Tuesday, January 5, 2016
What Money Can Buy - Ford Foundation's Pursuit of Conquering Inequality
The urge to change the world is normally thwarted by a near-insurmountable barricade of obstacles: failure of imagination, failure of courage, bad governments, bad planning, incompetence, corruption, fecklessness, the laws of nations, the laws of physics, the weight of history, inertia of all sorts, psychological unsuitability on the part of the would-be changer, the resistance of people who would lose from the change, the resistance of people who would benefit from it, the seduction of activities other than world-changing, lack of practical knowledge, lack of political skill, and lack of money. Lack of money is a stubborn obstacle, but not as hopelessly unyielding as some of the others, and so would-be world-changers often set out to overcome it. Some try to raise money, but that can be depressing and futile. Others try to make money, but it’s hard to make enough. There is a third, more reliable way to overcome this obstacle, however, and that is to give away money that has already been made by somebody else, and has already been allocated to world-changing purposes. This is the way of the grant-makers of the Ford Foundation.
Ford’s grant-makers are employed “for the general purpose of advancing human welfare,” so their work requires determining what human welfare consists of and how best to advance it. . . .