Can You Be a Philanthropist and Retire Early?

The blogosphere is filled with early retirement (ER) advocates. They are great! I am totally on board with working towards financial independence (FI) and early retirement. I do not, however, support the idea that you should cut your lifestyle to the bone and save every spare penny so that you can sit around and drink […]

The Paradox of Choice

We live in an amazing country, in an amazing time. We are also bombarded by choices every moment of every day. So much so that entire movements have sprung up in praise of simplicity. The Minimalists, the Life Hackers, the Marie Kondo Magic of Tidying Up sock organizers, etc. are all focused on removing distractions […]

The Overhead Myth

Many people, my acquaintances included, believe that a nonprofit can be judged outright as good or bad based on one metric. One metric! Think about that for a minute. What if your worth as a person was defined by your debt to income ratio? What if Dragon Corp was valued on the NYSE based solely […]

Capitalist Philanthropy: Good, Bad or Gray?

Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, has an interesting interview in The Atlantic today. Hoffman is a fan of what’s known as Capitalist Philanthropy. To some, it’s a term of derision. But what does the Dragon think? I think Hoffman makes some solid points. Today’s interview is in response to another article which questioned the outsized […]

Altruism: A Loaded Word

Altruism. We all know what it means. Or at least, we think we do. But this word carries far more weight in philosophical circles than it does in our everyday lives. The extent to which you rely on the literal definition of the word impacts whether you believe that altruism is inherently positive or negative. […]

Maximizing the “Helper’s High”

A quick google search will turn up article after article listing the positive effects of altruism on mental and physical health. The top cited effects are: Lower stress levels / reduced cortisol Greater self esteem Less depression Lower blood pressure Longer life Greater happiness Boom! Who doesn’t want more of those effects in their life? […]

How Much Should I Give?

Two of the most challenging things about giving are determining how much you should give and how much you can afford to give. Sure, Warren Buffet is giving away 99% of his wealth, but he has a crazy amount to begin with! You and I need to eat. (Note that there are some great letters […]

Why Don’t we Give?

This is one of my favorite topics. Why? Because it makes me feel a little rant-y and I love a good discussion. Not giving is a great way to NOT maximize your life! It’s a great way to feel smug about your hoard. And it’s a great way to keep yourself in a small mental […]