Say it with philanthropy

February 19, 2009

combojulie- Matthew Bishop and Michael Green are the authors of “Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World.” They blog regularly at Philanthrocapitalism. Their views are their own. -

Bankers keep telling us how sorry they are for getting the world into the current economic mess, but the public doesn’t seem to want to accept their apology. To show they mean it, the rich need to discover philanthrocapitalism and start to give back to society – for their sakes and ours.

Reckless financiers are public enemy number one and everyone seems to be enjoying the schadenfreude of watching them squirm in front of Congressional and Parliamentary inquisitions. Cathartic as these spectacles may be, it doesn’t seem that the bankers are going to be let off the hook that easily.

Bonuses are already under scrutiny. But more swingeing, and damaging, action is being called for. How long will it be before public bloodlust demands convictions and jail time? Will governments be able to resist draconian regulation of the financial sector that will choke off financial intermediation and risk taking, and thus hobble the economic recovery?

It’s not just the bankers who are in the frame. The financial meltdown is adding fuel to the pre-existing fire of deep resentment of CEOs of big corporations and the rich in general who amassed such a large share of the benefits of the boom time. This is an ugly time to be rich and a perilous period for capitalism as a system.

As our economies worsen, poverty and social unrest will rise. Charities and nonprofits, which will be on the front line in meeting those needs, are being hit by a triple whammy of declining revenue, as private donors cut back their giving, scarcer public funds, and rising demand for their services.

The rich need to move swiftly and decisively to fill the charity funding gap: to show contrition and demonstrate that they are good members of society rather than a bunch of speculators and hucksters. That’s why, at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier in the year, we called on the CEOs of the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies to give a year’s salary to good causes. Other wealthy individuals should join them.

It is not just their money that the rich should donate. A key element of this new philanthropy that we advocate is that the rich should use the business skills that earned them their fortunes to make their giving as effective as possible. Although there is much excellence in the charity/non-profit sector, as a whole it underperforms seriously relative to its potential.

Strategic thinking is in short supply. Inefficiency is rife. There are too many small, me-too operations that for all their good intentions, waste massive amounts of vital money. In the absence of a market for corporate control and real measures of effectiveness, it is hard for good nonprofits to grow to scale in the way that a highly successful company might and it is almost impossible for ineffective nonprofits to go out of business.

By using their business nous in their philanthropy, an approach to giving that we call “philanthrocapitalism”, the rich can get much more impact from their giving by transforming the performance of the non-profits that they support — which is good for everyone.

Obviously, critics on the left would dismiss giving a year’s salary as a cheap stunt and argue for higher taxes instead. (Don’t worry, we are all going to be paying more tax for years to come, regardless.) But that is to miss the point. Government is good at some things, such as providing universal access to education and social welfare as a right, but it is weak at innovation and risk-taking.

If we are to tackle difficult social problems, we need social risk capital that can pilot and test new ideas that government either wouldn’t think of or couldn’t touch — which means we need people who know about business to put their money and talents to work themselves.

A model for a new partnership between philanthropy and government already exists in New York, where billionaire philanthropist Mayor Michael Bloomberg has found a way for government to harness the innovation of business by encouraging philanthropists to fund pilot schemes thought up by social entrepreneurs. Projects that work, like setting up a special training college for new school principals, can then be scaled up using taxpayers’ funds. Other political leaders would do well to follow his example.

But he could not do this without the commitment of wealthy business people. Reports are rife of wealthy philanthropists cutting their giving due to the economic crisis, which, although in many ways understandable, will only worsen the public image of the rich. This is a time for those who have the means to do so to show leadership, sacrificial leadership. If you can, dig deep, make a public commitment to getting society out of this mess, and put your money where your mouth is.

41 comments

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I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by Nigel Henden | Report as abusive

In Tanzania recently teachers that arrived late and/or students grades did not attain the minimum standards were caned in front of their pupils.
It should be quite in order for thoses bankers expressing that they are sorry should be caned in public and televised for all to see. This may have better results than sending them to jail

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive

We need more activism to abolish the Standard Deduction on federal income tax returns. Right now, if you donate enough to deduct it at all, you’re penalized to the tune of thousands of dollars. The absurdity of this became apparent when the educator’s personal contribution deduction was put in the 1040, off the Schedule A. Now, more and more stuff is going that route, and apparently the Standard Deduction itself is now subject to fudging.

The problem is that greedy Americans who don’t give to charity, don’t have mortgage expenses, etc., apparently respond very favorably to increases in the standard deduction, so legislators are eager to be seen increasing it, and wouldn’t dare reduce or eliminate it. But it’s outlived its usefulness. I assume it got started when it cost the IRS a lot to process a Schedule A, but that probably costs them very little now.

Speak out for philanthropy. Demand abolition of the Standard Deduction!

Posted by Pete Cann | Report as abusive

In the UK top people were boasting that they pay less tax than their cleaners, this is so unjust, and they wonder why there is such an outrage.

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive

They say they are sorry about things and then they raise the credit rates and double monthly payment rates. Doesn’t sound like they care one way or the other.

Posted by fred | Report as abusive

Philanthropy is a noble ideal that utterly fails in reality, because if it actually worked the distribution of wealth in US society would not be what it is compared to other more socialised western nations. Philanthropy, as a word, is used very uncommonly outside the US. I surmise because under more socialised democratic governments a higher burden of taxation is placed upon the rich and distributed to the poor in various ways, thus making philanthropy much less of a comparative ‘big deal’ as it is in the US. One could reasonably make the argument that scaled taxation is unfair but, overall, it seems to do away with the need for a gun cabinet to keep the poor huddled masses at bay and the percentage of the population imprisoned for crime is lower as well. Fewer financially desperate people in a society keep the society more stable and philanthropy is, for all its good intentions, just a band-aid on a gaping wound.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Credit to Pete Cann for an astute observation. Now to deal with the fact that people in higher tax brackets get a bigger bang for their charitable contributions. How about a tax credit for the first $3000 of charitable contributions for anyone earning less than $50,000, phased down gradually to simple deduction as you approach $150,000?

Posted by Richard Johnston | Report as abusive

B.S. This is the flip side of the same coin. Wake up!

Posted by snead_hearn | Report as abusive

Philanthropy or, to use the classic term (in the non-derogative sense) charity is a vitally important quality. It is, however, a matter of individual virtue, and as such no substitute for a properly structured social order, including a tax system. To accept the false premise that individuals ‘create’ their own wealth, ignoring the minor detail that they are enabled to ‘create’ this wealth only as part of a social matrix, as if they were isolates in some Ayn Randian juvenile onanistic fantasy of wealth creation and self-aggrandizement is a patent absurdity. This is not to say that extraordinarily creative individuals are not to be acknowledged, rewarded, and, indeed, celebrated–whether their extraordinary creativity and contribution is individual, social, or financial. It is to say that a simplistic celebration of material fortune and/or manipulation is socially and morally destructive in the extreme, as is demonstrably the case in any age.
Charity, or philanthropy, is a moral duty upon all of us. Social duty at a more elemental level includes a willingness to share the burdens of society and accept an appropriate level of compensation, taxation, and the existence of a governmental structure that attempts, however imperfectly, to benefit citizens and society as a whole.
Consider how absurd and offensive it is, as a minor example, that a university building, a hospital, or whatever, bears the name of ‘benefactor’ who donates a relatively minor portion of its cost while the far-greater portion is borne by taxes placed upon more ‘ordinary’ citizens. How further absurd that we regard this as ‘normal’ and think little of it.
The tax system, of course, ought be simplified and rationalized, though this is unlikely to happen. It is in my judgement a very, very poor substitute to encourage those fortunate enough to possess great material wealth toward ‘philanthropy’ in a fashion that further secures their social position at the expense of society as a whole. I would further argue that, given the paucity of ‘donations’ to the arts, to the needy, and the like, it has demonstrably and consistently failed.
Is a Bill Gates, for example, to be commended for his acts of philanthropy? Yes, of course, and in the strongest terms. Is such celebration a means to encourage or ensure a more just social order? No. Consider how Gates, Buffett, and a very few others have, to their credit, called for higher levels of taxation. Certainly, their generosity and sense of social duty notwithstanding they see philanthropy as no substitute for a more balanced social order with respect to taxation and the role of government.
As, indeed, it is not.

Posted by AtomikWeasel | Report as abusive

Till know the blame is on the bankers, but you will see, that the regulatory system, the government is equally to blame. Here in Holland, government and banks are working very close. The Dutch government allowed the Icesave bank to work in Holland while it was very predictable that they just drained our money giving high interest on saving acounts to rescue Iceland. You see now with maddoff, where was the government you trusted as much as the banks to keep an eye on banking business? Finally we consumers are to blame. Did you not expected to make a big profit on your house? You took the loan offered is it not? You decided to give your pension money to somebody else. Let me tell you folks one thing. Nobody will look as good after your money as yourself! Never fully trust banks and governments.

Posted by Pmagistra, The Netherlands | Report as abusive

The key issue is to be found in your comment…. ” what we advocate is that the rich should use the business skills that earned them their fortunes to make their giving as effective as possible.”

This assumes the existence of a vast pool of business skills in the hands of wealthy executives but I have a different view. Many of the men and woman in senior positions do not have the skills needed to solve the global problems underpinning the crisis.

These executives accumulated vast personal wealth simply by climbing on the gravy train as it was propelled at ever increasing speeds by the overheated economies of the world. They did very little apart from pick up the spoils. It was not their skills which made them look good it was the wealth being created for shareholders by the boom which made everybody look good. If they were really so highly skilled the crisis would never have arisen.

Many of these executives have to be removed from their luxurious offices to make way for people who can sort out their mess.

Posted by anton kleinschmidt | Report as abusive

Let me tell you this you whiners.

The american people got so used to borrow money in the last 30 years that they can’t live without. There is always a price to pay for convenience.

The price you’re paying is high interest to support the lavish life of the rich, who you dispise so much.
If you (all people) don’t rent money and start living bellow your means – not within your means – because then you never get to save money for the rainy days, then you’ll not contribute with the banker’s enrichment.

Also would like to point out that the more expenses you have the less well off you will be. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Than stop procreating and save money, and you all will not need to depend on other people’s money.

The mess we all are in comes primarily from the poor, uneducated and illinformed.

“If there is no DRUG CONSUMER there will be no DRUG DEALER”.

If there were no stupid and greety buyers, flippers and the like, there were not going to be greety lenders and unscrupulous mortgage companies.

Anyone in power would do the same thing if an opportunity presented itself.
Sure, government regulators should have stepped in for long time and all the other common sense, but just to blaim the rich is so childish and certainly takes the heat off for your own (all the people involved) stupidity, lack of information, and laiziness.

It’s funny how the poor and uneducated always want what the rich have, but without putting the same effort that is required to achieve it.

If you do the easy, it will get hard. If you do the hard, it will get easy.

Thanks for reading.

Posted by M.H. | Report as abusive

I’d like to agree with anton kleinschmidt’s comment. In the US, particularly, there is a childish tendency to assume that if an individual has a good deal of money it’s reflective of their skills. I think that this is partly reflective of the insistence on the naive belief that chance plays little or no role in life and that if one is determined, and works hard, in time the rewards will come. Well…sometimes yes, and sometimes no.
Consider many of the supposedly supremely capable folks we’ve now had paraded before us who are of Paulson’s ilk — glorified salesmen of average intelligence and acumen at best, full of their own follies and self-interest. Consider, too, how anyone with wealth or power is very nearly invariably told by those around them how capable and brilliant they are — the equivalent of the sales person telling the lout with money but no taste how ‘exquisite’ their taste is in order to make the sale. Most are fool enough to believe it.
So, no, those with position and/or wealth are not necessarily particularly capable, anton kleinschmidt is absolutely correct, and they are not to be particularly heeded. Hence my point that charity/philanthropy is to be encouraged as a matter of individual virtue, but has no significant role to play as a matter of social policy — it is certainly no substitute for a proper tax structure and a government (however imperfect) that does its job.

Posted by AtomikWeasel | Report as abusive

The duty and goal of corporations is to produce. Look at our shelves. Capitalism might be rough on some people but it flat out produces. It is the Govt job to referee, provide rules, protect rights. American consumers got comfy with credit and spent too much, assumed too much, got way in debt. But wait, overproduction is a “smite me”, new technology, also. FDIC insurance, Social Security, historic perspective, experience, lessons learned, etc. Computers have made our recessions hidef, and will help us get out of the mess. We just need to get along, settle down, get to work, post good will on blogs, wish each other the best.

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

Stop the nickle and diming and all the other predatory practices.

It’s terriblw to read of Banks making 500m off unemployment benefits and home loan restructuring that leads to greater income for the Banks and a heavier loan and mortgage repayment for customers..

Philanthropy would be like the emperor’s new clothes.

Posted by Raymond | Report as abusive

Must disagree with SH’;s comments “The mess we all are in comes primarily from the poor, uneducated and illinformed.
This is a very discriminatory comment.
Did the poor get paid millions of $ for zilch
Did the poor get oportunities to get a real education
Who is illinformed???

I’m sorry but it is patently obvious that thje US education curriculla do not include any where near enough world geography or world history.

The world has changed and the USA is just a part of the big picture not the big picture.

As for the bankers etc – perhaps they are crimes against humaninty that they have committed anmd you better put george bush and john howard on that list too.

Posted by ROCKY POINT | Report as abusive

Heck no, the last thing we want is these folks screwing with charities. These are not captains of industry. These are people who got lucky gambling, and who forgot the basic precept of banking – borrow short and lend long requires careful risk management. Instead they just could not stand the temptation of standing in that river of money and not siphoning off their own. In an industry defined by statistics, some of them make great returns on any given year. They got lucky – bedrock of their own business. But what they know is it is a one way bet. 1% you get filthy rich. 99% you merely take home a Wall Street salary. Hey, you know what that incentivises? Risk. Remember that borrow short and lend long problem – oh right, let’s just buy “insurance” so they can go back to rolling the dice for a bonus.

Nah, this is not an industry that has produced a bunch of smart people we want to put in places where they can do more damage.

The government should nationalize not the banks but instead force an overhaul of the risk rating agencies and procedures. Those are the regulators that really make the banks pay for their foolishness.

And retire the current sharks to somewhere they can’t do any more damage. Hey, put them up in Vegas for a few weeks, find a reason for them to stay a while with time on their hands, that will soon inject their bonuses back into the general economy…

Posted by ExLoony | Report as abusive

Dont kid yourself, The problems we face today will not be solved by the minds that created them.

Posted by Hakan | Report as abusive

You are assuming that the rich, some of whom are CEO’s, got rich by competence and not by inheritance, family connections or theft. The last thing charities need is more incompetent administrators and thieves.

Posted by NotSoBright | Report as abusive

Mr. Matthew Bishop, isn’t it a condescending view of the world?
Let’s see it this way: what would you think if you got robbed at gun point, shot at, but luckily escape death, then get taken to the hospital and then realize your doctor is the guy that robbed and shot you?
It’s like arms dealers setting up charities for victims of exploding mines.
Like the guy who lays you off to save his hide now serving you a hot steamy bowl at the soup kitchen, out of his kind heart and selflessness – not to mention a duty as a rich man to tend to the needy and the lesser well-off.
Comparatively speaking of course.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Hello
Good article. I wont comment on your views, but just say: Remember one of the ceo’s demanding his salary to be 1 $ per year untill the bank has returned to profitability?
Anders

Posted by Anders Peter Jacobsen | Report as abusive

It took the worst of times to make me realise that the captains of industry are ill-equipped to deal with anything but the best of times.

If we are to rely on these people to solve this crisis, (be it through philantrophy or otherwise), we are deluding ourselves and we’ll be doomed. Mr Banker is thinking of nothing else but to save his own fat backside right now. He is not even feeling sorry right now. Not yet.

It is time for you to move into the slow lane, Fatboy. Lean and Mean is coming through.

Posted by Quintin | Report as abusive

A discussion on the subject of philanthrocapitalism at Davos caught my attention recently, when Richard Branson told a VIP audience that business should focus more on social problems.

“Capitalism is the only economic system that really works”, he underlined, saying that the downside of the capitalist system is accumulation of great wealth in hands of relatively small number of people.

http://pinchukfund.org/en/news/archive/2 009/01/29/986.html

In saying this he appears to be aligning himself with our social enterprise, which 5 years earlier put forward the same thoughts, in speaking of social problems in that same country.

http://www.iccrimea.org/scholarly/econom icdev.html

Where we diverge on this was illustrated to me recently when solicited to offer an idea to Virgin Unite, I offered the case of the disabled Ukrainian girl who dedicates her life to helping those abandoned by the state into disabled institutions. She’d been instrumental with her colleague Albert in raising the profile of these children, by speaking out when it was no longer possible to keep silent.

http://deti.zp.ua/eng/show_article.php?a _id=5219

What they are talking about is greed and corruption which precludes basic healthcare because the country has been left with little social infrastructure.

After 4 submissions to Virgin Unite in the last 2 weeks without response, I conclude that if this is philanthrocapitalism, we’ll do without it.

A good first step would be to flush out the criminal element that control these operations; and to actually prosecute them. Much of this crisis was foreshadowed by outright fraud, coupled with a lack of regulation that has created this unbelievable damage; that has now infected the rest of the world. If the engineers of this disaster are not held accountable, it will result in an exacerbating moral deterioration that will poison business relations for years to come.

How much lower can we go?

Perhaps after we clawback some of the lost trillions, we can schedule a corporate bake sale to benefit the community at large.

“Negamax Theory”: The “Baker’s Dozen” for the 21st Century.

Please feel free to use my title and expound upon it.

Posted by Cindy | Report as abusive

Prosecution is the Solution. Convincing the rich to be charitable is ridiculous. The history of democracy could from one perspective be summed up as containing and restraining the forces of concentrated wealth and power.

Just in case you missed it, the Village Voice article What Cooked the World’s Economy? seems pretty important. It is amazingly clear on derivatives .

In short: What is going on now is a massive rip off, and if the banks, hedge funds and corporations involved, were prosecuted by the government, rather than bailed out, the government could gain around 30 trillion dollars.

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

Here’s a link to the article I referred to: http://www.villagevoice.com/content/prin tVersion/850296

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

“A model for a new partnership between philanthropy and government already exists in New York, where billionaire philanthropist Mayor Michael Bloomberg has found a way for government to harness the innovation of business by encouraging philanthropists to fund pilot schemes thought up by social entrepreneurs.”

My research differs. A model for partnership derived from a paper delivered to the Clinton re-election committee in 1996. Conceived by a social entrepreneur, it was applied in Russian in 1999 to deliver proof of concept in the Tomsk initiative (2000-2004) which with $6m seed funding leveraged 10,000 businesses with a survival rate exceeding 95% for more than a year.

http://www.p-ced.com/projects/russia/

Good old emperor Bloomberg. Why don’t we wait till the prosecution of the derivatives scandal settles out before we hold up emulation of him as a solution to anything. The Village Voice article does point out it was his derivative trading machines that that are part of the foundation of the whole derivatives debacle. This isn’t proof of his guilt by any means but lets just wait till this is unraveled a bit more.
Village voice article:
What Cooked the World’s Economy?
http://www.villagevoice.com/content/prin tVersion/850296

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

Sorry, that link to the Voice article didn’t work, here it is again: http://www.villagevoice.com/content/prin tVersion/850296

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

philanthrocapitalism, haha what a joke. That’s what Herbert Hoover was talkin’ about when he was President. The rich couldn’t care less for the middle class and the poor.

Posted by Eldon Lopes | Report as abusive

Oh how I can hear the civil libiterians cry foul.
If public caning was punishment for a wide range of crimes, California wouldn’t have it’s overpopulated prisons and bankers and CEOs would indeed be conscientious.

Posted by Simon | Report as abusive

they need to discover THE JAIL and make sure they will not let the soap slip off their hands….as they did with the public money.

Posted by paul | Report as abusive

After saying goodbye to the first wave of colleagues who have lost their positions owing to layoffs, it seems a bit late to suggest our overpaid, book-cooking bankers turn Philanthropist. We all know how much overhead goes into personnel, but instead of penalizing the honest, hard-working, underpaid employees lower down, perhaps it would be more useful to remove the deadweights who run their companies into the ground while receiving more money in a year than most of us will realize after a decade of work.

Also, a few comments have at least mentioned or focused on the culture of philanthropy in itself. How many charities could sustain themselves were it not for the huge # of people who give whatever they can, whenever they can? This is prob un-American, but if you need the inducement of a tax deduction to donate to organizations that are helping people here and around the world, I don’t want to hear about it.

Governments and individuals alike have their obligations. The former takes $ out of my paycheck and is obligated to use it well & wisely; in turn, it is my duty to reflect upon what I have and what others lack, & ‘tax’ myself within my means on a regular basis. If this sounds Socialist or “European” or something equally foreign, sorry. We were never affluent, but my parents sort of led me to believe this was simply good citizenship.

Posted by Hist0ryRepeats | Report as abusive

I’m well healed person; I had investments worth US$half
million in 1987 in Liberia before the US sponsored
civil war there that were looted in 1990 and I never
ever returned to Liberia.
I have personal experience that these so called “philanthropists” seem to be fraudsters; that is
just my personal opinion; I’m NOT accusing or alleging
anything. I donot care to go into details. The present
financial crisis is I think result of “philanthropists’”
actions; greed etc. Do reuters readers think that all govts should investigate these philanthropists in total?
and leave no stone unturned; Bernie Maddoff also was a
philanthropists; they seem to give a penny, and portray
good image for public to trust them so that they can
make off public’s trillions?? Is the author of this
article paid agent of some philanthropist??

Posted by jjmkparker4546 | Report as abusive

Dan’s highlighted post points out the hypocrisy which is often the case when those who’ve harvested most grandstand about scattering crumbs from the table.

We’ve heard recently, in Europe at least, calls for a new model of capitalism from the like of France’s President Sakorzy, Tony Blair and at Davos British opposition leader David Cameron.

The concept of doing business dedicated to social outcome, you’ll be pleased to learn, didn’t come from any of them but from a homeless American who in the winter of 2003 blogged for economic rights in Chapel Hill NC and was heard by John Edwards, who opened the Center of Poverty, Work and Opportunity as a consequence. He was later heard by a soon to be President when delivering a microeconomic ‘Marshall Plan’ against poverty just recently.

these are some great posts and here is something more along the same lines;

Their Counter-Enlightenment is creating a world that would have been deemed a dystopia a century ago – something so pessimistic that no futurist dared depict a world run by venal and corrupt bankers, protecting as their prime customers the monopolies, real estate speculators and hedge funds whose economic rent, financial gambling and asset-price inflation is turned into a flow of interest in today’s rentier economy. Instead of industrial capitalism increasing capital formation we are seeing finance capitalism strip capital, and instead of the promised world of leisure we are being drawn into one of debt peonage.

the preceding was an excerpt from this article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?c ontext=va&aid=12418

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

Will, there seems to be so much missed by journalists. The blog about Creative Capitalism last year was just the same, many opinions were discarded.

I pitched a pastiche of Capra’s ‘Meet John Doe’ at an ABC news reporter 5 years ago, about the fasting homeless blogger I mentioned earlier. Life failed to imitate art in her case, she was prepared to let him perish.

The subject told me afterwards that it was quite understandable. This was news that wealthy sponsors would not hear, and she’d be risking her job to follow it up.

I suppose we could always prevent poor people from taking out loans.

You know…the poor people who took loans out that they couldn’t repay….and started the entire crisis?

But why blame ourselves, when we can blame the fatcats? Speaking of that, which political party allowed the sub-prime loans anyway?

Posted by Anon. | Report as abusive

The American people just do not believe in our charitable causes anymore. I can see both sides on this one.

It is hard for people to believe in a cause when the people who run it take money from it, etc. It is also hard to run a Charity and help others with no donations.

Looking at blogs on all major news websites is depressing. Most of the comments from the American people on these blogs call for reductions in Social Security, medicare, deductions of benefits for the disabled and much more.

The American people do not view their neighbors as the 60′s generation did. There is no feeling of community anymore. This is a self serving generation that is quick to complain over losses of rights and feedoms but slow to unite and stand up for them, as their parents did.

Americans seem to view our country’s causes like they were still in High School. No one will support a cause if it is not the “In Thing To Do” Americans willdo as their ‘heros’ or ‘role models’ do.
I have NO complaint in helping other countries and their causes…but…

George Clooney was on ‘Larry king Live’ this week. He was trying to gain support for his very worthy cause DARFUR. I admit I cannot imagine what these brve people are going through. However, some statements made by Clooney during his interview with Larry King struck home. I could not help but to add to every statemet that Clooney made. The following are comments made y Clooney on Larry King Live about the people of DARFUR

“…hanging on by a thread…”
So are your own country men, sir and for some this thin thread has alreadybroken
“…I was never in jeopardy…”
Your fellow Americans are down the streets that you do not ever go near. Tents are going up by the hour.
“…We saw an awful lot of fear…”
Look around in yourown home state sir, the fear is almost as visible as a stone.
“…tremendous amount of hope…”
Your countrymen do not have the same hope as they did for they no longer believe inthemselves or their fellow Americans
“…these people are hanging on by the skin of their teeth…”
The elderly are having to make choices…buy life sustaining medications or food

There is nothing wrong in helping another country and it’s people. But until our ‘Role Models’ and ‘Heros’ UNITE and STAND UP for America and ITS causes. The people you need to take a stand for are the ones who promote you as fans. They are the ones suffering yet they still support you with ticket sales, sports, DVD’s, CD’s posters,pictures, and so much more. It is up to them to take the lead.

It is sad that a little 14 year old girl in the South works harder at trying to help others than most adults think about it. This girl has lost a leg yet she still feels that helping others is a blessing not a dreaded duty.

“Feel free to be taken unwell” suggests a journalist from the UK’s Guardian today as echoing what Angela says about giving, the rich need to be persuaded by tax breaks to give proportionately as much as the poor or just 3% of their immense wealth.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ 2009/feb/28/tax-avoidance-aid

The problem, I suspect will be one of ego. Each wanting to tie their brand to an act of giving, and thus none will collaborate with another – or any of us.