FROM Ray Madoff
Charitable Giving and Donor Advised Funds The most popular charity in America is United Way. The second most popular charity is Fidelity Charitable. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s because Fidelity Charitable isn’t really a charity at all, it’s what’s called a “donor-advised fund” run by the investment company Fidelity Investments. Donor-advised funds, or DAFs are growing. They control more than $70 billion in assets. But it’s not clear how much of that money actually makes it to charities.
'Ridiculous, Ostentatious Wealth' in America A conservative columnist reports that we're in " the second great Gilded Age ." A liberal author warns that "a bloated over-class can drag down society." But a New York Times Magazine article is headlined " Don't Hate Them Because They're Rich : The Trickle-down Effect of Ridiculous, Ostentatious Wealth." America's median income is $48,000, but the starting salary for some butlers is $60,000. Those numbers can be used to show that the massive wealth of the Super Rich "trickles down" to the rest of Americans, but not everybody sees it that way. In 20 years, the number of billionaires has gone from 13 to several 1000. Some see a permanent aristocracy in the making, while the middle class struggles to pay the bills. How did the super rich get that way? Are they good or bad for the economy?
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”