The Problem With [Philanthropy]

So, in the now closed primary thread, @spool32 made a statement that I think illustrates the problem with how we view philanthropy:
In the 90s Bill Gates helped create the framework for me to make a career and transformed all of history. His company has helped the economy add trillions in new wealth. Why is him being able to give all of humanity a tenner unhealthy?

It's ideology, not economics.

The big thing that needs to be remembered is that philanthropy, while it might look like charity, is ultimately an exercise of power. Again, Bill Gates isn't "giving all of humanity a tenner" - that would be surrendering power. Instead, he's using his wealth to direct social initiatives according to his will - not the people's. Remember, among the things he funded was the education "reform" movement in the US. And Gates isn't even the worst about this - one need only look at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, set up by Mark Zuckerberg not as a charity (which has some government oversight) but an LLC which is much less accountable. Or to let Adam Conover explain it:



And this has real world impacts that harm - even kill. Take the anti-vaccination movement, which received crucial "support" from autism researchers looking into ties between autism and vaccines - ties that many of the researchers knew were bogus even as they "studied" them. But why would they do that? Well, one of the biggest supporters of autism research believed in the autism-vaccination theory - and thus if you wanted funding, you had to play along.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    I wasn't talking about philanthropy, I was talking about Microsoft drinking IBM's milkshake and ushering in the era of personal computing. Gates was instrumental and Microsoft continues to sit at the core of modern computing worldwide. Their work as a company has created entire new professions!

    I'd be a lot poorer 1995-2019 if Outlook hadn't sucked in every release since the first one, is what I'm saying :)

    Bill Gates invented my career. Far more wealth has been added to the global economy as a result of Microsoft's work than he has personally collected.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    That aside, the idea that philanthropy is an exercise in power is overbroad ideological claptrap. It's like saying I'm exercising power when I buy you lunch.

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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Panem, circenses, credulous descent. A Gadarene charge into endarkenment Registered User regular
    There's also the scam that WalMart runs where they ask for donations so they can use whatever money they "donate" as a free PR campaign.

    Make. Time.
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  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    Philanthropy to bad causes is bad. Ok.

    The same Gates Foundation has given billions to public health.



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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    That aside, the idea that philanthropy is an exercise in power is overbroad ideological claptrap. It's like saying I'm exercising power when I buy you lunch.

    Odd example given how often generosity is a power display in the white collar world.

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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Panem, circenses, credulous descent. A Gadarene charge into endarkenment Registered User regular
    Usually you find the very same people who are willing to do this philanthropic smiley gladhand garbage are the exact same people who want votes for cutting social safety nets, push for the dissolving of unions, and refuse to raise worker compensation.

    We wouldn't have to donate $10 at the self check out for hungry kids if greedy fuckers didn't stop cutting benefits, pay, and social services.

    Make. Time.
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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    People like the ideas of sexy Bruce Wayne fundraising parties over staid policy decisions being made in some office.

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  • BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    That aside, the idea that philanthropy is an exercise in power is overbroad ideological claptrap. It's like saying I'm exercising power when I buy you lunch.

    Odd example given how often generosity is a power display in the white collar world.

    Buying lunch for a friend at the best restaurant in the city, then calling them up a couple of days later and asking for a favour.

    Nope, no exercise of power happening there at all.

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  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    I would argue that objection to the existence of a class of people with money to throw around is distinct from the discussion of how, given that this class exists, they choose to use it.

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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Panem, circenses, credulous descent. A Gadarene charge into endarkenment Registered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    I would argue that objection to the existence of a class of people with money to throw around is distinct from the discussion of how, given that this class exists, they choose to use it.

    They're the ones who make the laws for how charitable donations are handled, and how much they can profit from it (or use it as a legal means for avoiding taxes).

    Make. Time.
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    That aside, the idea that philanthropy is an exercise in power is overbroad ideological claptrap. It's like saying I'm exercising power when I buy you lunch.

    Except that you are. I've seen this personally - I personally don't drink out of personal reasons, and when I have to do cocktail hours as part of the usual business routine, my not drinking feels very conspicuous. And that's a relatively tame example - I've heard stories where vegans have their food preferences routinely demeaned and attacked, even having people try to push their children off veganism.

    You'd be surprised at the power in a lunch.

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  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    That aside, the idea that philanthropy is an exercise in power is overbroad ideological claptrap. It's like saying I'm exercising power when I buy you lunch.

    Odd example given how often generosity is a power display in the white collar world.

    Or the well documented expectations of sexual reward when a man buys a woman dinner.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    If you start from a position of believing that the wealthy got that way by taking wealth generated by labor and claiming it for their own it follows pretty naturally from there that donating some fraction of it back like its a gift is pretty grotesque.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    That aside, the idea that philanthropy is an exercise in power is overbroad ideological claptrap. It's like saying I'm exercising power when I buy you lunch.

    Except that you are. I've seen this personally - I personally don't drink out of personal reasons, and when I have to do cocktail hours as part of the usual business routine, my not drinking feels very conspicuous. And that's a relatively tame example - I've heard stories where vegans have their food preferences routinely demeaned and attacked, even having people try to push their children off veganism.

    You'd be surprised at the power in a lunch.

    Totally not surprised that it can be that way, which is why I said "overbroad" ideological claptrap. Can be != is.

    Philanthropy can be an exercise in power, that doesn't mean it can only be one, and your disagreement is predicated on the latter being true. It is not true.

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  • MrMisterMrMister Please demonstrate your enthusiasm for e-marking and/or e-assessment with examplesRegistered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    I would argue that objection to the existence of a class of people with money to throw around is distinct from the discussion of how, given that this class exists, they choose to use it.

    Yes. If you conceptualize the money as I’ll gotten gains—no ethical billionaires—then yeah, they shouldn’t have the authority to decide how it’s used philanthropically because they shouldn’t have it in the first place. But if you think of it as rightfully theirs, then it’s harder to say why they shouldn’t get to decide what it’s spent on, even if that has implications for others—presumably, most philanthropy isn’t actively net negative for society, so in giving at all it’s still better than an available alternative to which the billionaire is entitled, namely sitting on it.

    I don’t think Gates should have that much money, but agree that’s a different questions from how we should think about what he does with it given that he has it.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    What is intrinsically wrong with exercising power? A big part of being an adult is realizing how much power you can potentially wield and use it to shape the world.

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  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    My personal belief is that if you give someone money (Either charity, or a tenner to someone panhandling), the money is no longer yours, it is theirs, and you have no call to make demands on how it is spent.

    I'm pretty sure that is a very uncommon view of it, though.

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    Gates Foundation is a poor example of this, IMO. Most of their spending is on health-based initiatives in developing countries, including vaccinations, malaria control, HIV testing, and clean water. I doubt anybody here opposes those goals, and those initiatives are leaders in efficiency and efficacy.

    We can argue about, for example, the Gates Foundation support for charter schools. But even if we accept as a premise that charter schools are actively harmful, Gates Foundation still spends roughly four times as much money on tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV as they do on charter schools each year. Meanwhile, their educational initiatives and their healthcare initiatives are accounted for separately, and they don't lord over the recipients of their healthcare money with ideological purity tests (in the way that, for example, a faith-based organization might withhold money from a struggling community clinic unless that clinic promises that they won't mention abortion).

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  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Gates Foundation is a poor example of this, IMO. Most of their spending is on health-based initiatives in developing countries, including vaccinations, malaria control, HIV testing, and clean water. I doubt anybody here opposes those goals, and those initiatives are leaders in efficiency and efficacy.

    We can argue about, for example, the Gates Foundation support for charter schools. But even if we accept as a premise that charter schools are actively harmful, Gates Foundation still spends roughly four times as much money on tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV as they do on charter schools each year. Meanwhile, their educational initiatives and their healthcare initiatives are accounted for separately, and they don't lord over the recipients of their healthcare money with ideological purity tests (in the way that, for example, a faith-based organization might withhold money from a struggling community clinic unless that clinic promises that they won't mention abortion).

    And it's not like government is above the latter.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Gates Foundation is a poor example of this, IMO. Most of their spending is on health-based initiatives in developing countries, including vaccinations, malaria control, HIV testing, and clean water. I doubt anybody here opposes those goals, and those initiatives are leaders in efficiency and efficacy.

    We can argue about, for example, the Gates Foundation support for charter schools. But even if we accept as a premise that charter schools are actively harmful, Gates Foundation still spends roughly four times as much money on tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV as they do on charter schools each year. Meanwhile, their educational initiatives and their healthcare initiatives are accounted for separately, and they don't lord over the recipients of their healthcare money with ideological purity tests (in the way that, for example, a faith-based organization might withhold money from a struggling community clinic unless that clinic promises that they won't mention abortion).

    And it's not like government is above the latter.

    Government spending (Mexico City policy) = good!
    Philanthropy (Gates foundation anti-malaria work) = baaad

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    Well, supposedly a government is responsible to its citizens, so voters are getting a say in what is being supported.

    Generally billionaires are working to preserve their billionaire status and answer to no one.

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  • BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    What is intrinsically wrong with exercising power? A big part of being an adult is realizing how much power you can potentially wield and use it to shape the world.

    Nothing. The issue comes when there is a drastic level of power inequality.

    I could live a thousand lifetimes and my impact on the world would still be literally nothing compared to that of Jeff Bezos or Charles Koch.

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    VishNub wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Gates Foundation is a poor example of this, IMO. Most of their spending is on health-based initiatives in developing countries, including vaccinations, malaria control, HIV testing, and clean water. I doubt anybody here opposes those goals, and those initiatives are leaders in efficiency and efficacy.

    We can argue about, for example, the Gates Foundation support for charter schools. But even if we accept as a premise that charter schools are actively harmful, Gates Foundation still spends roughly four times as much money on tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV as they do on charter schools each year. Meanwhile, their educational initiatives and their healthcare initiatives are accounted for separately, and they don't lord over the recipients of their healthcare money with ideological purity tests (in the way that, for example, a faith-based organization might withhold money from a struggling community clinic unless that clinic promises that they won't mention abortion).

    And it's not like government is above the latter.

    This is very true. That gets into broader questions of whether governments or private charities are more accountable, and I think that the answer there is prima facie obvious - governments are, at least in representative democracies. I can't stop Salvation Army from being homophobic except by "voting with my dollars" which, unless you're filthy rich, is less effective than voting with our ballots.

    Also, the whole concept of "voting with your dollars" implies that giving the Salvation Army money of your own free will (or not) exercises some degree of political power over the Salvation Army. If I can influence SA's behavior regarding gay people by my choice of donations, then it follows that SA can influence the lives of gay people by their choice of recipients.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    spool32 wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Gates Foundation is a poor example of this, IMO. Most of their spending is on health-based initiatives in developing countries, including vaccinations, malaria control, HIV testing, and clean water. I doubt anybody here opposes those goals, and those initiatives are leaders in efficiency and efficacy.

    We can argue about, for example, the Gates Foundation support for charter schools. But even if we accept as a premise that charter schools are actively harmful, Gates Foundation still spends roughly four times as much money on tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV as they do on charter schools each year. Meanwhile, their educational initiatives and their healthcare initiatives are accounted for separately, and they don't lord over the recipients of their healthcare money with ideological purity tests (in the way that, for example, a faith-based organization might withhold money from a struggling community clinic unless that clinic promises that they won't mention abortion).

    And it's not like government is above the latter.

    Government spending (Mexico City policy) = good!
    Philanthropy (Gates foundation anti-malaria work) = baaad

    I definetly believe governments cant fuck up and everything they do is good too.

    The fallibility of government is not an excuse for a system in which the labor of many goes mostly to a few who turn around and give some of it as "gifts"

    Styrofoam Sammich on
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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    That aside, the idea that philanthropy is an exercise in power is overbroad ideological claptrap. It's like saying I'm exercising power when I buy you lunch.
    Um. Please exercise some power in my direction, @spool32 . I am hungry, and there's a Red Robin across the street. :D (Ironically, if spool was ACTUALLY here, we'd probably end up fighting over who pays the bill)

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    I wasn't talking about philanthropy, I was talking about Microsoft drinking IBM's milkshake and ushering in the era of personal computing. Gates was instrumental and Microsoft continues to sit at the core of modern computing worldwide. Their work as a company has created entire new professions!

    I'd be a lot poorer 1995-2019 if Outlook hadn't sucked in every release since the first one, is what I'm saying :)

    Bill Gates invented my career. Far more wealth has been added to the global economy as a result of Microsoft's work than he has personally collected.

    Bill Gates didn't invent your career as a programmer. He's a guy from a rich white family that happened to work on technology and got lucky. In that regard, he's no different than Zuckerberg or any other Silicon Valley billionaires.

    And every billionaire has become a billionaire at the cost of the rest of humanity.

    And if you want to give him credit for your career, give him credit for being the person that people like Zuckerberg or Bezos modeled themselves after.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Theoretically I don't have a problem with philanthropy. Except that the very need for philanthropy is created by the obscenely wealthy who practice it.

    If Bill Gates were the only billionaire and the Gates Foundation was the only personal organization influencing the world I'd probably consider it a net benefit. But he isn't and it's not. For every Gates Foundation there's a dozen Koch Family foundations undermining his efforts and plenty of BS philanthropy outfits that serve no purpose than to make the owner look good while achieving little to nothing.

    The best kind of philanthropy would indeed be giving away money blindly rather than trying to personally decide who deserves it while you still sit on billions more.

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Philanthropy is direct governance by the wealthy. They are taking on the role of provider and protector that the government should be supplying.

    And, at least in the US, they are able to do so in part because of how little they pay in taxes. And they get tax write-offs for their philanthropy, meaning our government encourages this behavior.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
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  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/11/1/20941440/tech-billionaires-rich-net-worth-philanthropy-giving-pledge

    our billionaires are so grossly, ludicrously rich that they literally cannot give away enough money that they have less money

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Burnage wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    What is intrinsically wrong with exercising power? A big part of being an adult is realizing how much power you can potentially wield and use it to shape the world.

    Nothing. The issue comes when there is a drastic level of power inequality.

    I could live a thousand lifetimes and my impact on the world would still be literally nothing compared to that of Jeff Bezos or Charles Koch.

    Depends on the size of goal. If you wanna end world hunger, yeah sucks. If you want to fund a local artist or campaign, you've got the capital for that. What used to be a thing was if you proved your ability to do a bunch of small projects, you'd be trusted with other people's money to do bigger and bigger ones.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Gates Foundation is a poor example of this, IMO. Most of their spending is on health-based initiatives in developing countries, including vaccinations, malaria control, HIV testing, and clean water. I doubt anybody here opposes those goals, and those initiatives are leaders in efficiency and efficacy.

    We can argue about, for example, the Gates Foundation support for charter schools. But even if we accept as a premise that charter schools are actively harmful, Gates Foundation still spends roughly four times as much money on tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV as they do on charter schools each year. Meanwhile, their educational initiatives and their healthcare initiatives are accounted for separately, and they don't lord over the recipients of their healthcare money with ideological purity tests (in the way that, for example, a faith-based organization might withhold money from a struggling community clinic unless that clinic promises that they won't mention abortion).

    And it's not like government is above the latter.

    This is very true. That gets into broader questions of whether governments or private charities are more accountable, and I think that the answer there is prima facie obvious - governments are, at least in representative democracies. I can't stop Salvation Army from being homophobic except by "voting with my dollars" which, unless you're filthy rich, is less effective than voting with our ballots.

    Also, the whole concept of "voting with your dollars" implies that giving the Salvation Army money of your own free will (or not) exercises some degree of political power over the Salvation Army. If I can influence SA's behavior regarding gay people by my choice of donations, then it follows that SA can influence the lives of gay people by their choice of recipients.

    This doesn't seem prima facie obvious. I can't not pay federal taxes because I don't agree with the Hyde Amendment. I can choose to not donate to a charity if I don't agree with how they use their money and move my contribution somewhere else. Bill Gates certainly feels that the Gates Foundation is more accountable to him than the government would be.

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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Elendil wrote: »
    https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/11/1/20941440/tech-billionaires-rich-net-worth-philanthropy-giving-pledge

    our billionaires are so grossly, ludicrously rich that they literally cannot give away enough money that they have less money

    Actually, they could, if their means of wealth accumulation were seized.

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    edited November 2019
    MrMister wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    I would argue that objection to the existence of a class of people with money to throw around is distinct from the discussion of how, given that this class exists, they choose to use it.

    Yes. If you conceptualize the money as I’ll gotten gains—no ethical billionaires—then yeah, they shouldn’t have the authority to decide how it’s used philanthropically because they shouldn’t have it in the first place. But if you think of it as rightfully theirs, then it’s harder to say why they shouldn’t get to decide what it’s spent on, even if that has implications for others—presumably, most philanthropy isn’t actively net negative for society, so in giving at all it’s still better than an available alternative to which the billionaire is entitled, namely sitting on it.

    I don’t think Gates should have that much money, but agree that’s a different questions from how we should think about what he does with it given that he has it.

    We can start from a default premise that people have a general right to spend money in the way they want, but we can also recognize that when they spend it in a way that does have significant influence over others, there are very good reasons to guide that expenditure in a beneficial way. Urban planning is a good example (I can't open a nightclub or a liquor distillery in a residential area); I also have a moral, if not legal, obligation to be honest about the services I'm rendering. I can't claim to be a doctor if I'm not one.

    These objections are relevant to homeless shelters specifically.

    Regarding truthfulness: A couple of months ago, I wrote about homeless 'relocation services' that claim to send homeless people to distant cities for help, but they're just buying them a bus ticket so they can go be homeless somewhere else. "People are routinely sent thousands of miles away after only a cursory check by authorities to establish they have a suitable place to stay once they get there. Some said they feel pressured into taking tickets, and others described ending up on the streets within weeks of their arrival."

    Meanwhile, there are severe current problems with faith-based and/or discriminatory homeless shelters in the US. (The venn diagram of "faith-based" and "discriminatory" isn't a perfect circle, but there's a lot of overlap.) At best, maybe you have to sit through a dehumanizing religious sermon or prayer session just to get a bed. (note: even though that is an anonymous blog post, I reuse it because I am personally familiar with the specific Santa Cruz homeless shelter he's describing and I can corroborate his experience). At worst, they're actively discriminatory towards LGBT clients (a practice that is perfectly legal in many states), or promote a culture of institutionalization and dependency to use their clients as cheap manual labor.

    And that doesn't even get into other widespread problems that I could cite if anybody cares enough to challenge me on them: homeless shelters separating families, running disability-unfriendly inaccessible facilities, sexual assault in homeless shelters, or communicable diseases intensified by overcrowding and/or poor sanitation.

    Because homeless shelters compete for physical space and dollars (both taxpayer-funded grants and private donations), it is likely that bad homeless shelters crowd out good ones. It isn't simply a case where more charitable spending is better - if I'm running a shitty homeless shelter that discriminates against trans people and tells atheists that they're sinners, that makes it less likely that another homeless shelter will open up in the same area.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    Sure, buying lunch for somebody is not necessarily exerting power over them...

    ...unless they're starving and I'm the only person offering free food in town.

    (The analogy works a lot better if we use a good that suffers from more scarcity, like housing.)

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    There's also the scam that WalMart runs where they ask for donations so they can use whatever money they "donate" as a free PR campaign.

    When a company donates all the money given by customers to charity, they get to use it as a tax write-off.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    Philanthropy is direct governance by the wealthy. They are taking on the role of provider and protector that the government should be supplying.

    And, at least in the US, they are able to do so in part because of how little they pay in taxes. And they get tax write-offs for their philanthropy, meaning our government encourages this behavior.

    Our government encourages philanthropy, yes. Would it be better if the government did not encourage philanthropy?

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    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Philanthropy is direct governance by the wealthy. They are taking on the role of provider and protector that the government should be supplying.

    And, at least in the US, they are able to do so in part because of how little they pay in taxes. And they get tax write-offs for their philanthropy, meaning our government encourages this behavior.

    Our government encourages philanthropy, yes. Would it be better if the government did not encourage philanthropy?

    Theyre offloading the government's responsibilities for its citizens on the rich and letting them decide who gets help.

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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Panem, circenses, credulous descent. A Gadarene charge into endarkenment Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    Paladin wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Philanthropy is direct governance by the wealthy. They are taking on the role of provider and protector that the government should be supplying.

    And, at least in the US, they are able to do so in part because of how little they pay in taxes. And they get tax write-offs for their philanthropy, meaning our government encourages this behavior.

    Our government encourages philanthropy, yes. Would it be better if the government did not encourage philanthropy?

    Yes.

    Because it doesn't really work.

    Especially compared to actual regulated, transparent, and overseen government programs.

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  • RedTideRedTide Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    That aside, the idea that philanthropy is an exercise in power is overbroad ideological claptrap. It's like saying I'm exercising power when I buy you lunch.

    Because if it was about altruism you'd probably ask for the library wing your Alma mater builds with your donations to be named for something or someone else besides yourself.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Philanthropy is direct governance by the wealthy. They are taking on the role of provider and protector that the government should be supplying.

    And, at least in the US, they are able to do so in part because of how little they pay in taxes. And they get tax write-offs for their philanthropy, meaning our government encourages this behavior.

    Our government encourages philanthropy, yes. Would it be better if the government did not encourage philanthropy?

    Yes.

    Because it doesn't really work.

    Especially compared to actual regulated, transparent, and overseen government programs.

    Is the advocacy here for removing all charitable tax exemptions a consensus?

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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