Are Charities a Waste of Time?
Jason Gots is a New York-based writer, editor, and podcast producer. For Big Think, he writes (and sometimes illustrates) the blog "Overthinking Everything with Jason Gots" and is the creator and host of the "Think Again" podcast. In previous lives, Jason worked at Random House Children's Books, taught reading and writing to middle schoolers and community college students, co-founded a theatre company (Rorschach, in Washington, D.C.), and wrote roughly two dozen picture books for kids learning English in Seoul, South Korea. He is also the proud father of an incredibly talkative and crafty little kid.
Philanthropy is a tricky business. To begin with, there’s the question of which group, among the millions of needy and suffering people in the world, to help. Even more complicated is the strategic planning around how best to “help” people. Philanthropic organizations need to determine how best and most efficiently to raise funds, what kind of assistance to provide, how to deliver that assistance effectively, and how to help build a sustainable infrastructure in communities they mean to help.
Economist Adam Smith's famously argued that the "invisible hand" of unfettered free market capitalism would result in improvements in living standards for the greatest number of people. His ideas continue to inform concepts like the "single-bottom line" approach to corporate philanthropy.
What do you think ? . . .
Are charities a waste of time? Should people focus on economic development instead to improve living conditions worldwide?
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