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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Immigrants vs Western Union

It's a tale as old as time (well, the time when illegal immigrants started flooding the USA) - illegal immigrant crosses border, takes up a job that should have gone to an American citizen, and when his low (but higher-than-you'd-think) paycheck comes in, there's a quick dash to the Western Union to wire ill-gotten monies back home to his relatives who are feeding off the crimes of their border-crossing savior. Now try thinking that thought WITHOUT the words "Western Union" - and you'll find that it's a difficult task.

After all, Western Union is just about the only way we tend to think about wiring money from one place to another. It's embedded in our collective minds the same way that Kleenex is synonymous with "tissues" and Band-Aid is synonymous with "adhesive bandages". It's this dominance over the money-wiring industry (not to mention efficiency and effectiveness) that allows Western Union to pretty much set its own fees and there's little, if any, alternative to get your money to someone else as quickly as they can.

That's where the illegal immigrants come in. Some jackass immigration advocate named Carlos Arango is organizing the Chicago branch of the Western Union boycott that's supposedly happening around the country. Mostly in high-illegal cities, of course. Their problem with the system is that Western Union (and I quote):

"They get all this money, and all they have to do is push a button" to send the money over, he said.

Yea, that's right, asshole. They get your dirty money, push a button, and your criminal funds go off to Mexico and your relatives. And they have every damned right to charge you whatever they want in order to do that.

It's called business - and they're quite good at it.

You know what you SHOULD try to do? Go somewhere else. If you don't want to be charged $10 by the best company just to get your money to your family, go find someone else to do it. The choices are few and far-between, but you ALWAYS have options. You could pay some OTHER illegal $5 to simply walk back to Mexico and deliver the money for you. Odds are that the process would take a lot longer, and would be less reliable that your money would actually get there. You have the choice. It's just really freakin' obvious which is the best choice. And unfortunately, it will cost you that $10.

You know what you SHOULDN'T try to do? Demand things of the business that's been properly handling your financial transactions and threaten to withhold your business from them. First off, you're asking them to donate $1 per every money transfer toward economic development in the U.S. and in countries being sent money. Do you even understand the word "donate", you numbskull? It's a voluntary decision to be charitable, not a contractual obligation spurred on by angry protesters! And why would that money be put into economic development in all of these countries where you need to send your money? On a national level from a government standpoint, I could see that helping other countries economically helps us economically - especially when it means fewer criminals will cross the border to steal work from our citizens because their country is in the crapper. But on a business standpoint for a company that makes billions of dollars BECAUSE your country is in the crapper and that's why you need to wire money there? That would be BAD business. And no amount of protest will lead to a company doing BAD business to appease the foolish masses.

Oh, and as far as the above statement goes, about some kind of anguish that the company charges $10 for the employee to "get the money and push a button" - are you arguing that the effort required to wire the money is so seemingly little that it doesn't warrant the $10 in your mind? Because it took a helluva lot of business savvy and financial planning to SET UP the system in the first place. Plus, the business itself needs to pay to keep its doors open, keep the place running, and keep staff paid to they will come in to work and push the button that wires your money. It's called running a business - and it takes money to do that, you dumbass!

"They are becoming billionaires on the backs of immigrant workers," Arango said during a news conference near a Western Union check-cashing store in Pilsen.

Western Union spokesman Daniel Diaz wouldn't comment directly on the boycott, saying: "We are very proud to provide consumers with fast, reliable and trusted service."

You're damned right, Diaz! You have every right to set your prices, because you're the best in the business with the fastest and most reliable service available. If any of these protesters give you lip about your prices, you should remind them of the easiest solution to their problems:

"You don't want to pay to wire money? Then go the hell back to your own country where you belong and then you won't have to wire money anymore!"


(News article from the Chicago branch of the insanity)

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