Anand Giridharadas: Are Elites Really Making the World a Better Place?

In “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World,” Anand Giridharadas compels us to take a deeper look at elite leaders, their institutions, and their initiatives to make the world a better place. “In the very era in which elites have done so much to help, they have continued to hoard the overwhelming share of progress, the average American’s life has scarcely improved, and virtually all of the nation’s institutions, with the exception of the military, have lost the public’s trust.”

Today’s elites are some of the more socially concerned individuals in history. Yet, according to Giridharadas, while their philanthropic missions may attempt to reform the root causes of unjust systems, many elite initiatives serve only to maintain the very power structures they claim they want to fix. So, who really benefits? To what extent are the elite working to create real progress and systemic change for people and communities?

Anand Giridharadas was a foreign correspondent and columnist for the The New York Times and currently teaches journalism at New York University. He joins us for an in-depth discussion on elite leaders, how their philanthropic efforts preserve the unjust status quo, and how communities might work together to create a more participatory democracy.

 

We have 74 billionaires in San Francisco and 74,000 homeless.

Philanthropy:

  • changes the public conversations
  • how many newspapers have a philanthropy correspondent?

Ask not what you can do for you country, first ask what you’ve done to your country and stop doing what you’ve done.  Let’s stop the bleeding.  (43:20)

Bezos made his money because workers didn’t have bargaining power in the time in which the internet rose.

Jeff Bezos should give money away in a way that can make sure there isn’t another Jeff Bezos.

Google’s maturity will have them accept that they are power, not fighting the power.

There is nothing more dangerous than a Goliath who thinks he’s  a David.  (Google didn’t want to release it).

Lebron James is making small change to a school (a band-aid), and using it as a cudgel against the cancer.

inviting documentary film makers to compare it with a “regular school”

Extra: David Rubenstein Full Interview

What follows is a conversation with David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, one of the most storied private-equity firms in history. We spoke with Rubenstein in August, 2017, for our six-part series, “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” Since we spoke, Rubenstein stepped down as co-C.E.O. of Carlyle, but he’s still executive chairman