Sunday, July 27, 2008

Freaknomics and Charity

Can people really change their behaviour easily, if resources were available to help them change their lives?

They believed that poverty was largely a result of resource deficiencies and organizational inefficiencies: if the poor had more money and their service providers could simply manage their giving more efficiently, change would happen. None placed much emphasis on feelings of self worth, the long-term nature of behavioral change or, most important, that staying above water is itself an accomplishment for a poor household. Everyone modeled their expectations after their family business or other corporate workplaces where they saw the “bottom line” motivate people to meet certain standards of achievement.

Very interesting post overall, for all of us who've burnt out on this in one way or another... and a few other interesting posts under the philanthropy tag on the site.

There's one particular post, on how to give away $70million to charity. Interesting comments, and I particularly like the comment by Shine:

I can’t tell you how many n– -s do stupid shit because they couldn’t get no food. Lot of people rob and steal to put some food in their belly. Make sure people got food. A man stops feeling angry against the world when his belly is full.

and this other comment:

I can’t believe all these people think we should first give outside America! That’s exactly the problem.

I go to the Hamptons, and they have these stupid fund raisers for things going on that are thousands of miles away. And, then you go back to 5th Ave (on Manhattan’s Upper East Side), and you tell your doorman to make sure no homeless people ask you for money on the block. It’s sick.

In my mind, there's an closer dilemma even before I get to the international-domestic line. What business do I have donating my time to other people, when I don't spend quite enough time with my own family? :<

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