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May 11, 2007


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Dee Hicks

Many of our nonprofits have the same problem getting timely payments from the city. I hadn't thought of camping out at City Hall!


Voluntary versus involuntary exactions for the public good. The final comparison of the two has to take into account the free rider problem. Charity would be better, maybe, if it could be enforced. If Bill can plug that leak in his theory, or even try to plug it in practice through moral suasion, we might find significant common ground. What he is stumping for are reduced taxes, not greater giving. I have tried. Have asked what we might do together to promote greater generosity to small grassroots orgs through Hudson and its donors. How we could help donors plan to be more generous. How we could help the donor get engaged, not with the think tank, but with the people in the grassroots orgs that Bill constantly praises. He did not find that a suggestion worth investing time in. Not the business he is in. Not what he is paid and incentivized to do. Hudson could do a lot of good encouraging donors of both parties to redirect money from political lobbying to grassroots orgs.


Bill, if you stop by again, how can advisors, thinkers, foundations partner with donors to help the grassroots orgs? What can Hudson do to promote that? Serious offer. Transpartisan. Get past politics to getting things done. Is that feasible within the structures in which you are working?


"Government should take care of seniors … government should take care of educating kids … government should do a lot of stuff. The problem is it does a lousy job."

Thus speaks the saboteur.


Outsource it all to the boss's friends. Get contributions in return. It is the American Way.

Stuart Johnson

Government is useful for keeping the working poor from picking up their axes and torches and storming the mansions of their overlords. All those tax-funded investments in riot-control technologies suddenly start to pay off.

Albert Ruesga

We appear to share the goal of guaranteeing a flow of dollars to effective nonprofit organizations. Perhaps we should consider giving the nonprofit sector the right to levy taxes to support crucial public services like those provided by Cordelia Taylor. I’m happy to cut out the Big Gubmint bugbear.


Rich people deserve to be hated. Personally, and as representative of their ilk.

That includes their insulated and compensated minions, like Schambra, who have the effrontery to trot out examples of the tribulations of orgs like Family House tangling with the "county" as if their own political agenda hadn't placed the hurdles in the county's path.


That includes the foundations too, who think they can play the Schambras against the government for some liberal political traction.

You all suck.

Albert Ruesga

Klaus, I’ve been played the fool—or, rather, I’ve played the fool—as often as any politician or think tanker has been ridden like an ass. And yes, I have great respect for liberal thinkers like Mill, Berlin, and Rawls. I think they got things essentially right.

Even Isaiah Berlin, who strongly mistrusted central authority, criticized then-contemporary political arrangements by appealing to a set of values that held across all human cultures. From that universal vantage point, and from many others I can think of, I most assuredly suck. If your claim, however, is that all people who work at foundations are, by dint of their employment, morally compromised, then please explain why you believe that’s the case.

What is it that sets the philanthropoid apart from the store clerk, say, who likely buys products made in China, pays taxes to a war-faring government in order to avoid being imprisoned, eats the flesh of animals that have been inhumanely farmed, purchases gas for his car from polluting mega-corporations, and has a savings account at a bank that invests in the equity and bond markets?


I was listening to an interview with an anarchist a few days ago who said "it's not just the system, it's personal." He was really good at hating rich people, and funny about it too. When you hear something good like that, you want to try it on for a while. Personally, though, I can't sustain it. The effect of the interview wore off after awhile and I've done gone back to not hating rich people. Now I'm back to sucking up just like everybody else. I guess I just don't have that purity. Can you learn it? I wish that you could. It would probably make for a better world. The world we want, right? Anyway, I have two Italian suits now, a smartphone with a wireless broadband data connection for my top-of-the-line notebook computer, and an unbelievably high savings rate from my income. No kidding. It's probably too late for me now. Another couple years and I'm going to be rich and I don't see any way to stop it, except by maybe jumping in the river (but I don't have the purity for that either) or posting compromising comments on blogs.

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