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Frequently Asked Questions


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Why did you start the Giving Pledge 2.0?  I felt uncomfortable having profited from the post-election "Trump Bump" in the market particularly since it was rising because of things I oppose. And I knew that others felt the same way. Trump has given his opponents extra money for the fight ahead if we have the courage to spend it. Read more here.


Is Giving Pledge 2.0 a nonprofit? No, it's just an idea.


Is the stock market really up that much? Yes, about $2.0 trillion. Of course, the total investment market is not up as much (bonds are actually down a little) but equities matter most.


What about my annual income? You're likely to be doing better under Trump. You can calculate how much better here. 


Is it wrong to keep the money?  It's feels morally uncomfortable to be strongly opposed to a scheme but then in on the action when it goes through.  Hypocrisy is a devastating charge.


Didn't the wealthy mostly vote for Trump? Exit polls suggest that the Top 1% were split roughly 50/50.  Since the Top 1% own roughly 40% of the stock market, opponents of Trump in the Top 1% are sitting on roughly $400 billion of Trump-gotten gains.


That seems like a crazy figure.  There are 600,000 Democratic households in the Top 1% so it's about $700,000 per household; $1.3 million for the Top 0.2% and a little less than $100,000 for the next 0.8%.


What if the market goes down? If you're worried that the market is going to fall, sell. Then give away some of Trump-gotten profits you've just realized. 


Why would any affluent person have preferred an administration that would make them poorer? I have tried to make sense of it here. Gerry Cohen has written at length about the issue so has Peter Singer here


The money may be Trump-gotten but parting with it is still hard. What can I do to make it easier? Framing and mental accounting matter a lot. The easiest way to give the money away is never to think of it as yours to begin with (think of it as a Trump-enabled taking from others). And give it away right after inauguration even if you plan to spend it over time. (You can do this by putting it in a donor-advised fund.)  The longer you wait, the harder it will be.


What can I do that will actually make a difference? You can provide extra support to everything from the ACLU and Planned Parenthood to your local soup kitchen. Winter is coming. There will be lots to do.


Can I pledge less than 50%? The pledge requires 50%. But do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  One way is to give right now to some nonprofits that Trump hates a lot through Small Token. Or make an impact investment.


Why are you so hostile to Trump's policies?  For the obvious reasons, but I'm also disappointed with liberals who won't put their extra money where their mouths used to be. If not now, when?


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