Is Billionaire Philanthropy a Sham?
IN FOCUS, 13 Sep 2021
31 Aug 2021 – Remember when Jeff Bezos was showered with praise for donating $100 million to food banks last year?
That may seem like a lot, and it is. But once you consider all that Bezos has raked in during the pandemic – including making $13 billion in a single day in 2020 – it’s a few hours of his earnings.
It’s not just Bezos. Billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet also receive lots of praise for their “generous” charitable giving.
The truth about billionaire philanthropy is it isn’t charity. Its public relations, often used to cover up their exploitative business practices, shield their wealth, and deflect attention from all they money they pour into lobbying and campaign contributions to assure that their taxes remain historically low.
These so-called “charitable contributions” are also tax-deductible, meaning you and I are subsidizing them. I don’t know about you, but I believe taxpayers should be deciding where their tax dollars ultimately go.
America doesn’t need their charity. We need them to pay their fair share in taxes.
Robert Reich’s latest book is The System: Who Rigged It, How to Fix It. He is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written 17 other books, including the best sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations, Beyond Outrage, and The Common Good. He is a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, founder of Inequality Media, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentaries Inequality for All, streaming on YouTube, and Saving Capitalism, now streaming on Netflix.
Tags: Anglo America, Banksters, Big Banks, COVID-19, Capitalism, Casino Capitalism, Catastrophe Capitalism, Control, Coronavirus, Corruption, Disaster Capitalism, Elites, Finance, Greed, Inequality, Pandemic, Philanthropy, Post-capitalism, Predatory Capitalism, Profits, Propaganda, Super rich, USA, Wall Street, West, World Order
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.