Is the ability to access credit a human right?
Across the undeveloped regions of the world, the only hope millions of people have of earning a living wage is by starting a small business. Such people can raise goats or chickens, weave cloth, or even rent out time on a cell phone to the rest of the community, but they cannot do this without startup capital. But banks will not lend to the very poor... so is credit access a human right in such situations?
The use of credit in the pursuit of profit is a business decision for both the lender and the borrower. It is intended to leverage resources in order to amplify returns. You have a business background so this is not news to you.
I see no connection between human rights and starting a business. Does the question intend to suggest that poor people have a human right to start a business and, therefore, banks have a human obligation to lend to them?
Hi Quilligrapher. Banks do not have an obligation to lend to anyone, of course, as they are designed to make profits for their shareholders, or owners. We may question how they assess the creditworthiness of potential borrowers, but that does not take away from the basic nature of what a bank is.
Muhammad Yunus, however, founded what he named the Grameen Bank, which was a lending institution the purpose of which is to lend startup capital to the poor for purposes of helping them lift themselves out of poverty. Profits are simply reinvested in the bank, rather than distributed as a dividend (the Grameen Bank is not a coop, either, incidentally). It also gives college scholarships to the children of select clients.
This "micro-credit:" system is fascinating (I have a number of hubs on the topic, if you are interested), and has even been extended to a micro-investing system, whereby Westerners can invest in the businesses of the poor (look up the organization Kiva, for example).
I think my point was that it is a human right to be able to self-generate enough basic income for your own household. In places where there are no jobs, or no labour laws, this can be an impossibility unless you can start a small enterprise. But this can usually only be accomplished with startup capital...
No. You are endowed with certain unalienable rights. Life,Liberty,Pursuit of Happiness. This does not include forcing someone else to risk their own happiness by placing their own money on a bad bet.
I can see some of the points here. Henry George hypothesized that the leading cause of poverty - particularly in the western world - is that only the successful (read: wealthy) are given the opportunity to succeed in business (ie. become more wealthy). Henry George proposed a balance of this unequality so that even the poor are given an opportunity to succeed in a capitalist society. In essence, the ability to self generate enough capital to provide for your household is in line with the right to pursue happiness.
It should be noted that we have a right to pursue happiness... but we do not have a right to be happy. The pursuit of happiness could not be successful in and of itself.
You should have access to credit ONLY if you are able to pay it back.
Professor Yunus, the man who 'invented' micro-credit and has helped 10 million Bangladeshis raise their standard of living, says so. I agree. Having a lot does not mean you spent your money wisely or know how to handle money. Many good earners are perpetually in debt, while many low-earners do not have any.
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