JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IT HAS BECOME A REGULAR EVENT FOR THE PRESS TO IMMEDIATELY CELEBRATE WEALTHY PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY ARE GIVING AWAY PART OF THEIR FORTUNE BEFORE THEY’VE DONE ANYTHING – WORDS ON AMERICAN FOUNDATIONS AND WHAT THEY DO   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Mackenzie Bezos [Mr. Amazon’s ex-wife] will give half of her $36 billion fortune away to charity”

 

Well, let’s see her actually give some of it away before she receives all the lavish praise and free publicity about her virtue.

Remember what Mr. Facebook said he’d do a while back?

Lots of publicity for a much-disliked man, but not a sign so far of anything real happening.

___________________________

Response to a comment about tax dodges:

That is exactly what American foundations, like the Gates’ Foundation, are all about.

They also provide an elaborate mechanism for endlessly signaling the founder’s virtue. The large numbers of an intact fortune, repeatedly cited in connection with the foundation’s name, do cause a great many to praise the founder’s merit for the rest of his days.

American foundations protect capital from tax so that the founder can play God with that capital as a lifetime post-career occupation. Charity does indeed get something, but it comes at the price of leaving a fortune untaxed and still usable for the founder’s fancies.

And what qualifies as “charity” under American law is quite a stretch at times.

The foundations also effectively provide elaborate lasting memorials to the founder after his or her death, serving much the same purpose as the building of great ancient tombs.

If you really want to be magnanimous, you do what Andrew Carnegie did. He literally gave most of his fortune away, and he gave it to the most carefully-considered and genuinely-worthy causes.

We see damned little of that, but we hear lots of noise around the “philanthropy” of some immensely wealthy people. It’s a new form of celebrity.

Posted May 29, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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