Friday, September 04, 2009

Doing bad by doing good

My company just concluded our annual week long drive to encourage employees to donate to our chosen corporate charity. The video presentation is pure SWPL--a plump, golden-toothed black woman in her early thirties thanking the organization for providing her with the training to become a CNA, a white guy who can't have children acting as big brother to a black kid who loves to read ("We read the same book at the same time so we can talk about it together. 'Hey big bro, did you like what happened in chapter nine?' 'Dude, I'm only on chapter two!'"*), and an older white couple--the husband a retired CEO--volunteering at a health clinic. The narrator then informs viewers that each dollar donated is turned into $1.50 through dispersion. We're told the average homeless person nationwide is nine years old, not 29 years old, and usually under the care of an impoverished single mother.

The big brother must not have any nephews or second cousins. Instead of playing receptionist, the CEO could've added a lot more value by working another couple of months and donating his income to the charity than he will greeting and signing in clients for the next twenty years. But as Geoffrey Miller argues in The Mating Mind, human morality has likely undergone sexual selection pressures that make the act of volunteering itself more desirable than providing maximal utility for the entity being voluteered for.

With a multiplier similar to what we get with economic stimulus packages from the federal government, we should donate everything we have on condition of receiving back our original donations in the future, after they've spawned 50% of their original value for the charity. There would be no greater cause than perpetuating the culture and genetics of deadbeat men and dumb, reckless women!

I wish we'd adopt Project Prevention instead. We might actually make things better that way, instead of making them worse.

* Blacks make infrequent use of the word "dude". When a SWPL uses it around blacks, it's usually in a lame attempt to look at home in a situation that is actually quite foreign.

13 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

Some years back, the United Way charities in each metro area would have a campaign in which you'd get a pitch at work from an employee of another company in the area who had been temporarily assigned by his or her employer to go around to other companies and extol the virtues of donating. It was a running joke that being selected for this assignment was the corporate version of the Mafia's kiss of death. As soon as the campaign was over, and you were scheduled to go back to your regular work, it was practically guaranteed that you'd be "re-engineered."

Peter

Jokah Macpherson said...

Is the 9 yr. old homeless figure accurate? It's not what I'd expect but I could see it as plausible, although I'd imagine that children are more heavily represented in the cyclical homeless population (which is more responsive to assistance from charity).

The charities can keep 4/5 of the monetary dispersion if they give a guaranteed 10% ROI back to me and we'll all end up better off.

I have volunteered through work before for a charity that I was ambivalent about when I found out the blonde with nice lips from a different division was going to be there. Now THAT is a real multiplier effect.

Neuroskeptic said...

I'd always assumed that "dude" was a white word...

TGGP said...

http://lesswrong.com/lw/65/money_the_unit_of_caring/
http://lesswrong.com/lw/6z/purchase_fuzzies_and_utilons_separately/

I'm also skeptical of 9 being the average. It's certainly no rarity to find an adult homeless person without kids, and if most of these nine year olds are in the care of single-mothers, aren't the mothers also included (thereby bringing up the average)? Googling, I found this:
http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/7/4/7/8/p274780_index.html
That simply says the number is wrong. This page presents some other numbers. In the U.S 39% of homeless are children:
http://www.homeless.org.au/statistics/

Anonymous said...

Charity or codependency?

Isn't it bizarre that there are zero males in a boy's family that are willing to spend time with him? If my husband died, I would have half a dozen older cousins and uncles who would spend time with my boys. Soliciting a stranger to influence my boys would be the last thing I would do. Talk about human capital deficit. Freakish.

If charitable strangers didn't get involved, perhaps families would pull together more. If you make it too easy for lazy people, you make them dependent on you. Creepy.

The audacity of the BS that $1 is really worth $1.50 to these programs is insulting to the donor, who if he has any sense, knows that only a portion of the donation can be used because there is always some admin cost.

Anonymous said...

I would throw down some serious cash toward the charity just to see that video. It sounds hilarious.

I don't get the part about each dollar being turned into $1.50 though. What do they mean by that? It sounds like alchemy to me.

rob said...

First anon,

Very true. Unrelated men who really, really want hang out with children are the last people who should be allowed to hang around with children.

A slum kid who likes to read though? His relatives are likely to be thugs and slugs. Random white guys with childlike interests might be the best uption. Sad indeed.

Audacious Epigone said...

Peter,

Heh, that sounds so familiar. So very, very familiar.

Jokah and TGGP,

That number struck me as almost inconceivable. If it is the mean being referred to, the median would necessarily have to be even younger than 9, since there's a lot more room to go up from there than there is to go down. If the Urban Institute's numbers are right, then even the median is somewhere north of "children", which I presume to mean under the age of 18. I don't see how it could be anything under 20 in this case.

Neuro,

I graduated early and took a semester off after high school, back in '02, and during that time I spent at least 15 hours a week playing basketball at a court in a section 8 apartment complex (productive use of my time, I know). I remember "dude" (pronounced with very heavy emphasis on the "du" and almost nothing on the "de") being used by non-blacks with some frequency, but rarely if ever by blacks. I'm not in that sort of environment near as much anymore, but when I am the only guys I ever hear use it now are Irishy wigger types. Other than that, it usually only comes from middle aged, middle class white guys talking to younger people (and thus, intentionally or not, marking themselves as a full generation apart).

Anon,

Well put. I assume that to the extent that there is anything backing the claimed multiplier effect, it is along the lines of the donor's $1 leading to a $1 of revenue for the charity, and the charity then turning that $1 into $.50 worth of value for someone or something in the community!

Anon,

If you'd really like to, email me and I'll send you the link. I just found it on youtube, but would rather not put it "on record" here. The white guy/black kid profile is the most memorable.

Anonymous said...

I can really see the genius in perpetuating this kind of "Cow Bird" behavior, which is so popular with blacks and reinforced by naive liberals.

Fly to the nest of a competing species, toss out their eggs, and deposit your own egg(s) for the other bird to hatch and to care for until they are reproducing adults.

These birds don't have a clue, but are instead running on their maternal/paternal instincts. The cow bird has developed a parasitic behavior that works quite well for its survival.

I'm not completely heartless, and certainly cannot blame children for the irresponsibility of their parents; however, instead of tackling the problems of these communities are we instead actually enabling this behavior generation after generation?

It seems to me that in order to rid society of bad behaviors, you must not reward it. Black men must stand up and support their children, and black women must demand it.

Anonymous said...

"It seems to me that in order to rid society of bad behaviors, you must not reward it. Black men must stand up and support their children, and black women must demand it."


That's the whole point of religion for the masses. Indoctrination, reward with praise, punish with shame. However libs hate the religion model. They refuse to acknowledge its utility because they don't believe in God. Even Darwin gave money to missionaries to aid them in civilizing the natives. But modern libs are too into themselves to admit that doing whatever you feel like can be harmful especially to people of little means.

Audacious Epigone said...

Anon,

Except unlike cowbird victims, the cuckolding isn't surreptitious. Instead, it's considered virtuous!

Anon,

Great point. I've previously tried to emphasize the same. Libertine lifestyles are potentially catastrophic to those on the left side of the bell curve.

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Mark said...

Where do you get that "dude" comes from blacks? You don't get out much.

Dude is Old West slang.

"Originally it was applied to fancy-dressed city folk who went out west on vacation. In this usage it first appears in the 1870s. The origin of the word is not known, but a number of other cowboy terms were borrowed by early settlers from American Spanish. These include buckaroo, corral, lasso, mustang, ranch, rodeo, and stampede."