Author Archives: Debra E. Blum
August 11, 2010, 2:00 pm
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 tax bills on time and committing to better business practices.
The Stanford University professor Robert Reich calls the donations admirable in a post on Salon but says the pledge is a troubling reminder “about how much money is now concentrated in so few hands.”
Similarly, Steven Pearlstein writes in The Washington Post that the pledge “has raised the bar on social responsibility even as it…
July 21, 2010, 11:13 am
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, fitness, and social responsibility.
The YWCA’s central purpose, by contrast, is as a provider of social services for girls and women and as an advocate for racial justice and human rights. The YWCA typically uses the money it generates from its health and fitness programs to pay for its work in civil rights and on women’s issues.
Lorraine Cole, chief executive of the YWCA USA, says it is too soon…