Monday, February 22, 2016

A Career in Charitable Giving

According to Karl Zinsmeister (in Imprimis, January 2016), the nonprofit sector of the US economy "comprises eleven percent of the total United States workforce. It will contribute around six percent of gross domestic product this year. To put this in perspective, the charitable sector passed the national defense sector in size in 1993, and it continues to grow. And these numbers don’t take volunteering into account: charitable volunteers make up the equivalent—depending on how you count—of between four and ten million full-time employees. So philanthropy is clearly a huge force in our society." 

The rest of this article has an interesting defense of philathropy, connecting it to the kind of regime we have in the United States, one where there is "polyarchy," that is, where there are a large number of different kinds of centers of power (as opposed to a monarchy, where there is one great power).  In other words, as our students will understand, we have federalism and protections for economic (and other) freedoms and for private choices about how to live.  

The philanthropic world  doesn't spring immediately to mind as a place for history and political science majors to seek out careers, but it should.   

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