Want to Give Back? Get a Job on Wall Street

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on August 10, 2011 in New York City.
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According to Oxford ethicist and Quartz contributor William MacAskill, the most effective route to "making a difference" in the world is not to work for a charity but to donate loads of cash instead. The best way to do that? Get a job on Wall Street.

MacAskill's argument has three parts. The first is monetary. He notes that donating half your salary from a high finance job could fund two full-time charity employees and give you a sizable cushion to live on.

The second has to do with how big a difference you can make. People vying for the same charity job will likely do similar work. But someone vying for the same Wall Street job as you is unlikely to donate half their salary to charity. You can buck the trend and make a bigger difference if you take the finance job.

The third is industry-related. Charities vary widely in the amount of good they do and it's a very difficult industry to work in. You can't easily change jobs or choose where you work. But if you "earn to give," you can donate directly to charities you care about that will have the largest impact.

Do you agree that the best way to make a difference is to make a lot of money, and then donate it? Let us know in the comments below.