Rob Reich on philanthropy and what foundations are good for

From Boston Review, you will find his stimulating essay here.  Excerpt:

I believe there is a case for foundations that renders them not merely consistent with democracy but supportive of it.

First, foundations can help to diminish government orthodoxy by decentralizing the definition and distribution of public goods. Call this the pluralism argument. Second, foundations can operate on a longer time horizon than can businesses in the marketplace and elected officials in public institutions, taking risks in social policy experimentation and innovation that we should not routinely expect to see in the commercial or state sector. Call this the discovery argument.

Do note that some parts of Reich’s essay are more critical of foundations than this.  Behind the main link, the column “Forum Responses” provides numerous comments on Reich, you can find mine here.


Comments for this post are closed