Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More interested in feeling good than doing good.

How do you contribute to charity? Is it really the optimal choice to make?
... the way we choose to dole out cash betrays our true motives. Someone with ₤50 to give away and a world full of worthy causes should choose the worthiest and write the cheque. We don’t. Instead, we give ₤2 to the street collector for Save the Children, pledge ₤15 to Comic Relief, another ₤15 to Aids research, and so on. But ₤15 is not going to find a cure for Aids. Either it is the best cause and deserves the entire ₤50, or it is not and some other cause does. The scattergun approach simply proves that we’re more interested in feeling good than doing good.

None of this is to say that these contributions are worthless nor economically insignificant. Just don’t get too starry-eyed about the motives behind them.

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