The London School of Economics and Political Science on November 16, 2018 held an event for appreciation and analysis of celebrity economist Robert Reich’s new book “Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better”. According to Yale Law School’s Anne L. Alstott:
“This notable book will be a landmark for political philosophers and legal scholars, as well as policymakers and individuals in the philanthropic world. With its thorough argumentation and sound grasp of legal detail, Just Giving offers a serious treatment of an important area, along with implications for institutional reform.”
This new book is perhaps best described by the publisher, the Princeton University Press:
Is philanthropy, by its very nature, a threat to today’s democracy? Though we may laud wealthy individuals who give away their money for society’s benefit, Robert Reich shows how such generosity not only isn’t the unassailable good we think it to be but might also undermine democratic values and set back aspirations of justice. Big philanthropy is often an exercise of power, the conversion of private assets into public influence. And it is a form of power that is largely unaccountable, often perpetual, and lavishly tax-advantaged. The affluent—and their foundations—reap vast benefits even as they influence policy without accountability. And small philanthropy, or ordinary charitable giving, can be problematic as well. Charity, it turns out, does surprisingly little to provide for those in need and sometimes worsens inequality.
Rob Reich is a best selling author and also is the professor of political science and faculty co-director for the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. He was joined in the video below by Stephan Chambers, the inaugural director of the Marshall Institute at London School of Economics and Political Science. Chambers is also helping to engineer the London School of Economics’ new Executive Masters in Social Business and Entrepreneurship. The event lasted about an hour and thirty minutes. Take a look!!