Yair Halberstadt


Don't encourage prisoners dilemmas

At least in the US, donations to political parties, political campaigns, political action committees, etc, are already not tax deductable (which I take is what you mean by "tax back").

Turns out it's the same in the UK. That's embarrassing! However I was just as much talking about political charities which aren't technically a political party.

My initial reaction is that I don't want that result, I want both organizations out there making their cases stronger, not weaker. But I could be talked out of this.

I think I agree with this insofar as political charities tend to work by disseminating the strongest argument for their case, and letting the correctest side win out. I think in practice that's not what they're doing - it's more about how they can use the political system to achieve their aims, at which point I think it's back to a prisoners dilemma.

I'm also not sure why the Against Unicorns Foundation wouldn't be a legally valid charity. It might not be a very popular one, but an argument can certainly be made that destroying unicorns prevents them from suffering, and preventing animal suffering is generally regarded as good and specifically listed as a charitable purpose in section 501c3.

As I said, I think the thing to do is look at where the money was actually spent. If it was spent protecting a unicorn conservation area, I'm pretty certain destroying a unicorn conservation area would not be a valid charity.

However I think you make some great points! Definitely have to think about them.