Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Well-Funded Non-Profits Pave the Way to Privatization - Living in Dialogue

Well-Funded Non-Profits Pave the Way to Privatization - Living in Dialogue:

Well-Funded Non-Profits Pave the Way to Privatization 

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By John Thompson.
David Callahan’s The Givers begins with the first politicized think tanks of the 1960s and 1970s, such as the American Enterprise Institute. Callahan may be right and the AEI may have been one of the more intellectually honest of the conservative alternatives to academic research, but still it didn’t abide by the rules of evidence that apply in universities.  These first generation think tanks were designed to “excel at framing the terms of public debates” and to “wage big-picture ideological warfare.” 
The rise of Silicon Valley prompted the growth of what ProPublica’s Jesse Eisenberg called “a society of oligarchs.” I used to think it is an exaggeration to speak of “new Silicon Valley overlords.” After all, the tech world is collaborative as well as competitive.

Besides, as a pro-choice lobbyist, I had personal experience with the care with which the reproductive rights movement, at least, took to obey the spirit and the letter of the laws regulating charitable organizations. We took special care to ensure that it was our 501(c)(4) non-tax exempt organization, not the 501(c)(3), that engaged in political action.  I had no idea that the IRS would allow the shenanigans recently documented by the Washington Post.

The Post’s Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg document the efforts by Donors Capital Fund, Donors Trust, the Bradley Foundation, the Scaife family, and David Horowitz’s Freedom Center as they “financed nonprofit organizations that promoted free enterprise and small government and opposed the environmental movement and other issues favored by progressives.” They also paved the way for the election of Donald Trump. Big donors used tax exempt charities to create what Horowitz dubbed, “a shadow political universe.”
But those are rightwingers. Surely more progressive and neoliberal donors would respect the rule of law and the principles of our democracy….

Callahan’s new book, along with other research, further documents the overreach of the “Billionaires Boys Club” which Well-Funded Non-Profits Pave the Way to Privatization - Living in Dialogue:

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