Eat the Rich

Today I read this article, in which a self-important blowhard filled to the very top of his head with bullshit so bullshitty one wonders how he holds it (his bs-filled head) upon his neck. It’s about rich people and how they got rich by having qualities the rest of us dregs-of-humanity could not possibly grok, like wanting a lot of money so they don’t have to work at crappy jobs. Never thought of that one, did you, plebeian scum? Also, they envision a better future. Not like you, all pining for the good old days of unions and fair wages for labor.

Anyway, reading about rich people reminded me of the conference I went to last week, which in turn reminded me that rich people should not be allowed to decide which nonprofits get funded.

The most interesting/horrifying part of this conference every year is the funder’s panel, in which three people who run foundations sit on the stage and discuss, out loud, in front of 200-some development pros, six real grant proposals.

One of the proposals involved a program that hooks low-income teenagers up with paid summer internships. Yay! A significant amount of the money they were requesting was earmarked for bus passes, so the kids could, you know, get to work.

Here’s the horrifying part: two of the three panelists pooh-poohed the very idea of funding bus passes. Bus passes! So boring! So plebeian! Rich people don’t use bus passes to get to work. Those kids are losers!

So that proposal wasn’t chosen. That’s the way the system works. Rich people who can’t grasp the importance of providing bus passes for low-income kids when you want them to get someplace every day, on time, are the ones who dole out the money.

There’s more but perhaps you folks don’t want to hear about catalytic funding and collaborative systems change and other human services concepts that all largely amount to rich people telling nonprofits what to do.

Instead, if you have any interest in the nonprofit world, let me direct you to a blog much better than mine: Nonprofit with Balls. Enjoy.




5 thoughts on “Eat the Rich

  1. I cannot fathom what made you think you wanted to read that article. The picture at the top was enough to turn me away.

    People who don’t come from rich families and become rich usually do have qualities others don’t have, though, right? Like, NFL players and actors arguably have qualities I don’t have, and some are even desirable qualities, like athleticism. You should go see Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawlers.

    No, I take it back. Don’t see it.

    Also: I agree with #4 wholeheartedly and I don’t think you have to be rich to see the VERY OBVIOUS TRUTH that money brings freedom. Uh, duh, dude. Who WOULDN’T want to buy their way out of all their problems???

    I don’t know anything about nonprofit grant funding. I suspect rich people make the decisions because rich people are running and funding the foundations that are giving the money to the nonprofits. But that’s just a guess. I actually have no idea.

    • Well, we’ve already established that I often read things on teh internets that I ought to scroll on by. And yes, world-class athletes clearly have qualities most of us do not, but that article is not about talent or being over seven feet tall or any other quality that most middle class and/or poor people don’t have. “Comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Omg. If you will still have a big house and all the food you can eat even if your deal goes south, you are not uncomfortable.

      And yes, rich people make decisions because they run foundations and give money, and that’s one way the system is broken. I mean, god bless ’em for giving money. I appreciate it, I really do. And they are nice, good-hearted, well-meaning people. And I don’t have a solution for this problem. Sadly.

      • I guess I don’t see why talent or being over seven feet tall should be compensated with gobs of money either, really. Although I get a little lost when I start to think about exactly how, and to what degree, abilities and talents ought to be compensated. For example, I was reading a post today on white privilege, and some of the aspects of privilege (according to the post, not according to me) were “body shape and abilities.” Also, I’ve read before about perfectionism and achievement being aspects of privilege. I find this confusing. I see the unfairness of compensating people according to their abilities or talents, as they didn’t “work” for those things. As a parent of a kid who struggles in school, for example, I don’t think it’s fair that all the smart or gifted or motivated kids get the As and the awards all the time. But on the other hand, it doesn’t make any sense to reward everyone equally when some people can obviously contribute more. I think being comfortable being uncomfortable doesn’t refer to physical comfort. I think it refers to putting things on the line in terms of risk, and/or making decisions in your personal life and relationships that others disapprove of, and/or pushing yourself into situations that benefit you even if you would rather remain a wallflower. Because, in fairness, he was comparing the wealthy to the middle class, not to the poor. Most people in the middle class are “comfortable,” in the sense that they have a place to live and food to eat.

        The solution to the problem is not to have rich people and let the government make the decisions in re: nonprofit grants. Then you just have to hope that voting works better than cajoling rich people.

  2. How disappointing. The internships for low-income kids sounds like a really good project, too. I can’t even comprehend being so disconnected that you can’t see the value in providing transportation to work. I’m pretty damn privileged, yet I use public transportation all the time, as do many other people in comfortable circumstances. So these deciders must be completely divorced from reality, and therefore shouldn’t be making decisions at all.

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