On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book. Today's pick is Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make A Difference by William MacAskill.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow and it's a great time not only to remember what we are thankful for, but to reach out and help others. This book captures that spirit by not just encouraging others to be altruistic, but by detailing how to be the most altruistic. A number of analyses, based upon the number of lives someone is able to save because of an action, make for a very interesting read. This isn't about sacrificing one person for millions of others, though. Instead, this shows how simple measures can be very effective.
One particular aspect of the book that I found very interesting was the notion that you don't have to have a charity-based career in order to do good with your work. A doctor, nurse, teacher or care worker may come to mind when describing an altruistic job, but a high-paying job can be even more altruistic through the ability that it provides to donate money. And here's the thing, you don't have to donate millions. There's a multiplier effect. Money in the poorest regions of the world goes farther and so any donation that is made to these particularly badly-off places is magnified and multiplied.
Because of this multiplier effect and the vast difference in wages in poorer parts of the world to first world nations, if a person makes $52,000 a year, they are in the top 1% of the world's earners. In fact, if you earn over $20,000 a year than you are in the top 5% wealthiest people in the world. That's powerful.
Armed with that knowledge, MacAskill addresses several causes which have the potential of doing the most good for the world. Although many of the causes are abroad, and include such things as funding malaria nets and de-worming programs, one cause in the United States that still has potential for growth through his metric is judicial reform to limit unjust incarceration. There are plenty of ways to help. If you'd like to learn how to do good even better, then I recommend this book.
Even if you feel that you're unable to help via donation or volunteering, there's a simple way to do good today. All you have to do is click. Yep. That's it. Your click can manifest into feeding the hungry, providing books, and many other excellent causes. The funding for this is provided from the advertisements on the page. It really can't get any simpler than that to help others and it's an easily-incorporated minute or two into your day.
My best to you all,