Trinity Place: A Hand Up
Mr. Steves has been equally thoughtful in providing shelter for women via his strategic partnership with the YWCA’s Pathways for Women. On his website, he explained why he has opted to invest his money in women and children rather than on a rich man’s toy or his own nest egg:
For me, Pathways/YWCA is not a charity. It’s a service. I pay them to translate my excess productivity into fighting this problem. Since I’ve already consumed all I really need, this gives me the treat of vicarious consumption. It’s a fun way to consume beyond my capacity. . .
I believe our current government is motivated primarily by the greed of its corporate and wealthy patrons. President Bush’s passions need to be understood in economic terms — how each initiative enriches the groups whose financial support put him and his party in power. . .
Think of my rewards. Put a $1.4 million in a CD and you earn maybe $80,000 in taxable interest (which would be about $50,000 after taxes). With this investment, my taxable income is zero. But I know that I am providing 24 moms and probably 46 children a home. That’s housing for about 70 people at a cost to me of $800 a year (less than $3 a day) each. In my work of finding budget travel places to eat and sleep, this is a real turn-on. So, that’s my selfish little pleasure: I stow my money in a safe place and as a return, rather than taxable income, I know I’m housing all these people. What would I do consuming an extra $50,000 a year? How much joy would that car, condo at Whistler, yacht, or whatever bring me? About one percent of the joy that the 70 people I’m helping (indirectly through the work of Pathways/YWCA). That’s my kind of investment. And, by partnering with hard working charities whose passions are the same as yours, you don’t need a million dollars to get these royal returns. This isn’t altruism, it’s just awake.
It absolutely boggles my mind the difference one modestly wealthy man can make. Mr. Steves’ probably isn’t the richest guy in Edmonds, WA. He’s certainly not the richest guy in Washington State. What would happen if the Allen/Ballmer/Bezos trio kicked in their fair share?
Why is it that Warren Buffett’s secretary’s pays a significantly higher tax rater than her billionaire boss? She’s making peanuts while he’s reaping the benefits of fiscal and economic policies that favor Wall Street over Main Street.
If those Bush tax cuts actually did produce jobs, we wouldn’t be in a recession. This is the first time in history that we’ve had a recession while the banks and corporations have piles of cash. If we don’t vote to end greed run amok, we will be sentencing ourselves to a return to a feudal economy.
It’s time for the Democrats to find their spines and push back.