They Gave Them Jobs!

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” – Upton Sinclair

I’ve been thinking for a while about the rise of institutional non-profits during the past couple decades. In particular, how well-funded, focused non-profits with permanent jobs have displaced traditional civic life and civic mindfulness.

Perhaps it creates an “I gave at the office” mindset. Walk for the Cure and give your change to the check-out line charities. Feels good. Clean. Popular. Engaging in civics is messy. Unpopular. Fix potholes. Talk about taxes and fees. No thanks.

More importantly, it vacuums up the most civic-minded people and agents for change and places them into paid positions as vassals for wealthy individuals and special interests. People who would advocate for structural initiatives are apt to focus on solutions that fit in existing frameworks, even if they do utilized more fact-driven, professional approaches. I’ve been thinking about this scene (first half).

This article touches on that and more. I recommend it even if it frames things in language those us on the right may find a bit unsettling.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/opinion/sunday/plutocrats-vs-populists.html

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