Another note about Charity

05 Apr 2006

Just yesterday, I blogged about this concept!Anyone else catch this on Yahoo today?!! This was * front page friggin' news. * ( Link to the pathetic text.)Here's the amazing story:Three former Powerball winners dropped into a homeless shelter and laid $6,000 on them as a donation. That's six thousand big ones. Whoopdee-fucking-doo!According to the story, those three guys, along with five others, won a $365 million jackpot in February.So, let's look at this mathematically.You have 8 people winning $365 mil. That's $45.5 mil each before taxes. Adjust that down for taxes and each person takes home upwards of $30 million.Now, the three men gave a total of $6,000. So, that's $2,000 each. Let's see, that chunk of change ($2,000 out of $30 million) represents about 1/15,000 of their fortune. Great. So, let's take a fairly affluent family here in theUSA. Let's say they make $100,000/year. What kind of donation would they have to make in order to give the same relative amount? ($100k /15,000)= $6.66.Six dollars and sixty-six cents.(Even if I screwed up the calculation, above, a little bit ... it's still chintzy.)Don't get me wrong, a gift is a gift, and that's great. But, as I said in my previous post, this sort of national coverage is an insult to all truly charitable people in the world. ( Note to any kids reading this: This is exactly why you should study math. If for no other reason, you'll gain a lifelong appreciation for how miserably cheap most rich people are.)

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