All posts by Debra E. Blum


In Billionaires’ Pledge, Critics See Dark Cloud Instead of Silver Lining

After 40 U.S. billionaires promise to give away at least half of their fortunes to charity, can the glass still appear half empty?

It can, according to a roundup of gloomy accounts of this months’ billionaires’ pledge by the Atlantic Wire.

Although careful to praise the intent of the pledge and its signers, critics are voicing concerns about the effort’s “echoes of robber-baron philanthropy in the Gilded Age.”  One even suggests an alternative pledge for the ultra-wealthy: ponying up their full…


Y Worry About a Name? YWCA Has Its Reasons

The YMCA’s decision, announced this month, to adopt its popular nickname, the Y, as its name elicited an earnest, if not worried, response from the YWCA, the organization sometimes called “the other Y.”

In a written statement titled “The Tale of two ‘Y’s,’” the YWCA pointedly explained the differences in history and mission between the two organizations, which were each separately established more than 150 years ago. The YMCA’s core focus, the statement explains, is on youth development, health,…