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By Tim Hunt

A lesson in philanthrophy

Uploaded: Jul 2, 2015

Serial tech entrepreneur Sean Parker announced formation of his foundation and was featured in a major Wall Street Journal piece last week. He cited the "hacker attitude" and believes it can take and conquer some of the major health challenges worldwide.
Parker is the co-founder of Napster, the founding president of Facebook and a board member of Spotify.
The most important point he made in the long piece was a simple, but profound one. Give away your assets while you are alive and can ensure they be used in accordance with your wishes.
The reason: look no farther than last month's announcement by the Ford Foundation, which was established with Ford Motor Co. stock when company founder Henry Ford died in 1947.
The nation's second largest philanthropy with an endowment of more than $10 billion announced that it was shifting the focus of its grants to organizations working to curb financial, racial, gender and other inequalities. The entire focus will be on inequality?a major shift announced by President Darren Walker, who took the top job in 2013. He hopes it will provide a "social-justice" infrastructure.
Previously, the foundation's grant making supported eight causes: human rights, freedom of expression, democratic and accountable government, economic opportunity, education, sustainable development, sexuality and reproductive health, and social justice.
According to the article by Alex Daniels in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, "Now Ford will place a high priority on alleviating what it sees as the key causes of inequality, including broken political systems, discrimination, dwindling support for schools and other public institutions, and a belief that the free market alone can cure social ills.
"The foundation will support programs that promote open government, push for more equitable distribution of wealth, strengthen education and opportunities for young people, showcase free expression, and work toward justice based on race, ethnicity, and gender."

I just have to wonder how Henry Ford would view his foundation, built by an American capitalist who employed thousands and sold millions of cars, aiming its grants in this matter. I suspect Ford would view equality of opportunity as a cornerstone of America, not equality of outcomes.

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