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Is Philanthropy Bad for Democracy?

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What’s the difference between charitable giving from ordinary people and philanthropic giving from the very wealthy?

In a liberal democracy, individuals should have the freedom to give money to charities of their choice. But there’s a difference between charitable giving from ordinary individuals and philanthropic giving from extremely wealthy individuals. Whose interests are served when the wealthy give? Should the state continue to encourage big philanthropy with massive tax breaks for the rich? Or should it focus more on taxing extreme wealth? Is big philanthropy destroying democracy? Josh and Ken donate airtime to Stanford political scientist Rob Reich, author of Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better. Sunday, November 21 at 11 am.

Devon Strolovitch studied medieval Judeo-Portuguese manuscripts and earned a PhD in Linguistics from Cornell University before coming to KALW. He is the Senior Producer of Philosophy Talk, and since 2007 has hosted Fog City Blues, the weekly digest of Blues in the Bay Area and beyond.