Monday, February 10, 2014

Was Carnegie Right About Philanthropy? : The New Yorker

Was Carnegie Right About Philanthropy? : The New Yorker: Our own time has increasingly been called a New Gilded Age. A few weeks ago, after Oxfam International published a report showing that the richest eighty-five people in the world have the same combined wealth as the poorest half of the population, Slate’s Will Oremus wrote: “Global capitalism, we have a problem.” On Monday, the Chronicle of Philanthropy added another angle to the debate, with a report showing that the fifty most generous philanthropists in the U.S. gave a combined $7.7 billion to charity in 2013. This was a modest rise from $7.4 billion the previous year, but almost double the amount given in 2009 during the recession. “I think now that we’re coming into this age where the inequality issue has become so serious it seems very reminiscent of the way people, I think, felt about Carnegie and Rockefeller,” Stacy Palmer, the Chronicle’s editor, told me.

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