David Callahan wrote an insightful article in “Inside Philanthropy” about something that most of us have noticed: the growing power of foundations that use their money to impose their ideas and bypass democratic institutions. In effect, mega-foundations like Gates and Walton use their vast wealth to short circuit democracy.
Callahan identifies five scary trends but they all boil down to the same principle: Unaccountable power is supplanting democracy.
“1. The growing push to convert wealth into power through philanthropy
“Look at nearly any sector of U.S. society, and you’ll find private funders wielding growing power. Most dramatic has been the reshaping of public education by philanthropists like Gates and the Waltons, but the footprint of private money has also grown when it comes to healthcare, the environment, the economy, social policy, science, and the arts.
“Whether you agree or disagree with the specific views pushed by private funders…
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