Greg Gerritt is a long time activist on the ecology/economy interface and is associated with Friends of the Moshassuck, the Green Party, and

5 responses to “Rhode Island Foundation and Buy Nothing Day”

  1. cailin rua

    You inspire me to be a “third party dreamer”.  I think any real progressive blog has to address the rise of the non-profit industrial complex.  For the past year I have been trying to get a handle on who and what the R I Foundation is.  Seems to be a privately funded group of unelected people engaged in strategic fundraising in order to reduce tax liability, primarily, forwealthy people.  Seems that since the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 the influence of “non-profits” and faith based charities has risen disproportionate to the overall economy but proportionate to the rise of wealth distribution inequality and things like the prison industrial complex, etc., if one compares the graphs on these pages with others focused on things like wealth distribution and incarceration rates.

    It doesn’t seem very ironic that that the 16th Amendment was ratified and the Revenue Act was passed in 1913. Three years following that, U S Senator from R I, Jesse Metcalf, started up the R I Foundation.  Two years later there were revisions to the Revenue Act with the Revenue Act of 1917 adding individual income tax deductions in addition to deductions already given to organizations.  In the Revenue Act of 1918  estates were granted deductions for charitable bequests.

    In 1977, the R I Foundation’s grants were 1 million dollars.  In 2006 their assets exceeded 500 million.  I cannot find figures for the amount of grants given in 2006 but I wonder how much greater the R I Foundation’ s influence is now.  It didn’t seem right the way people on the payrolls of certain non-profits were used by engageri to push their flavor of pension reform through.  There seems to be an inordinate amount of influence exerted on public policy by those who are unelected but who have enormous resources to work with. 

    As far as achieving growth by selling more hamburgers, more Coke than Pepsi, taking over mom and pop drugstores and building supply operations in order to centralize and deliver the profits over to people don’t even live in the states and localities where the money is spent, I have long realized that I would either have to have a Ph.D. in economics to understand abstruse economic theory to grasp all this or that we have had the wool pulled over our eyes while our local economies are sucked dry and are empowering huge, faceless  monopolies in order to grab a few advertising dollars for the local media. 

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  2. leftyrite

    callin rua:

    What a righteous bit of communication that was.

    You are the steak tatare of the internet.


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  3. Ericka

    With the current rate of poverty exchanging a coat is a great idea. We do need to find another way to live if we are going to sustain the earth and ourselves. The growth that has occurred in the last 30 years have benefited mostly the rich, the rest of us are now free-falling into poverty. The greedy rich eat 5-star meals while we are getting whatever we got from the food pantry or what we could afford after the rest of the ever increasing bills are paid. The poor have been called names by the fundamentalist conservative media and people believe them!!!. We are lazy. We want to mooch off of the government. We elected Obama because we are dependent on him. The biggest one of all is the lie that the poor are envious of the rich. No we just want a chance to work and an equal chance for ourselves and children. Good pay for hard work, not pink slips. As the article states 93% of the growth went to the 1%. well they are not hiring, trickle down has been proven a failure. We need a new way that involves sharing and reusing. Caring for ones’ fellow man would help too I think.

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