Can Democracy and Philanthropy be Reconciled?
The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society invites you to a lecture series by Visiting Scholar Gara LaMarche, a Senior Fellow at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, NYU.
Of this first lecture, Professor LaMarche says:
"We are living in a time when philanthropy is exalted for its ability to take on big problems without the bottom-line preoccupations of the corporate world or the bureaucracy and political dysfunction of the public sector. A recent admiring book on the “philanthrocapitalism” trend was even subtitled “how the rich can save the world.” Large foundations in particular are significant, if not dominant players in education and health care, and in recent months foundations have made bold forays into municipal and state governance in Michigan, New Jersey and New York. Though many of the initiatives of foundations in the public sphere have undeniably had positive impact, few inside or outside philanthropy bother to ask the deeper questions, at a time of sustained assault on government and the very notion of public responsibility for social welfare, about the diversion of tax dollars from public use to private choice. What is the source of foundation legitimacy, and to whom are foundations accountable? Is public policy, like politics itself, increasingly controlled and possibly corrupted by big money? And if so, what can be done about it?"