Most childhood diseases in the developing countries he visited could be traced to unsafe drinking water, so everything changed for Harrison. He got inspired to start raising money for clean water when he returned to the states, but his friends were wary.
"They all said, ‘I don’t trust charities. I don’t give. I believe these charities are just these black holes. I don’t even know how much money would actually go to the people who I’m trying to help,’ " Harrison recalls.
I feel that. I think giving is important but it’s hard to know if your money will be used appropriately. I give to the international high school where I used to teach. They started a scholarship fund for undocumented students to go to college without the federal financial aid students born in the country qualify for. While I had a personal connection to the school, dedicated staff, and inspiring students, the fund itself is intriguing because 97% of funds donated go directly to the students they are intended to serve. North Star Fund is transparent about their 3% administrative fee, which is incredibly low compared to most charities.
I’ve worked in non-profits for a fair chunk of my career and have seen firsthand how they operate. I haven’t seen anything totally scandalous, but it’s safe to say money is not always spent wisely or on the target population they are established to serve. Because the North Star fund is a pure scholarship fund for an existing school, there’s no offices, utilities or additional staff to support. You can set up a recurring contribution as well. I donate to this and my niece and nephew’s college funds regularly, which are all guaranteed good causes.
What’s striking about some of these labor practices is the absence of reciprocity. When a top executive agrees to a noncompete clause in a contract, it is typically the product of a negotiation in which there is some symmetry: The executive isn’t allowed to quit for a competitor, but he or she is guaranteed to be paid for the length of the contract even if fired.
Jimmy John’s appears to have demanded the same loyalty as the price of having a low-paid job hourly job making sandwiches, from which the worker could be fired at any time for any reason. Similarly, retailers demand that their workers adjust to schedules that are set by computers and can vary widely from week to week or involve sending people home if sales are slow, but have little patience for an employee who needs to leave early to pick up a sick child.
This year New York City dominates the list, with six ZIP codes among the top 10.
Education gurus push novel solutions to the debt problem.
40 years of income growth inequality in America. Households at the top saw the biggest gains. Those at the bottom stagnated.
But what about the people in between?
I used to have to deal with debt collectors on a regular basis in my last role as a financial advisor and educator to low income clients. This article confirmed what I already knew about this shady industry: that the debt collectors are total, real life thugs. Fascinating read, but it’s a long one. Might want to save this for Sunday morning but it might ruin your weekend. It’s so upsetting what these guys get away with on the backs of low-income and struggling Americans.
The surprising answer to this one is that it’s actually a lot like ordering a drink at a bar, something you’re probably a little more familiar with.
Video 27 of 30 videos in like 60 days.
See all videos I did for About.com here.