I was 21 when I found out that I was inheriting far more money than I would ever need to live on. I was glad to have money to use for good ends. Yet I didn't want the money to define me or how others thought of me. I enjoyed and valued the work I was doing, and wanted to be known for the work, not the money. I still do.
So for the first decade or so, I was completely anonymous about my giving. Now I'm somewhat less so, although I still don't advertise it. For years I've given away well over 50% of my income, and sometimes more than 100%, to organizations and publications working to make this world of ours more just, more fair, and less oppressive. In recent years, my favorite charity has been Mother Jones magazine, which carries a strong progressive message to hundreds of thousands of readers.
We're living in a time where even some of the most basic welfare state institutions are threatened, ones that everyone took for granted merely a generation ago: Headstart programs, a solid social security system, federal aid to education, and much more. For those of us with wealth, the only thing possibly even more important than giving a generous portion of our income is making a will--and bequeathing an even more generous portion of our assets to people, groups, campaigns, publications trying to change the world. This is one of the ways we can help break the cycle of America's wealth becoming concentrated into the hands of an ever smaller portion of its population.
| 60 plus Years Old | at least 50% | Inheritance |
| Education | Social Justice | Fairness | Impact | Simplicity |