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Thu Jan 7, 2016, 08:04 AM

 

Why Philanthropy Hurts Rather Than Helps Some of the World's Worst Problems

http://www.progressive.org/news/2016/01/188490/why-philanthropy-hurts-rather-helps-some-worlds-worst-problems



In America today, big time philanthropists are often lauded for helping to even the playing field for those less fortunate. Every week, millionaires flock from TED conferences to "idea festivals" sharing viral new presentations on how to solve the world's biggest problems (give village children computers, think positive thoughts etc.). But this acceptance of the philanthropic order was not always the case. In the era of Carnegie and Rockefeller, for instance, many distrusted these philanthropic barons, arguing they had no right to horde would-be tax dollars for their own pet causes, especially since these "donations" came from the toil of the workers beneath them.

In her new book No Such Thing As A Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy Linsey McGoey reasserts this challenge to the legitimacy of philanthropy in today's new era of philanthropic superstars. McGoey’s book investigates the Gates Foundation’s interventions in US K-12 education and global health, raising serious concerns about the extent to which the massive philanthropic sector depletes funding for traditional social services and prioritizes the agendas of unelected foundation leaders.

As institutions like the Gates Foundation take increasingly leading roles in policymaking and governance, McGoey argues, the line between traditional notions of charity and top-down consolidation of power becomes unclear; and with this largely unchecked influence, philanthro-capitalists, like Bill Gates, have pushed countries across the world to accept market based solutions for crises like education inequity and disease proliferation—despite evidence that these problems are often rooted in actions taken by those philanthro-capitalists themselves.

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Through setting up an LLC, Zuckerberg has skirted any requirements to publicly list any grants made to either for-profits or non-profits. His giving can take place in total secrecy: we’ll know only about the grants that he wishes to disclose. When an entity such as the Gates Foundation offers grants to for-profit corporations, it needs to legally exercise "expenditure responsibility," which means that it needs to take measures to ensure that the grant is used for charitable ends, rather than private profiteering. There are no such restrictions on Zuckerberg’s LLC. Zuckerberg can legally offer the bulk of his "philanthropy" to any for-profit recipients he wants and still receive public acclaim for "gifting" his fortune. We’re seeing the rise of a new, horizontal philanthropy—the rich giving directly to the rich—at a level that’s completely unprecedented.

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Reply Why Philanthropy Hurts Rather Than Helps Some of the World's Worst Problems (Original post)
Scuba Jan 2016 OP
Hortensis Jan 2016 #1
Ichingcarpenter Jan 2016 #2
daleanime Jan 2016 #3

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 08:14 AM

1. There are costs and tradeoffs to everything. But tell

parents whose child didn't die in infancy that charity didn't help them because her life is part of a growth in population that is not yet sustainable. All around the planet clean water, medical care, food, etc. are causing that dreadful "problem" by allowing people to live who would have died.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 08:28 AM

2. Charity creates a multitude of sins. Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, the soul of a man under socialism

Actually the whole article is worth your time. Here's a portion I selected.




They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this. The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence; and, as I pointed out some time ago in an article on the function of criticism, it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease.




They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.
But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim.


Just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it, so, in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good; and at last we have had the spectacle of men who have really studied the problem and know the life – educated men who live in the East End – coming forward and imploring the community to restrain its altruistic impulses of charity, benevolence, and the like. They do so on the ground that such charity degrades and demoralises. They are perfectly right.

Charity creates a multitude of sins.


Oscar Wilde, the soul of a man under socialism
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/wilde-oscar/soul-man/

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 7, 2016, 08:37 AM

3. +1

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