I heard this report
this morning and figured it was revealing. Yes, even during difficult times the rich often give buckets of money to charity. But it is important to keep your eye on the ball, because their philanthropy does not go to the poor, oppressed and downtrodden. It tends to go to the burdensome task of entertaining themselves and their wealthy friends. And then rich donors get not only tax breaks for their generosity, but get an atrium
or a row of seats or a recital hall or, heck, a whole building named after them. So, let's face it, even the charity they are giving to their friends is hardly selfless.
And, of course, we have not even asked where all that money came from in the first place! There is a comment in the sidebar from Rebecca Solnit that bears repeating here: "Art patronage has always been a kind of money-laundering, a pretty public face for fortunes made in uglier ways."
Labels: Inequality, philanthropy