"Call now! --- for the next half hour all your donations will be matched by a contribution from X, so we'll get twice the money." That's a frequent refrain during fund-raisers for various charities, noble or otherwise. It's also a lie. Would X really withhold part of a voluntary gift because some anonymous person happened not to be listening, or not to be near a phone, or not to be able to get through to the switchboard? Unlikely --- in the same way that time-limited video-shopping super-sales (for the next three minutes, only $29.95!) are illusory.

Perhaps promotional gimmicks can be forgiven if done in a good cause --- but they cheapen the environment of discourse and encourage sloppy thinking among listeners ...

(see also DishonorAmongThieves (20 Jun 2004), ... )

TopicEconomics - TopicThinking - 2004-06-29

(correlates: PeasantWishes, RossHollandMemorialAward, ConcerningCharity, ...)