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Inside Philanthropy

Ralph has a fascinating conversation about the billions of dollars spent on political philanthropy and what all that money is working for with David Callahan, author of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.  Also, Ralph answers more listener questions!


David Callahan is founder and editor of “Inside Philanthropy,” a website that examines how foundations and major donors are giving away their money, and why.  Mr. Callahan has written extensively on trends in philanthropy, as well as American culture, public policy and business and is author, most recently, of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.

“My book doesn’t really pick sides in terms of pointing out who are the real bad guys here as much as it says, ‘Hey, all of this giving by all of this politicized philanthropy really is amplifying the voice of that top – not 1% – the top .01% at a time when we’re already very concerned about how much power the wealthy have.’” David Callahan, author of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age 

1 Comment

  1. C Ronk says:

    Is there not something unseemly or contradictory, from a democratic point of view, in seeking to find the resources for enduring progressive change by supping at the table of ultra-wealthy benefactors whose fortunes inherently defy what they could possibly be economically entitled to by any reasonable measure of value? How does this not threaten to or actually reduce politics to noblesse oblige? I have been wanting to ask Ralph this question since his book, Only the Superrich Can Save Us. I would have expected the podcast to address this crucial question.

    I also would have expected discussion of the related question, alluded to indirectly by Mr. Callahan only toward the very end, of why such a fantastically rich class, even if it might have its “stray woozy billionaires”, would ever be more than nominally interested in long-term progressive change on a large scale, when such change threatens to decisively sweep away their privileges.

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