TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Will you make a pledge to give away all the income you make over the national median in your country/state/or province?

I am not saying this is the right thing to do, so please no hate mail. But if anyone would like to make a pledge to give away all their salary above the national median in their country/state/ or province, feel free to do so here. You can give away the money to a worthy charity or a neighbor, it does not matter. This was inspired by the President of Uruguay, known jokingly as the poorest president in the world (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20334136). He does this. I was hoping atleast ten people could pledge to do this, and we could stay in touch over the next couple years, sharing how it has changed our life. In years we make less than the national median, we can pledge to give 10 percent. Thanks for reading.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Dec 20 2012: No, BECAUSE...

    The median is not an accurate reflection of the "average" when the distribution is skewed as it is (stat 101).

    If you were talking about the mean, that MIGHT be another story.

    The point being made, however, in this question is not about EQUALITY - we are all considered equal in the eyes of the law here in the U.S. but we are certainly not equal in aptitudes, achievement, positive personality traits, etc. (don't bother asking that whether that is a product of nature or nurture - that debate is long over as we realize that we can't separate the two). The point is about EQUITABILITY and JUSTICE, for both the present generation and for those to come.

    People say that the children are our future. No, they are not. WE are the future in how we shape our children's lives.

    A more appropriate question might be, I think, would you be willing to sacrifice energy and goods in order to promote more equitability among all of us around the globe?
    • Dec 20 2012: I think I made a mistake in posting the question in that I did not watch the video that I linked to. Maybe there is something in that link that deals with the philosophy of why the Uruguayan president does what he does.
      To respond to posts by various people, I do not care about equality, equitability, or justice. I don't believe in god. I don't want to give my money to a college girl who parties all the time. My personal belief (not that it matters or is something I want to discuss) is that communism is an evil system. If there are any other scenarios offered by posters that I forgot to address, I apologize. I care about my life. I am doing something that I know will make me happier, and am looking for a couple of pen pals so we can share stories and pictures over the years. The internet can be anonymous, so I thought this would be a good format. I thought people on a site like TED would be relatively well off, so maybe I could find a couple other people like me. Arguing what is good or bad was not the point of my post, I saw it more of a craigslist ad. If you sell something on Craigslist, you don't get 10 replies with people who don't want to buy the thing you're trying to get rid of, You either get zero emails if nobody buys, or you get one or two from people who are genuinely interested, have questions, or know someone who might be interested. Thanks for the reply, I see the flaws in the original question andI hope that I cleared them up for are any future posters
    • thumb
      Dec 21 2012: Speaking of statistics, it is when the distribution is skewed, a median gives a better idea of the majority of the population than an average. I will let you look up the definitions. Just an example here. If we have 10 people with incomes

      10,000; 29,000; 30,000; 31,000; 35,000; 35,000; 37,000; 40,000; 41,000; 1,000,000

      The median is 35,000, whereas the average is 128,000.

      As you may see, the average is far more disconnected from reality than the median when there are "outliers" in the distribution (such as one individual making 1,000,000).
      • Dec 27 2012: Yes, you make my point. BTW, a "median", just like a "mode", is in fact an average - a summary statement.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.