In her piece entitled “Our Billionaire Philanthropists,” Maria Bustillos explores concepts such as “philanthrocapitalism” (which AGRA Watch has used in its analyses) and whether wealthy philanthropists are really the best suited actors to shape public policy. Although charitable foundations are often seen as helping to redress social inequities, she explains that the low tax rates in the United States for philanthropic foundations results in actually increasing social income disparity, and, of course, unaccountable charitable foundations are gaining more power over policy. Bustillos notes that one example of charitable work that had major adverse outcomes (as well as some positive ones which were used to claim success) was the first Green Revolution. This green revoltion idea has been taken up again by the Gates Foundation, although many organizations in affected countries are resisting it. Finally, Bustillos ends the piece by making recommendations for how philanthropic foundations can improve their models to better serve the global good.
Read “Our Billionaire Philanthropists” here: