The Chronicle of Philanthropy notes that “Gifts surge from US donors“. That’s good, especially in difficult times. But BloombergBusinessWeek read between the lines and saw that “Billionaires’ Wealth Is Skyrocketing. Their Philanthropy Is Not“. Sadly.
It is unfortunate because this is another sign of a widening wealth gap between the top and everyone else, between the owners of capital and everybody else. We would not want to legislate philanthropy, aka higher taxes, but an unjust system, in which the benefits of modern technology are enjoyed by less than 1%, is unstable and prone to unhappiness.
The thoughtfulness that goes in to giving also matters. The more globally responsible, the better. Very local or lost causes are not priorities in a world creaking under the weight of human pollution. Education is top of our list because it is the path to opportunity and enlightenment. Protecting nature (from humanity) is a given.