Why Is Ralph Nader Surprised by Pres. Obama’s Uncharitableness?



In a recent piece in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Ralph Nader bemoans President Obama’s failure to use his position and standing to advance the non-profit sector:

Yet, though he rhetorically urges more volunteerism, as all presidents do, in his travels around the country, he stops most often at factories and campaign fund-raising events patronized by the wealthy rather than at the regional Salvation Army and other organizations devising solutions to the problems facing America’s most vulnerable people.

President Obama’s disregard for the charitable sector goes beyond such on-the-ground snubs, and far exceeds that of his predecessors. He declined to continue the presidential tradition of meeting, for example, with the National Commander of the Salvation Army, who as head of the fifth largest social services provider in the U.S. could also have arguably been described as the most important black American in the non-profit sector, and has politicized his Office of Faith-Based Initiatives (which should be abolished) in using it to recruit ministers as propagandists for Obamacare.

Just for the record, I disagree with Mr. Nader’s contention that Pres. Obama should be lending support for private charities (see, for example, my post here). I’m just puzzled that Mr. Nader should be surprised. For, as Arthur Brooks showed in his excellent research published in Who Really Cares, “those who support the idea that government should redistribute income are among the least likely to dig into their own wallets to help others.”

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