Sunday, November 20, 2005

10 Over 100

James Hong and Josh Blumenstock, creators of the popular site HOTorNOT, started a terrific initiative:

At, people make a pledge to give 10% of whatever they make over $100,000 each year to charity.

I love that idea. If the governments of the rich countries aren't willing to cure the world of extreme poverty - although IMO it would be possible - then private persons must stand up and fill the gap. I would like something like "2 over 20" even more, as I think that almost everyone in the rich countries would be able to afford spending 2% to fight extreme poverty. But 10over100 might be more realistic.

The question of efficacy and efficiency of foreign aid pops up, of course. But for now let's work with the (admittedly simplistic) assumption that money from the rich countries can prevent people in the developing countries from starving or dying from easily preventable diseases. I know things are a bit more complicated in reality and I may get back to that discussion.

I, for one, pledged "10 over 0", i.e. 10% of my income. My money will go to Jeffrey Sachs' Millennium Promise project, which uses modern science to make poverty history, one village at a time. I encourage everyone to join me in this greatest challenge of our generation.

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