Batman Moto in Ollantaytambo, Peru


This was coming out of the ruins of Ollantaytambo on my Inca Trail hike over the summer when I saw this Moto with the Batman logo on the back.  This kind of cracked me up, as if Batman would scoot around on a three wheeled motorcycle giving tourists a list for S/. 1 each in the ruins of the sacred valley.
Actually, the thing is, this machine is probably the pride and joy of the guy who operates it.  This isn’t a “stop-gap” job, it will probably take the guy his whole life just to pay for that moto (and by the time he has it paid for he will have replaced most of the moving parts with bamboo and bublegum).
You know, that gets me to thinking, you have to wonder how consistently the impoverished people of Peru with little to no education get screwed over when it comes to micro loans.  I mean, you see people in the US get screwed over on loans all the time.  I’m not sure if it’s because people are just too apathetic to learn it, or if it’s because they’re dumb, but people simply aren’t capable of trusting really basic calculations that show whether or not an investment is or isn’t a good idea.
Just like you see people in the US diligently paying $300,000 in mortgage payments on a $100,000 home, I’m sure there are dudes in Peru who are paying $3,000 in loan payments on a $200 moto.
What do we say about a situation like that?  
Now, in the case of Americans who had access to a good education and decided to just screw off instead of hit the books, I honestly just kind of laugh about it.  I mean, maybe it’s not moral to exploit idiots like that, but hell, I put in the time studying calculus, etc., so I wouldn’t have to work like a dog my whole life.  But as much as I have problems with the educational system of the US, I was (mainly due to my own self-motivation) able to exploit it against its wishes so that I might get a good education for myself.
Bearing that in mind, we should face the fact that there are some people out there who have never formally received any education on mathematics or even reading for that matter.  What do you think they say when you propose to give them a $1,000 micro loan at 25% interest over 30 years?  They think it’s pretty great that they only have to pay $15 a month or whatever it ends up being, and don’t understand how much they’re being screwed over.
Again we see in miniature why powerful people resist educating the masses.  People that actually know what’s going on are hard to exploit and, after all, somebody has to do the work now don’t they?  Don’t kid yourself, the poor work harder than anyone.
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