Category: Charity

The Charity Enigma

I saw a beggar (and his dog) on Sunset Boulevard the other day. They — well, the human — were soliciting cash donations for “food” from pedestrians. A well-meaning but foolish fellow threw a few bucks at the doleful couple, thereby cleansing himself of whatever sins he had committed in the name of acquiring his...

Giving to the World

With very few exceptions, all of us must work. Our jobs, those five-days-a-week responsibilities that earn us the money for food, shelter, clothing, and recreational drugs, allow us to both survive and feel like we’re actually doing something with our brief lives. Some jobs pay more than others. Some are dirtier than others. Some are fun...

Why People Hate Art

A rich guy we know gives generously to a wide and cheering cross-section of charities: Special Olympics, animal shelters, American Cancer Society, institutions of higher learning. He feels good giving away some of his millions to any cause or appeal, except “the arts.” That he won’t do. The arts, he’s told us in so many words,...

How Can I Help?

A friend recently read the entire archive of our collected Thoughts of the Day. Like most people, he found himself agreeing with some of our ideas, disagreeing with others, and questioning the rest. He said he liked our Thoughts – but he was troubled by one of the “recurring” themes he detected. “You don’t seem...

Kroc’s Great Gift

Joan Kroc, the widow of Ray Kroc, founder of the American dining institution MacDonald’s, died a very rich woman. Thanks to sales of Big Macs, deep-fried potatoes, and colored corn syrup in water, she was, in fact, a multi-billionaire. Upon her death last year, Kroc’s executors were pleased to announce that the fast-food heir had...

Helping by Hurting

The 7-11 store in our neighborhood dispenses cigarettes, sodas, chips, hot dogs, coffee, cookies, and most every other snack food that can be fashioned out of partially hydrogenated oil and other trans-fats. This convenience outlet offers most of the noxious poisons people ought to ingest if they wish to slowly kill themselves. Though the products on...

Against Charity

Giving to the needy is supposed to be a virtue. Indeed, it’s once of the sacraments of most religions. In our venal world, being charitable — sharing with those who don’t have what you have — is akin to secular holiness. How much someone gives to charity is a powerful if imprecise barometer of how...