a story about the barely perceptible sound of people who like to whine and tell other people how to live their lives without putting any of their own skin in the game.  And now these people are getting press which might actually make them popular!

Update July 4th 2009 9pm: A few people have pointed out that Kiva allows people to lend without attaching those loans to a team. That means many, if not all of the Unhappy Kiva Lenders probably (almost definitely) lent more than the total $1,375 attributed to the Unhappy Kiva Lenders Team.  So my previous statements about them being a bunch of do-nothing-whiners is probably very inaccurate. That said, I still completely disagree with the position that they would stop others from lending to US residents via Kiva.

So please consider joining the Happy Kiva Lenders and showing your support for lending to whomever you want to support!