Why Real Change Won’t Come From Billionaire Philanthropists

Three men and one woman in professional dress sit onstage at a panel discussion.

Jeff Bezos is donating money to fund schools and homelessness initiatives. Mark Zuckerberg is giving 99 percent of his Facebook shares to charity. The wealthy get high praise for donating money to social causes, but how much can we expect these efforts to change systemic societal issues, especially when some of those very same business interests are taking steps that negate this philanthropy through lobbying and their own workplace policies?

In a new book, Winners Take All, Anand Giridharadas argues that this system of philanthropy reinforces the inequities that put billionaires on top. Speaking to CityLab’s Richard Florida, Giridharadas explains why this is a problem that should concern everyone:

It’s not about billionaires we like versus billionaires we don’t like. This is not about rich people who do the right thing versus rich people who do the wrong thing. This is a fundamental question of, why do rich people have so much power over public life in America?

In a wide-ranging Q&A, Florida and Giridharadas dive into the conundrum of tax breaks for companies and charity from their top execs, and why real change won’t come from the philanthropists at all.

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Why Real Change Won’t Come From Billionaire Philanthropists
 

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