Rantings and tirades of a frustrated economist.
This is why most of my donations go to tiny organizations staffed by mostly unpaid volunteers, groups that attempt to mitigate ongoing problems that have no ultimate solutions - veterans assistance, animal rescue, Men's Rights.
After many years of making charitable donations, running well into a total of seven figures, I have found a way to minimize donor's remorse. See ChaiMinded.org for an explanation.
I have to laugh, Cappy, because my wife and I had this discussion recently. She thought I had FINALLY walked off the deep end and crashed headfirst into the uber-cynical sauce. I made the exact point: these organizations and doctors are raking in MILLIONS of dollars per year searching for the cure to cancer, AIDS, hunger, heart disease, lung disease and every other cause under the sun. They hold walks for the cure, marathons, bake sales, and whatever else they can dream up to bring in more and more cash from trusting fools. Yet, they are not even close to finding the cure for any of these issues, and if they find the cure, they sure as hell aren't telling anyone. The reason: there is too much money, too much clout, too much love bestowed on these glorious and gallant warriors who put it (and life) on the line to find a cure for life's and health's ailments.People tend to believe the best in organizations and the people that make up those organizations. They never stop and think about where the money goes and why people have to keep dying to save some gallant warrior's retirement and trust fund. It is the same when there is an earthquake or tsunami: pennies on the dollar reach the actual people in need. The rest goes to the organization or the dictator and his henchment who need to be paid off first. It is a shitty game, and one that I refuse to participate in. You want to make a donation? How about donating your time. You can actually see someone and look them in the eyes. Make a real difference that way.
Old, trite, but true: Charity begins at home: My first duty is to make sure I'm looking after myself first, to make sure that I'm not a burden on other people. As far as I'm concerned, if I can do that, my conscience is clean.Next, is there some sort of help, financial or otherwise that I can render to my friends and family?I honestly doubt that many of us would have sufficient resources to "help" strangers on the other side of the globe if we stuck to that plan. You'd have to willfully ignore the problems on your own doorstep - real noble!Not to mention, charity is a form of intervention, and I do like me some non-intervention.
The United Way and Red Cross are two 'charities' that are absolute wastes of your money; research their history and you'll find that both have incidents of internal corruption, mishandling of donations, and executives who are paid big salaries. (The Red Cross in particular has a history of belligerence about corruption and mishandling accusations, and the non-transparency of it's funding.)The ONLY charity I donate to is the Salvation Army (and I'm not even a Christian!). As far as I know, the Salvation Army is the only big charity that has not had any accusations or scandals about mishandling of donations or internal corruption.
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