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Why Philanthropy Matters - How the Wealthy Give, and What It Means for Our Economic Well-Being [Anglais] [Relié]

Zoltan Acs

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Why Philanthropy Matters Philanthropy has long been a distinctive feature of American culture, but its crucial role in the economic well-being of the nation--and the world--has remained largely unexplored. Why Philanthropy Matters takes an in-depth look at philanthropy as an underappreciated force in capitalism, measures its critical influence on the free-market system, and demonstrates how American philanthropy could ser... Full description

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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  4 commentaires
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Capitalism and generosity. 29 mars 2013
Par Sinohey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
At the onset, Professor Acs differentiates between Charity and Philanthropy; although they are not mutually exclusive, the latter is a superior form of giving and has a lasting impact on society in general. "Philanthropy necessitates a reciprocal relationship between the philanthropist and the beneficiary" such as endowments to Universities to support student enrollment and research, which may lead to new discoveries that in turn would benefit society. "Charity, by contrast requires no such reciprocal relationship" for example soup kitchens.
The book is well organized into seven chapters. It begins with "A Conversation" about The Giving Pledge that was initiated by Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet and supported by several of the super wealthy in America. The book includes many examples of the 91 pledge letters after the Epilogue. Many in the general public view it as a self-promotion stunt and a few foreign billionaires attacked the effort as socialism and "a bad transfer of power from state to billionaires" (Der Spiegel magazine) and that "Charity does't solve anything". The following chapters lay out the long history of generosity of American entrepreneurs such as Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Carnegie "He who dies rich dies in disgrace". Chapters are focused on opportunity, innovation & entrepreneurship, the creation of wealth and finally, philanthropy; all virtues of capitalism that "lead to "a better society in the long run". In the last two chapters, Acs compares (the superiority of) American-style capitalism and philanthropy to the rest of the world, and in the Epilogue he outlines tax reform that recompense "investments to benefit society" with emphasis on the estate tax but ignores the deduction for charitable donations.

The book will appeal to economists and entrepreneurs but is also of relevance to anyone interested in the disposal of wealth - keep it, tax it or donate it. It is a good overview of the subject, but I did not fully agree with his attack on billionaires who use their philanthropy "to deprive Americans of opportunity"; I believe that his criticism is unfounded and selectively misdirected. Also I would have preferred a more detailed discourse on the impact of limiting the deduction value of charitable donations and of raising taxes on the rich and its effect on philanthropy.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Answer to Thomas Picketty 5 mai 2014
Par fabitz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
While Capital in the 21st Century has raised a lot of eyebrows it has not been put into the proper perspective. Picketty's book makes one interesting claim, that r grows faster then g. In other words the return on capital grows faster then the economy. This is not An important issue in an autocratic feudal society. The peasants have no real income or wealth and little political power.

However in a pluralistic liberal democracy the rising income inequality is a real issue. It is because inequality has the potential to undermine democracy as the wealthy increasingly find ways to "buy" elections on the one hand and to maintain economic and political power on the other. We are witnessing this today right in front of our eyes. However, what is really at issue here is not that wealth and income are concentrated but that the concentration undermines capitalism as rent seeking replaces entrepreneurial activity and innovation. Picketty's answer to the dilema of having r grow faster then g was inadequate and all know it. However that does not underestimate the underlying problem of what to do about it because it is not sustainable.

"Why Philanthropy Matters" offers an answer to the Picketty puzzle and it in in pat an American answer. America has faced this question and debated it for 300 years. America wanted rich people but it did not want a class structure. In other words we wanted to become rich but we did not want to see wealth stay in the same hands. So America invented philanthropy. Philanthropy is the solution to the Picketty conundrum of r being greater then g. Philanthropy does two things. First, it recsonstitutes wealth and second it creates opportunity for others by investing in education, universities and research that increases growth. So philanthropy simultaneously increases g and reduces r.

This uniquely American solution to the age old issue of wealth also gets around the question od redistribution that no one really likes..
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An important book about the future of American capitalism 9 septembre 2013
Par Ron P. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The focus of this book is the entrepreneurship-philanthropy nexus which, the author argues, is a unique and largely unrecognized aspect of the American economic and social system. The author identifies the four essential characteristics of American-style capitalism as opportunity, entrepreneurship, wealth creation, and philanthropy. The book explains how these elements have created success and great wealth in American society. This is an important book about the relationship between the creation of wealth through entrepreneurship and the redistribution of that wealth through philanthropy. Some on the political right will fault this book for its income redistribution policy and some on the left will view it as a rationalization for 'robber barons.' Though it will have its critics across the political spectrum, this book deserves the attention of serious scholars and all those interested in the American economic future.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Entrepreneurship ain't about the Benjamins! 26 mars 2013
Par Norris Krueger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I've heard Zoltan talk about this forever, it seems, but the end result is an easy read.... and left me uneasy.

It's obvious that entrepreneurship is about creating value for others THEN get paid. This focusing of the term "philanthropy" as creating value (versus "charity" as giving value) is really important, Sometimes simple truths are.

We are seeing disruption in social investing that has already spilled over into investment in general. David Chen of Equilibrium Capital calls it the third wave. First was seeking social return as a tradeoff with economic returns; next we sought blended returns... but the third wave is finding economic returns FROM social returns. We are starting to get there. Philanthropy has become the Big Picture driving force. At a recent NYU Satter conference on social entrepreneurship, we heard a series of social investors telling us that they now expected serious social returns that also drove economic return.

Zoltan's book is a nice look at what in 2020 we'll look back and see as one of THE trends influencing society. He puts some solid intellectual "wheels" under this.

p.s. and it just might also stimulate some ferocious debates :)
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