If you earn an income at the poverty level in America ($11,170), you’re already in the richest 12% of the world’s population! And if you earn the average income in the US ($41,000), you’re earning more than 99% of the world’s population! You are the 1%, like it or not.
How could this be? Simple: the vast majority of people in the world are obscenely poor. There are about three billion people in the world that live on less than $2/day. This figure does not mean “what I can buy in that country for $2 USD”, but instead has already been adjusted for the value of currency.
That means about three billion people live as well in their countries as you would if you had less than $2 living in the United States at your disposal every day.
All this means that even if you choose to give 50% of your income, you will still be in the richest 5% of the world’s population. Even if you give only 10% of your income, as long as you give to the most cost-effective charities, you will be able to do an immense amount of good.
How about curing over 8,000 people of parasitic worms every year that you chose to give 10% of your average-income-in-the-US salary?
About Our Guest Blogger
Boris Yakubchik is a member of Giving What We Can and gives 50% of his income to the most cost-effective charity he can find.
He was inspired to give after reading Famine, Affluence, and Morality by Peter Singer and directs his donations based on research done by GiveWell.
He currently works as a high school math teacher. He is a vegetarian and an avid reader of philosophy and psychology.