A Philosopher Speaks About Charity

The New York Times scarcely needs promotional assistance from the Nonprofiteer; but she nonetheless urges everyone to run out and get a copy of the December 17 Sunday Magazine for its cover essay by Peter Singer about philanthropy.  The simple fact that the essay considers such notions as, very wealthy people owe some portion of their wealth to society because society made their wealth accumulation possible, makes it a refreshing read.  This is especially true for those of us who live in Chicago (under the baleful influence of Chicago-school economists) and have to spend a lot of time listening to claims that human freedom rests on refusing to acknowledge any obligation owed by successful human beings to less fortunate members of the species.

Thanks to Professor Singer–who puts his money where his mouth is–for the essay, perhaps the Platonic ideal Christmas present.

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