Comment author: Andaro 08 July 2018 10:36:24PM 0 points [-]

I would beware the political backlash and retaliation costs from #2. What you are classifying as "ethical flaws" is actually about agenda.

In a representative democracy, government spending is supposed to be allocated according to the best interests of tax payers, voters, and citizens. Of course those are human beings living in the relatively present time with citizenship in the respective country. Trying to game the system so that it starts allocating those resources differently is not fixing an ethical flaw, it's a shift in agenda that does not match the principle of representation.

You may not care about that, but you should care about the political and social backlash EA will deservedly get if it undermines our best interests as voters, taxpayers and citizens of the countries you are trying to coopt.

Comment author: Cullen_OKeefe 08 July 2018 11:13:55PM 1 point [-]

I generally agree, which is why I explicitly acknowledge this in the post. But I also think you're mistaken about what's democratically feasible. The citizenry definitely gives a nonzero value to foreign lives (e.g.,, but current CBA only weighs them quantitatively (which is as good as not at all). I really doubt that diminishing the discounting rate by a point or so would engender political backlash; most people presumably think we should care about the future too and in any case have no clue what the discount rate is.

Basically, the social welfare function of the US citizenry is actually probably more cosmopolitan than current CBA. CBA is pretty well isolated from political scrutiny (most people have no idea what it is and it generally has bipartisan support), so I don't think minor positive adjustments are a big risk.

Comment author: Safa_Amirbayat 08 July 2018 06:34:51PM 1 point [-]

A great resource for government CBA is Beckerman's Economics As Applied Ethics.

Comment author: Cullen_OKeefe 08 July 2018 09:30:06PM 0 points [-]

Thanks! I've added it to the Goodreads list.

Comment author: Cullen_OKeefe 26 March 2018 09:51:38PM 0 points [-]

Super interesting! Keep up the good work! :-)

Comment author: Cullen_OKeefe 26 March 2018 09:49:56PM *  2 points [-]

A final update for this: it looks like they have stopped considering new applications. They have made grants to the following (arguably) EA orgs:

  • GiveDirectly ($2 MM)
  • Possible ($1 MM)
  • MAPS ($5 MM)
  • SENS ($2 MM)

Total directed to EA orgs: $10MM

Apologies if I'm missing any.

Comment author: Cullen_OKeefe 17 January 2018 06:53:58AM 1 point [-]

It looks like they also donated to Possible, which is a TLYCS charity :-)

Comment author: Cullen_OKeefe 21 December 2017 11:24:04PM 2 points [-]

I'm running a PredictionBook prediction on the success of this: :-)