Heather Joslyn at The Chronicle's Blog, Give and Take, cites Diana R. Sieger, president of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, in Michigan, on philanthropy taking up the slack for government:
My thought is that once private dollars replace public dollars, even if it couched in all sorts of caveats, contingencies, and no “promise” of future support, the die has been cast.
Let's review the bidding here in the Ownership Society:
- Cut taxes on dividends, capital gains and estates
- Flatten taxes on income, shifting more of the burden to the hired help
- Reduce government funding of public goods
- Deny the very existence of public goods
- Let the softhearted fund public programs if they wish
- Let the hard hearted with wealth do nothing except for themselves.
Why only now are the hard hearted funding philanthropic think tanks? Because they have finally found the angle: the poor will either have to fend for themselves, or the liberal philanthropists will have to put their money where their bleeding hearts are. You believe there is such a thing as public goods, Diana? You fund them, you Commie. You care about the poor? You fund them; you encourage them in their shiftless ways. Who's stopping you? The real benefit accrues to the wealthy free-riders who tiptoe off with their tax cuts and an ever-growing ownership share in our Ownership Society. I wish my dog were as loyal to me as Congress to lobbyists.
Until progressive philanthropy is radicalized it will simply be the tool of those who are playing the game at a higher level. Root causes? Bill Schambra can mock and bully the fine old foundations with impunity. He knows their good manners and pretense of being "above the fray" will prevent them from responding except with tight smiles and suppressed sputtering rage. I wish I was a heartless perjured conservative think tank thinker. It would be so much fun to twit the impotent left as Bill does. I don't expect progressive funders of any gender to be unladylike, but Girls, we can do better.
This might help:
Standing up an opponent
The Strategy: Try to catch your opponent off guard or by surprise with the uppercut, do not probe with it! Uppercuts are usually thrown following jabs or hooks from close range. Uppercuts to the chin stand up an opponent giving you a target: the HEAD.
BTW, home ownership recently hit at an all-time high, 69% I believe. Seems like something is working...
Posted by: O Lucky Man | July 08, 2007 at 02:03 PM
foreclosures are up to, and reposessions.
Posted by: Phil | July 08, 2007 at 02:07 PM
Best of luck ... "they" carry brass knuckles in their wallets, for when they really need to use them and concepts and words won't carry the day.
Re: home ownership ... how many recent (last 3 or 4 years) additions to home ownership used their credit cards for the downpayment or took on 100% mortgages with interest-only payments ? It would be interesting to find that statistic.
Posted by: JJ Commoner | July 08, 2007 at 02:08 PM
As the Famous American Patriot quipped:
Equality of Opportunity, Not Results
Take this article for instance. You have an equal opportunity to read the first paragraph. Whether that results in you reading the entire article depends on your individual initiative.
Posted by: O Lucky Man | July 08, 2007 at 02:36 PM
I like pictures. You know, they're worth a lot of words.
Look at this one. You have to admit Mr. Schambra cuts a dashing figure. Heroic even. Like the prow of a ship. Or it's rudder, keel, bulkhead... something wet and heroic, maritime!
How about this one. What is it, I can't quite tell. A lion lecturing dogs? It's too small, I can't tell. Make it bigger, Mr. Hudson!
Or this one. Very cool. There's a lot of attention being focused here, that's for sure. Only Art could capture that! Draw more things!
p.s. You can tell this is a Philanthropy Blog because of all the giving (plus it says so at the top.) Count the links to Mr. Hudson's site, then count the links returning: Altruism!
p.p.s That's what they call it in The Biz. Outside they call it something else, a lot more impolite. No need for that. Civility! Another Biz word! Yay!
p.p.p.s. Hey, it just occurred to me that *I* am getting more giving - probably just being on this blog helps a lot. Like, me saying Mr. Schambra's name: Schambra. That was like giving to him on the web. Shambra Shambra Shambra! My cup overfloweth! His does too! Everybody wins! This stuff is catching on!
Posted by: bUM fREE | July 08, 2007 at 04:26 PM
"Schambra" will get you links and googlejuice, maybe.
"Shambra Shambra Shambra" will get you a recruiting visit from the local Hare Krishna battalion.
Posted by: JJ Commoner | July 08, 2007 at 06:03 PM
"Schambra Schambra Schambra" is an infringement of my intellectual property.
Posted by: Sherwod Schwartz | July 08, 2007 at 07:41 PM
The logo image, I think, is the mother lion lecturing her whelps on how to hunt down their prey and devour it. Predators with Family Values.
I like Bill and enjoy his writing. He is having his own one way conversation at a higher level. He delivers hellacious shots against the passive aggressive, polite, liberal foundations and is basically ignored for his trouble. He is "out of bounds," his remarks are "uncalled for," he is a ruffian. What he is really is a very fine teacher of political science, and practical politics. He has made sophistry into an art. At some level, he is truly laughing at how easy it is to confuse and wrong foot his opponents. Liberalism has been in the ascendency for so long it has lost the ability to articulate its own defense.
He doesn't respond to me because he realizes that he would be entering a frame in which he cannot win. Satire has always been the answer to sanctimonious hypocrisy. Shambra et al draw on the Victorian Social Darwinists and their priggish moralists. I draw on Dickens. Guess who won that battle last time around?
It is not that I do it well, but that in reawakening satire, we have discovered the predator's predator. Those little lion cubs under that tree are asking Bill, "What do we do if The Happy Tutor shows up, Poppa, and whups us?" And Poppa says, "I am taking that under advisement. Be back to you shortly."
This is all in fun. Bill can't get good fights, I can't either. We are two bums sparring by the Dumpster, reminding ourselves of better days, long gone, when we were actually considered promising intellects.
Now he works for a think tank, and I work for a Social Venture Philanthropist who made her billions on her back. Of the two of us he has done more with his native gifts, and compromised himself less. All I can claim is that I have done less damage to country.
Posted by: Phil | July 08, 2007 at 08:56 PM
Blogged the Panel pic. Good theater. "To delight and instruct," as Horace says the artist must.
Posted by: Phil | July 08, 2007 at 09:45 PM
Liberalism has been in the ascendency for so long it has lost the ability to articulate its own defense.
Hmmm, I find this suspect on a number of levels. First, it pre-supposes that what Bill et al are battling with is actually a liberal position, and I suspect that it is "in name only", in much the way that Bill is conservative in name only, as a cover for something that is radically reactionary.
Your adjunct link on another post is suggestive. Shambra's adjunct is twisting it all about, but the author he critiques is trying to point out the lack of a social conscience in mainstream/liberal foundations. Is it surprising that the elites defang any effective movement for social justice? Is it surprising that they cannot defend themselves is a fight they are not committed to?
Posted by: Gerry | July 09, 2007 at 11:59 AM
All you promising intellects are free to take your best shots at Bill this coming Wednesday on Sean's blog. Sean promises that Bill will be available to respond to questions.
I'll bring my pocket Webster's so's I can keep up.
Posted by: Stuart Johnson | July 09, 2007 at 03:11 PM
Nuetrality, objectivity, fair play, openeness to positions other than your, a quite educated civil prose, good manners, good taste - these form a tradition. To those in the tradition is sometmes seem just a matter of what we all do, all must do, what civilized people have always done. Against that come the Vandals and Goths sacking civilization - Coulter, Limbaugh, the Creationists, the hard right think tanks, ideologues all. Yet what Schambra and Schwartz point out is that this tradition is not self-evident. Its manners and mores and protocols embody a viewpoint or ideology and finesse virulent opposition by consigning it historically to the margins. Now the positions are reversed, the loud overtly ideological team is in power and they abusing the old guard of the liberal establishment, mocking them. And to date I don't hear much of a response from Ford, Pew, Russell Sage, Rockefeller. Shunning no longer works. So how are we to deal with the scornful insurgents who are now in charge of so much of our polity? How do we defend our viewpoint, without falling into the trap of earnestly debating with a trickster rhetor? How do we resond "politely" to greivious bullying insult? I suggest that the history of the English language shows us better models than any seen recently from the mainstream foundations. Moral Tutor to the Evangelical Right? Moral Tutor to Bill Bennett? Why not? Somewhere between Christ and now we had an Englightenment, and with it Neoclassicism, and Social Contract Theory, and satire as well.
Posted by: Phil | July 09, 2007 at 05:59 PM
Don't expect much from the liberal foundation. It lives in terror of regulation, and nothing attracts more attention in Byzantium than a skirmish with the Goths at the city gates.
How do we respond? I plan to don a penis gourd and recite some lines from Juvenal. What else is there for me to do?
I know more about the ghoulish beliefs of the wingnuts Schambra places on his panels than I know about his own beliefs. What kind of man is he? After he's eaten a child for breakfast and is sated, what kind of drunken nonsense does he sputter? What kind of conservative is he? Is he motivated primarily by his antipathy to free love? gay people? immigrants? Catholics? Is it all about the misuse of his tax dollars?
Posted by: Phil Anthropoid | July 09, 2007 at 09:42 PM
I think he has a secret vice: in private he is a pointy headed secular relativist! I am just guessing. But I can sense it in his eyes.
Posted by: Phil | July 09, 2007 at 10:03 PM
Can a liberal foundation give discreetly to a donor advised fund at say Tides for re-granting to organizations less mainstream? I can't believe that you are forced to be mainstream in funding. There must be other influences at play. The role of the foundation board?
Posted by: Phil | July 09, 2007 at 10:07 PM