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December 12, 2008

Oh, Dan

Lew Lasher points us to Dan Pallotta's piece on American Public Media's Marketplace. He speaks on the subject of charity, or rather charitable organizations and how they should be allowed to use the tools of capitalism.

On the one hand, there's the traditional view of charity: you give something either to those who need it or to someone who's collecting for those who need it. The usual expectation is that most of it goes to those who need it. Maybe he wants to change that expectation, but I don't think he'll succeed.

OTOH, you can run a capitalist enterprise and choose to give some (or even all) of your profits to charity. That's consistent even with super-Ayn Randian capitalism. But people will see that as a business, not a charity. Take the pharmaceutical industry for example. They do donate some drugs to those who need them, but can't afford them. So they're charitable, but no one thinks they're charities.

One can pick his spot in that gray area between traditional charities and charitable businesses and do his thing and make his money and give something to charity. No problem. Just don't whine when someone else disagrees with your name for that process: business, charity, capitalism, humanitarianism, whatever.

Filed under AIDS Rides,Libertarianism | permalink | December 12, 2008 at 09:04 AM

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