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Questioning The Money Issue

March 24, 2008

In his March 23 response to the New York Times Magazine’s Money Issue, NYCCAH Executive Director Joel Berg questioned the wisdom of promoting philanthropy without thinking critically about the ways in which our society addresses social problems. The Money Issue profiled young philanthropists and celebrity donors, while emphasizing the ways in which business strategies and donors’ interests inform modern giving practices. In response, Berg contrasted American acceptance of unchecked wealth with the European strategy of channeling surplus wealth towards those social causes that society as a whole, rather than individual donors, deem most appropriate. As Berg observes, “such countries have stronger social safety nets and less homelessness and poverty than America.”

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