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Charity Should Begin At Home

There has been a ton of talk today about what a grand chap Frank Giustra is for donating $100 million to Bill Clinton's foundation for solving poverty in South America, and for arranging similar large donations from other rich folks.  I agree it is an interesting gesture, but I do have a couple of points to put on record.

One, Giustra is only as rich as he is because he played the capitalist game of keeping for himself the excess value of the labour of others.  If he had paid his people better and given them better benefits and conditions, the actual wealth creators would have had their proper share of that $100 million and could themselves help others.

Second, Vancouver has at least a $100 million poverty problem which Mr Giustra's donation will do nothing to help alleviate.  I would guess that $100 million would go a long long way to eradicating the obscene degree of homelessness we see on our streets.  That kind of money could help turn those helpless souls into productive members of society allowing them to help others in their turn.

I applaud Giustra for doing something.  I just wish it had been the right thing.

June 22, 2007 in B.C., Capitalism, Current Affairs, Vancouver | Permalink

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