Billionaire Rejects Giving Pledge: 'Give Money to MBAs'

Billionaire Rejects Giving Pledge: 'Give Money to MBAs'

The new definition of chutzpah*: billionaire Scott McNealy's argument against the Giving Pledge.  He claims it would be better for society to give money to MBAs to start new businesses.

It's so convenient, isn't it, when what's better for society turns out to be exactly what's best for you?  And no one could doubt that the people most in need of financial assistance in contemporary America are the people with MBAs, who are all working part-time with no benefits and depending on the food stamp program recently decimated by Congress.

This trickle-down argument is of a piece with the current vogue for describing business owners as "job creators," when all business owners know that personnel costs are the biggest obstacle to profits.   They'll only create new jobs after having squeezed the absolute last drop out of the workers now on the payroll.

Let's be clear: society wants full employment; owners want profits. These interests are not only not identical--- they're actually diametrically opposed.

Hmm, labor and capital diametrically opposed: I seem to remember somebody's mentioning that at some point.   Maybe we should think about broadening those MBA reading lists.


*[The old definition of chutzpah: killing your parents and then asking the court for lenience on account you're an orphan.]

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    The Nonprofiteer is Kelly Kleiman, principal of NFP Consulting, which provides Board development, strategic planning and fund-raising services to charities and philanthropies. Through her consulting practice and in her guise as The Nonprofiteer, Kelly has spent the past 25-plus years helping small and mid-sized nonprofits organize themselves better and raise more money. These days she focuses especially on helping them use high-skill volunteers. Kelly is also a lawyer and freelance journalist whose reportage and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and other dailies; in magazines including In These Times and Chicago Philanthropy; in the alternative press; on websites including the Huffington Post; and on the radio, including the BBC and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. She and her fellow "Dueling Critic" Jonathan Abarbanel present a weekly podcast of their reviews of Chicago theater at Earlier in her career she was dean of admissions of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and Executive Director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, and practiced real estate and zoning law with the firm of Rudnick & Wolfe. Kelly holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago. She was a founding Board member of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits and also served for 5 years on the Board of the Association for Women Journalists–Chicago. She can be reached ("Dear Nonprofiteer . . .") at

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