Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Why Philanthropy Hurts Rather Than Helps Some of the World's Worst Problems | The Progressive

Why Philanthropy Hurts Rather Than Helps Some of the World's Worst Problems | The Progressive:

Why Philanthropy Hurts Rather Than Helps Some of the World's Worst Problems



In America today, big time philanthropists are often lauded for helping to even the playing field for those less fortunate. Every week, millionaires flock from TED conferences to "idea festivals" sharing viral new presentations on how to solve the world's biggest problems (give village children computers, think positive thoughts etc.). But this acceptance of the philanthropic order was not always the case. In the era of Carnegie and Rockefeller, for instance, many distrusted these philanthropic barons, arguing they had no right to horde would-be tax dollars for their own pet causes, especially since these "donations" came from the toil of the workers beneath them.
In her new book No Such Thing As A Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy Linsey McGoey reasserts this challenge to the legitimacy of philanthropy in today's new  era of philanthropic superstars. McGoey’s book investigates the Gates Foundation’s interventions in US K-12 education and global health, raising serious concerns about the extent to which the massive philanthropic sector depletes funding for traditional social services and prioritizes the agendas of unelected foundation leaders.
As institutions like the Gates Foundation take increasingly leading roles in policymaking and governance, McGoey argues, the line between traditional notions of charity and top-down consolidation of power becomes unclear; and with this largely unchecked influence, philanthro-capitalists, like Bill Gates, have pushed countries across the world to accept market based solutions for crises like education inequity and disease proliferation—despite evidence that these problems are often rooted in actions taken by those philanthro-capitalists themselves.
No Such Thing As A Free Gift asks, what is the place of such philanthropy in a democratic society? The answer seems to be “none at all.”
You start the book by putting the rise of today's "philanthrocapitalists," like Bill Gates, into historical context. Could you explain what philanthrocapitalism is and what is actually new about it? How do the Bill Gateses of today compare to the Carnegies and Rockefellers of old?
The term philanthrocapitalism was coined by Matthew Bishop, an editor at the Economist and expanded in a 2008 book co-written with Michael Green. They define the term in two key ways: First, they argue that philanthropy is becoming more business-like Why Philanthropy Hurts Rather Than Helps Some of the World's Worst Problems | The Progressive:

No comments:

Post a Comment