by Chris Bertram on June 16, 2005

In “the discussion below”: about charitable giving, foreign aid and so on, I mentioned the figure of 1 per cent of GDP or of first-world person’s income as being enough to make a real difference to third-world poverty. I got that figure from a footnote referencing the Liam Murphy paper, somewhere in Thomas Pogge’s excellent “World Poverty and Human Rights”: . Whether that’s actually the right figure I don’t know. But anyway, today I came across the new “Pledgebank”: site. As “Chris Lightfoot”: writes:

bq. PledgeBank is designed to solve what I’m told are called `collective action problems’ — things that you want to do, but can only get done if enough other people will help. Why go out on a limb and say you’ll do something difficult or expensive or embarrassing if you don’t know whether enough other people will turn up to make it worthwhile? Anyway, PledgeBank is designed to help you get around that problem by letting people sign up to say they’ll take part, and telling you when enough people have done so for your plan to succeed.

One of the “pledges is from Nicola”: and it has this content:

bq. I will give 1% of my gross annual salary to charity but only if 400 other people will too.

To make the link to third-world poverty, the charity would have to be an appropriate one (such as Oxfam, perhaps), but that’s up to individual pledgers.

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Alex Fradera 06.17.05 at 8:34 am

That site seems to have evolved a bloggish quality. Check the thread here (Do CT comments take hyperlinks?)
for a lively debate on animal testing. The Pledge is to fund some science to prove that animal testing is ineffective. The mind bloggles. And it has provked what surely must be an inspired spoof here
Although it is playing things very straight.

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