Why you should never give your money to a foundation


Some advice for those lucky enough to enrich the species with a decent idea and thus gain possession of some portion of that wealth created: never donate that wealth to a foundation. Because such, over time, always but always end up being run by the same social justice warriors that caused the problems of poverty in the first place. Entirely fine to spend the money in the manner you think best, of course, but spend it, don't leave it as a pot for subsequent generations of bureaucrats to gorge upon. As here with the amazing piece from the head of the Ford Foundation:

This new gospel might begin where the previous one fell short: addressing the underlying causes that perpetuate human suffering. In other words, philanthropy can no longer grapple simply with what is happening in the world, but also with how and why.

Feeding the hungry is among our society’s most fundamental obligations, but we should also question why our neighbors are without nutritious food to eat. Housing the homeless is an imperative, but we should also question why our housing markets are so distorted. As a nation, we need more investment in education, but not without questioning educational disparities based on race, class and geography.

To discuss why housing markets are distorted is important, of course it is: the answer being that not enough chittys are being given out enabling people to build houses. And that's what is wrong with this sort of musing:

In other words, “giving back” is necessary, but not sufficient. We should seek to bring about lasting, systemic change, even if that change might adversely affect us. We must bend each act of generosity toward justice.

We, as foundations and individuals, should fund people, their ideas and organizations that are capable of addressing deep-rooted injustice. We should ensure that the voices of those most affected by injustice — women, racial minorities, the poor, religious and ethnic minorities and L.G.B.T. individuals — help decide where and what philanthropy puts money behind, not in simply receiving whatever philanthropy decides to give them.

Nonsense. The larger question is as simple as the housing one.

Those places that have been roughly capitalist and roughly free market for more than a few decades are rich places, the inhabitants of them rich by any global and or historical standard. Those places that have not been roughly capitalist and roughly free market for a few decades are not, are still stuck in the immiseration of the absolute poverty of peasantry. The answer is thus clear: more capitalism tempered by that free market red in tooth and claw and she'll be right.

Adam Smith pointed this out over two centuries ago with that bit about barbarism to opulence requiring only a bit of law, reasonable taxes and that economic liberty.

So, if you should happen to profit in this world, it obviously being impossible to take it with you to the next, don't set up a foundation to employ people to whine about inequality. Spend the money here on bringing more people up out of poverty. T%hat being done, obviously, by producing more of value that poor people can then consume.