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Submitted by Ross Johnson on
I'm with Bernadette. Billionaire philanthropism is a symptom of a greater disease - underfunded governments. We've been cutting taxes (especially in the US) for so long that governments cannot afford to provide many services or maintain existing infrastructure, let alone give money to charities. Our governments divide their constituents into two groups: taxpayers, who are honoured and respected, as they are the source of political donations; and everyone else, especially the poor, who are pretty much safely ignored. Billionaire philanthropism shifts responsibility for helping our vulnerable away from government and the accountability that goes with it. I don't want Mark deciding who wins and who loses. If he can afford to give away 99% of his money, then the big lesson is that he doesn't need so much and his taxes are too low. We should be pushing to increase taxes, not passively accepting that the current income equality brought about by low tax regimes is normal, or moral. Part of making a more equitable society includes helping the vulnerable sector. As Bernadette says, charity is not a recreational pastime. It's hard to change an unfair system by surrendering to it. I really enjoyed reading the discussion - thank you for posting it.

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