Politics, economy, ecology, wealth distribution, automation... it seems the entire world is falling apart. You would like to help and do something, but you do not know how.
The simplest thing you can do right now to make our world a better place — one that does not require lot of your time or resources — is called patronage.
So, what can you do?
First set aside $20 each month *1. That an equivalent of 2 days of a Boston subway ticket, so pick one weekend a month and just stay home. Now, divide the $20 amount into either all $1 dollar bills or to one pile of $5 followed by three piles of $2 and nine $1 piles.
The next step is to find whom to support.
So, whom should I support?
In short, support those that can make the most significant impact on our society.
Ok, then, should I support athletes, musicians, actors, celebrities, news reporters, game makers, writers, religious leaders or scientists, maybe charities or companies… whom?
The entertainment industry is already saturated; we have plenty of movies, games, sport events, music and paintings. I am not saying you should not support those that you like, but those that are already established really do not need your support. They already have enough media attention, and they earn money through multiple revenue streams. In one way or another, just by watching TV or reading the news and by consuming products you are paying them already. In fact, we pay quite substantial amounts of money to celebrities to keep us entertained.
There is plenty enough entertainment in our world — so much that it is drugging us and preventing us from seeing the real-world issues that can have a significant impact on all of our lives.
What about writers?
It depends what they are they writing about. Is it entertainment or is it non-fiction reading that can help us to have better society? It is not the same thing being a patron for a fictional horror book writer versus the one who writes about the real horrors of global warming, job loss due to automation, racial and sexual prejudice, and other social issues. The horror writer will give you amusement for the time being, but it will not change the world. On the other hand, those who are really good entertainers do not need your help, but those who risk their carriers and lives trying to spread awareness, fighting for our rights — they do.
We need more people who voice real-world issues, offering possible solutions.
For a change, maybe we should support more advocates and inventors. Think about the things you are passionate or concerned about and find people who resonate with you. Find those who are advocating for a good cause while struggling to make their idea come true, usually due to lack of funding.
Make a pledge in line with the excitement you feel about their ideas or stories.
And do not worry about making them rich; no one has ever become rich by advocating to fix something.
Think about it: to be an advocate is a terrible career; these people are basically working toward making themselves obsolete. As soon as the issue they are advocating for is fixed, their advocacy is over.
Most of the advocates I meet are very modest; they usually spend very little on themselves; the rest is used to spread more awareness.
Should I support charities?
Yes, if you feel like it, but patronage is not the same as charity. It is bit different.
A good way would be to make a comparison by saying, “If you want to help a man for a day, give him a fish. If you want to help him for life, teach him to fish”
Charities are like giving a fish for a day. This way of helping someone requires continuing it every day, which can lead to dependency. A better way would be to give those in need skills, so they can work and support themselves.
But, the best way would be if we could create a permanent solution for extreme poverty. Imagine if we would “make a robot that will do the fishing” and teach people how to make those robots.
The robot can fish enough for everyone, and, if people could control population numbers — in order to avoid resource depletion — they will have food for all generations to come.
The only question left to solve would be, “Who owns the robot?”
Metaphorically-speaking, our goal is to find and support those robot makers and advocates who will build the robot and also help bring about policies that will ensure that the product of the robot’s labor is justly shared, all while protecting natural resources.
Support advocates, writers, investigative journalists, inventors, thinkers, philosophers, small businesses, and startup, so that they do not end up in the hands those who are already unimaginably wealthy.
If you are still struggling to decide, here is a list of some people who are working hard to spread awareness about technological unemployment and a future that is inevitably coming. Here, you can read more on “Why You Should Support Basic Income Advocates”, and you should do this as soon as possible.
As someone said, “It takes money to make money...”
They will need your money and support in order to bring awareness, which will bring about policies that will make money for you in the future that is increasingly heading our way.
Notes & References:
The number of working days in U.S. is around 260 per year, and the number of working hours per day is around 8 hours. With a minimum national wage of $7.25 per hour, that would mean giving only 33 hours out of the total 2080 per year. But, for the average pay of $24.57 per hour, that is only 10 hours per year, a bit more than one working day out of 260.