I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:

· To post questions or comments;

· To follow up on class discussions;

· To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

The syllabus is at http://www1.cmc.edu/pages/faculty/JPitney/gov106-fall15.html


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg and the Rise of Philanthrocapitalism

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan decided they will donate to philanthropic causes roughly ninety-nine per cent of their Facebook stock over the course of their lifetime (close to forty-five billion dollars).

This has opened an interesting discussion about the newfound tendency of the wealthiest people to donate their money to charities instead of their heirs (which, conveniently, allows them to avoid a few types of taxes and eventually increase their own wealth). Further, the practice of giving vast amounts to charity allows the small number of the extremely affluent to promote causes near and dear to their hearts. 

"My intention, here, isn’t to enter the education debate. It is simply to point out what should be obvious: people like Zuckerberg and Gates, by virtue of their philanthropic efforts, can have a much bigger say in determining policy outcomes than ordinary citizens can."

Read the whole story here.

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