re PB: I only ever share on fundraising appeals that I've also donated to myself.

I'm not suggesting everyone has to do that--if you have an audience but can't spare the cash of course it's worth spreading word--but as someone who is relatively well off (and severely undertaxed) I long ago felt it appropriate to adopt this rule for myself. So any time you see me share an appeal, know that I've endorsed it in that way as well.

What I mean by severely undertaxed is:
1) Everyone earning more than a subsistence income in the US is undertaxed.
2) I live in the state with the most regressive tax system, mainly because we have no state or local income taxes.
3) When @nein09 & I formed our LLC, we took advantage of absurd tax code provisions to pay even less tax.

Particularly in response to #3, we made a commitment to donate the difference between our actual tax bills and what we morally ought to be paying.

We're taking advantage of rules designed to facilitate greed, to at least shift some resources from ICE, cops and the army to things we believe do good in the world.

Looking over a few years of donation records, it was sad how many in 2017 were either to rebuild mosques or help people recover from being beaten by fash in Charlottesville. And it's sad how many this year are either for immigration bail bonds or access to abortions. I dream of a year when it can all be positive causes.

One more thing on charity: I used to believe very strongly in donating as quietly as possible, out of humility and to keep the intent of the gift "pure", in a slight misunderstanding of Maimonides' advice: . It still makes me uncomfortable to talk publicly about giving, even though I now understand that advice to be about not creating power imbalances with recipients.

So why did I change? Mostly because I read a series of studies showing that one person talking about their giving encourages others in their circle to donate more. Here are a couple of open-access examples:

That struck me as worth getting over my embarrassment for.

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