Private philanthropy has always been a form of power for wealthy donors. But as wealth inequality has exploded in recent decades, it’s concentrating that private power in even fewer hands – all subsidized by public taxpayers.
This has troubling implications for charities, who are forced to cater to a smaller number of mega-donors, and our democracy. As governments at all levels face growing austerity from the Covid-19 pandemic and recession, billionaire philanthropy may well fill the vacuum for local services and institutions. But unlike local taxpayer dollars, billionaire foundations don’t answer to voters.
The Guardian is based over the pond, so they probably weren’t talking about El Paso.