[T]ax cuts have removed philanthropic incentives for many Americans. That's because the standard deduction is so large that the middle class no longer sees any benefit from itemizing charitable deductions.
Philanthropy is increasingly looking to supplant or replace government.
How it works: Individuals like Charles Koch, Mike Bloomberg and Bill Gates use their philanthropies to advocate for societal changes and interventions that they would like to see enacted by governments. Often they engage in explicit lobbying, and often that lobbying is successful, both domestically and internationally.
- Swiss bank UBS, in its fifth annual report on billionaires, says that many "are seeking new ways to engineer far-reaching environmental and social change."
- Within our lifetime, we will see “the reemergence of a benevolent aristocracy," UBS's head of Ultra High Net Worth, Josef Stadler, told Forbes.
Foundations are an unaccountable, nontransparent, perpetual, and lavishly tax-advantaged exercise of power."
— Rob Reich, Stanford University