Thursday, December 21, 2006

When Charity Shouldn’t Begin at Home

The article below by Robert Reich recalls 'Cadillac liberal' Leonard Bernstein's hors d'oeuvres party back in the 1970's for Manhattan socialites in his UWS swankienda to "benefit" the Black Panthers.

Even now, in 2006, Democratic and Progressive party members in our town *cough* think left, but *cough* *cough* live right. (Check out the contributor/guest list at the next Flynn Center benefit.)

Reich gives some advice to the Canapé Consumerist Culture in our midst.

Robert B. Reich/Common Dreams - 12/20/06 - Not long ago, New York City’s Lincoln Center had a gala dinner supported by the charitable contributions of the leaders of the hedge fund industry, some of whom will be receiving billion-dollar bonuses in the next few weeks. I may be missing something here, but this doesn’t strike me as charity. I mean, poor New Yorkers don’t often attend concerts at the Lincoln Center.

It turns out, in fact, that only an estimated 10 percent of all charitable deductions this year will be directed at the poor.

So here’s a modest holiday proposal: At a time in our nation’s history when the number of needy continue to rise, when government doesn’t have the money to do what’s necessary, and when America’s very rich are richer than ever, we should revise the tax code and limit the charitable deduction to real charities.

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