Monday, August 12, 2013

Peter Singer's Critique of Philanthropy

Peter Singer, who has shed light on a wide range of ethical issues, has now turned his sights on philanthropy.

Calling for a shift in resources from cultural funding to humanitarian projects, he applies cost-benefit analysis to explain why we should fund disease prevention instead of museum capital campaigns.

Philanthropy is voluntary and as such donor intent will continue to drive funding decisions rather than quantifiable cost-benefit analysis.  Whether I want to support my church, local museum or disease prevention for the world's poorest is a personal decision.

Perhaps he should also focus on public sector aid funding and how it can be made more effective or ask the question why we allow charitable contributions to be tax-deductible in the first place rather than trying to reform philanthropy.