Why Philanthropy Matters – How the Wealthy Give, and What It Means for Our Economic Well–Being (Anglais) Relié – 5 mars 2013
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
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..
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.
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