ON-Lion Letter
In his new Encounter Broadside, Philanthropy Under FireHoward Husock defends the American tradition of independent philanthropy from significant political and intellectual challenges that threaten it today. 

Husock is vice president for policy research at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research in New York City and directs its Social Entrepreneurship Initiative.  He is a former director of case studies in public policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Although the United States continues to be the most-charitable nation in the world, serious efforts seek to discourage traditional, personal charitable giving by changing the tax code, and directing philanthropy toward causes chosen by government.  Some voices seek to narrow the very definition of philanthropy to include only direct redistribution of income from rich to poor.

In contrast, Husock broadly defends philanthropy's causes -- from the food pantry to the art museum to the university science lab -- as both a source of effective new ideas and as a core aspect of democracy and liberty.  In a new and original argument, Philanthropy Under Fire asserts that having broad impact does not require a marriage of philanthropy and government.

Instead, according to Husock, private programs growing out of the values held by their leaders -- and imbued with those values -- can have a wide impact through their influence on society's norms.  In this sense, the good that private philanthropy does for American society can far transcend the good that it does for its immediate recipients.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, as is the Manhattan Institute.
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |