"What is Philanthropy?" asked Jesting Pilate
Funding Democracy Lite

Gilding the Givers in the New Gilded Age

Nonprofiteer, striking a Marxist or at least a muckracker, note,

The most useful of Slate's recent spate of articles about philanthropy is David Nasaw's review of 19th Century critiques of the oversized charitable act, which included some home truths that have gotten lost in the din of veneration surrounding rich men's generosity--specifically, the capitalistic fact that those riches came out of the pockets of the rest of us. Perhaps a cure for AIDS is more important than abiding by the anti-trust laws; but I'd like the public, rather than Bill Gates, to make that decision when it's our money that got taken when Microsoft broke the law.

I think we have to be careful here. Just because a certain well-known social venture philanthropist made her fortune in an online Bordello, frequented by the Congresspersons and other luminaries, does not bear directly on the good she does through Angelic Chocolates, her social venture with a double bottom line, increased profit, and excellent flavor from premium natural chocolate beans. No, Candidia has not cured cancer, but her chocolates contain no pesticides. The laborers are paid well by third world standards, and their life expectancy is rising every day. So, let us be grateful for small blessings. There is no reason why the rich have to give anything at all. It is their money, after all. Candidia could perfectly well have invested her multi-billion dollar Bordello profits in corrupting Congress or a President, though to be truthful, they pretty well do her bidding in any case, since they share a common ideology and many personal friends and interests. Be grateful that a fraction of her wealth is in ecology-friendly chocolates. What's the harm in that? (Disclosure: Candidia is my generous funder here at Gifthub. She never has asked me to modify any posts to suit her. I rise to her defense because I honestly admire her extraordinary talent and her lifetime achievement. Bordellos have a bad reputation, but you, know, have you been in a hotel recently and seen what they have on pay per view? It is all business. And, business is what makes the world go round. Obscene profit tells us that we are doing God's will, because God works providentially through the Hidden Hand of the Market. You could look that up.)

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