** The Givers by David Callahan

The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age looks at how the super-rich give, or at least the generous super-rich, taking us through the causes they choose to support and the mechanisms they use to give. The main theme, unsurprisingly, is that the super-rich have an outsized influence, because of the vast sums they control. But more insidiously, the super-rich often give fortunes to self-serving causes such as their alma maters or art concerns that benefit mostly other rich or near-rich people — and especially to political causes that are treated generously by the US tax code but don’t exactly serve the downtrodden. Might be worth some attention from the US Congress, were it known untangled in other concerns at this time.

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