Tag Archives: wealth gap

The Few

You may have seen this recent video on wealth inequality. It graphically shows how 40% of the nation’s financial assets are now owned by only 1% of the population. By contrast, the 80% of Americans with the least wealth control only 7% of the assets. Or, to put it another way, the wealthiest 3 million people in this country own nearly six times more wealth than the poorest 240 million.

There are many reasons to find this trend disturbing. This is a huge issue for our nation, economically, politically, philosophically, and morally. But here’s today’s question: How does the growing wealth disparity in the United States affect nonprofits? Continue reading

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How Philanthropy (Strangely Enough) Can Widen the Wealth Divide

With the growing concern about the wealth gap, most of us can at least assume that charitable giving helps in some way to redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor. After all, a central tenet of charitable giving is that those with financial resources donate to organizations that help those with fewer assets.

Unfortunately, we shouldn’t assume that that’s the case. I just read Immortality and the Law: The Rising Power of the American Dead  by Boston College Law School professor Ray D. Madoff, and the book pretty much blew me away. Don’t let the academic credentials of the author and the fact that it’s published by a university press scare you off: the book is wonderfully accessible, it’s not very long, and it’s worth every second you devote to it. Continue reading

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