All of RYC's Comments + Replies

Charity Vouchers [public policy idea]

Ah, got it, thanks. My follow-up post describes one important reason to think this isn't "weird", namely, decentralized spending is truly decided/influenced by everyone, whereas government spending is effectively just decided by the winning party, who may not have any interest in representing the entire public.

I think there is some reason to expect that the public's values *as expressed by allocating a fixed sum of vouchers* could diverge importantly from the values they express when voting. (How many ppl would've funded the war i... (read more)

Charity Vouchers [public policy idea]

Yes, that sounds plausible.* If one didn't like this possible consequence, restrictions on eligible charities (e.g. to require non-locality) could change that.

*Though it's curious that most interest in politics is at a national rather than local level, by contrast.

4Aaron Gertler2yInformation that makes me lean toward "most giving is local": * In 2017, [https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=42] roughly 31% of all American donations went to religious institutions, and I'd guess that almost all of that money was for local churches and missions. Only 6% of giving was international. * More than half of all animal-related giving goes to animal shelters [https://animalcharityevaluators.org/donation-advice/why-farmed-animals/] (again, I assume these are mostly local shelters). * Many popular giving categories are almost exclusively local: Community centers, food banks, museums, charity hospitals...
Charity Vouchers [public policy idea]

Btw, I do very much appreciate feedback on this idea, so if the folks downvoting this post could take a moment to explain why, that would be most helpful. Thanks!

Charity Vouchers [public policy idea]

Hi Rohin, thanks for your comment. Can you clarify where you thought I was assuming that claim? I didn't intend to make any claims about what government is *supposed* to do. Rather, I claimed that (1) philanthropic spending can do more good than typical government spending, which gives us reason to want to incentivize philanthropic spending, but that (2) many people worry about the anti-democratic / inegalitarian effects of such incentives, which we can avoid by having the incentives take the form of philanthropic *vouchers* (that empower everyone equally) rather than tax deductions (which mostly empower the wealthy).

2rohinmshah2ySorry, I'm claiming government is supposed to spend money to achieve outcomes the public wants. (That felt self-evident to me, but maybe you disagree with it?) Given that, it's weird to say that it is better to give the money to the public than to let the government spend it. I think the claim "philanthropic spending can do more good than typical government spending" usually works because we agree with the philanthropist's values more so than "government's values". But I wouldn't expect that "public's values" would be better than "government's values", and I do expect that "government's competence" would be better than "public's competence".