31 January 2019

Is philanthropy just a guilt-trip triggered by avoiding taxes?

Is it fair to argue that philanthropy is a psychiatric solution adopted to alleviate the guilt within those that live off other people's labour.   And, is it true that people who give money away volunraily use their vitue to justisfy employing people cleverer than themselves to help them avoid their share of tax? 


In this video the historian, Roger Bregman, argues that philathropy is "bullshit" and suggests that the conference should focus on taxes, but I particularly admired the speech by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam, who, in response to a question defending the economic status quo (that encourages/allows and results in widespread tax avoidance) by citing  record US employment. Winnie Byanyima made the point well that the questioner was "counting the wrong things" she then explains that it's not the level of employment that matters to people, but the quality of those jobs.  I couldn't agree more. 

In the UK, as in the US, it is true that there is currently high levels of employment. However, both Republicans and the Conservative governments, frequently cite this as a universal success. What the Republican and the Conservative governments don't tell us, is that the drop in unemployment is on the back of in-work poverty, the need for in-work benefits, the explosion in the need for food backs, insecurity at work, a lack of union representation and a rise in zero-hours contracts.  

Is it any wonder that billionaires and the government's whose support upon which they rely to perpetually increase their weath, prefer to judge the performance of the economy on the levels of economic growth and the levels of employment, and irrespective upon which that growth is based and quality of the jobs that the system provides.  Is is not time, when deciding which economic policy is best to measuring the well being of the majority and respect and reward better the workers that create the nations wealth. 

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