Earn to give.
Make as much money as you can to give it away.
Why are we surprised that messages like this would provide incentives for people (or be used as justification by people) who just want to make lots of money?
This story from The New York Times, seems at first as if it will pull back the curtain on this logic that making money at all costs is OK if you're going to give it away. But, it doesn't. Instead it joins the legions of articles written about effective altruism and the potential crimes at FTX that inherently reify the logic.
Rather than the FTX debacle unleashing a broad conversation about wealth and responsibility, philanthropy's roles in making amends for harmful actions, or *gasp* real questions about capitalism and justice, the FTX scandal is philanthropy's version of asterisked hall of famers. Those involved in FTX are being treated like the Pete Roses and Barry Bonds of philanthropy. The more that stories about FTX repeat these tropes about effective altruism, the more they reinforce it as an excuse, a justification, even a reason for fraud.
Philanthropy - and here I'm talking about big philanthropy, institutionalized and with extraordinary resources - has been a tool for cleaning up reputations (of individuals, corporations, and whole industries) for a long time. Philanthropy as an acceptable pre-condition for malfeasance is the throughline to much of the press coverage on FTX.
What's notable is that the press I've seen calling out this problem is that which quotes other effective altruists or those who disagree with it's underlying philosophy. Other parts of organized philanthropy haven't had much to say. And that says a lot.
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