A long read in The Guardian by Carl Rhodes and Peter Bloom, academics from the UK, on the topic of billionaires giving to charity. In my opinion it is probably better to use their billions for charitable purposes than using it to purchase our politics, ala the Kochs or Adelson, but this article builds the case that ‘philanthrocapitalism’ reinforces the system that has built into it the increasing inequality and inequity we are experiencing. To me, public goods are better financed by public money, raised by taxes, and belong in the public sphere under public governance. However, when I look at the current Congress in the USA I realize that that position looks a lot weaker. I put in a few paragraphs from the article in italics to pique your interest. It appears that the authors are flogging a book on the same topic. I have not read the book so don’t know if it would add more than what is in the article.

What it does suggest, however, is that when it comes to giving, the CEO approach is one in which there is no apparent incompatibility between being generous, seeking to retain control over what is given, and the expectation of reaping benefits in return. This reformulation of generosity – in which it is no longer considered incompatible with control and self-interest – is a hallmark of the “CEO society”: a society where the values associated with corporate leadership are applied to all dimensions of human endeavour.

Essentially, what we are witnessing is the transfer of responsibility for public goods and services from democratic institutions to the wealthy, to be administered by an executive class.

The balanced tipped in 2000, when the Institute for Policy Studies in the US reported, after comparing corporate revenues with gross domestic product (GDP), that 51 of the largest economies in the world were corporations, and 49 were national economies.

Meanwhile, inequality is growing, and both corporations and the wealthy find ways to avoid the taxes that the rest of us pay. In the name of generosity, we find a new form of corporate rule, refashioning another dimension of human endeavour in its own interests. Such is a society where CEOs are no longer content to do business; they must control public goods as well. In the end, while the Giving Pledge’s website may feature more and more smiling faces of smug-looking CEOs, the real story is of a world characterised by gross inequality that is getting worse year by year.


This article looks intriguing, as thought provoking as the recent piece on the new American aristocracy. Added to my long weekend reading list. :smile:

Having not yet read the piece and being a layman on the general topic, one specific aspect of the ultra wealthy philanthropy that I’ve been impressed by is the ability to span national borders when trying to (eg) improve childhood morality rates. Is the UN the only pseudo governmental body with the same capacity?


Corporate taxes equate to higher consumer prics as they pass the taxes to the consumer.

Don’t tell anyone, the wealthy are paying the bulk of Federal And State income taxes with 50% of US workers paying zippola.


My household is considered a part of the 1 percent by age and household income. My wife and I are both 41.

I can tell you that we don’t live the lifestyle of the rich and famous. We are at the top of the federal tax bracket which also puts us at the top of the state tax bracket. Then add our property taxes into the mix, private school for the kids (because the public schools we pay for through taxes are terrible), commuting costs, and the general high cost of living of the NYC suburbs…we manage to save and invest a little bit but too much goes out paying for everyone else’s expenses. Welcome to life in the 1 percent.

The DNC solution? Tax people like me more.


Exactly. I’m 1% too but, and this is a big but, my business is an S-corp so I have to deal with the taxes on my personal return. A lot of people don’t understand that, including a lot of politicians.


@Larry it’s called paying your fair share. I’m sure you also enjoy lots of deductions that you failed to mentioned because that would destroy your fictional argument.


Fair share, such a nebulous term.

What is a fair share for a person with income that is paying no Federal Income tax.

Why can a state charge the same person State income tax yet they pay no Federal income tax? Is that considered a fair share?


@FiredUpDem that’s cute.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you probably don’t even earn a meager wage, because if you did you would know that once you earn enough money to live independently you can no longer claim tax credits or interest deductions on student loans (along with a range of other deductions and credits). I only can claim dependent deductions for two children, but because my wife also works we pay what’s called the marriage tax penalty. We pay an excessive amount in taxes - probably close to 50% when all is said and done. Should we pay more? How much should you pay?


I think you and your wife should have to pay 90% or more. You are a one percenter and can afford it. You just don’t want to pay what you should. My earnings are none of your business. You decided to rub it in by citing your personal wealth. Disgusting.


LOL! If I had to pay 90 percent of what I make in taxes I would probably qualify for welfare! But of course, I wouldn’t receive it because I make too much money. Don’t you see how screwed up this is? As it is now, despite working very hard for the past twenty years and doing whatever it took to be successful while also putting my family first we are being taxed into oblivion all to pay for what able-bodied people could go out and EARN on their own.


Wrong. You only have what you have because you benefitted from white privilege. So did your wife. People like you have pushed the rest of us down since this country was founded. You want to take all that you can on the backs of others. Your capitalist greed is what is destroying this country. The richest nation in the world where people have to starve to death because of people like you and your attitude. Not everyone can just make as much money as you and that’s the problem.


She’s on welfare and has been for years. She talked about it openly back in the day. She’s trying to scam the system to get max benefits.


Now that is pretty funny. PolitiFact is a project operated by the Tampa Bay Times, in which reporters and editors from the Times and affiliated media fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists, and interest groups.

Politifact has proven it’s bias time and time again.

A study from the Congressional Research Service concludes that the effective tax rate for the top 0.01 percent of income earners during the period of 91-percent income taxes was actually 45 percent.

Was politifact correct?

Absolutely however no one paid 91%.

As a side note wealth saved is not the same as income earned.

Also a point of interest when you raise taxes people compensate as I did. I had 7 employees, the taxes were killing me so I dumped the 7 employees and am a sole proprietor today. I pay far less in taxes and make far more than with employees.


I’m new here. Are you serious or is this a joke?


She’s dead serious. This is nothing new with this one. She’s a California welfare queen.


100% serious.!!!


My Lord, I thought people like that were a media creation or under the age of 25.


Unfortunately the left is populated with similar people. They tend to feed on each others notions of reality.


Thats called central planning i.e. wealth distribution i.e. socialism i.e. Marxism.


It’s called theft…