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If You Have to Give to Charity, Does It Even Count? If You Have to Give to Charity, Does It Even Count?

If You Have to Give to Charity, Does It Even Count?

by Morgan Clendaniel
January 12, 2010

Goldman Sachs, which is about to announce enormous bonuses for its employees despite the fact that most of the rest of the country is still in the throes of utter economic meltdown, is trying to find a way to avoid a PR disaster. Not giving enormous bonuses, a potentially foolproof PR strategy, seems to have not come up. What is being floated (through leaks to The New York Times, so that the folks at Goldman can judge the plebs' reaction to their plan-and subsequent reaction from politicians-and adjust accordingly) is to make every bonus recipient give a certain percent of their bonus to charity.While this will result in a lot of money to charities, which no one can argue with, it shouldn't actually make anyone feel good about Goldman, and certainly shouldn't make anyone at Goldman feel good about themselves. Simply put, giving to charity doesn't rack up karma points if you didn't think to do it yourself. A better plan might be to give Goldman executives the money, see if they give a certain percent to charity, and then do something bad to those who don't. The larger question remains: Where is the outrage? This country has seen some impressive populist movements throughout its history, but we seem to have lost that fire: The protests have been pathetic. Can't someone get it together to throw some eggs at Goldman HQ, for God's sake?
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