PHILANTHROPY | The New York Times has a great “debate” about the relationship between philanthropy and the government. Here’s the premise:
[A]s budget negotiators in Washington consider major cuts in various programs, can charity efficiently and fairly take the place of government in important areas? Or does the power of wealthy patrons let them set funding priorities in the face of government cutbacks?
There are four respondents – Chrystia Freeland (Thompson Reuters), Howard Husock (Manhattan Institute), Leslie Lenkowsky (Indiana University), and John Briscoe (Harvard) – and each has a thought-provoking response. Do you agree with any of them? Share your thoughts in the comments section! (NY Times, 11/28)
Related: With various tax changes looming as we near the fiscal cliff, Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary asks, “Would we give less if we didn’t have the tax deduction?” (WaPo, 11/24)
FISCAL CLIFF | As an aside, I think it is time that we choose a cinematic representation of our path toward the fiscal cliff. Here are three options: Thelma and Louise, Rebel Without a Cause, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The tank scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is an honorable mention, but it isn’t on YouTube. What’s your vote?
GIVING | The results are in, and Giving Tuesday was a huge success. As the Chronicle of Philanthropy points out though, we’ll have to wait and see if this is a net gain for nonprofits or if people just made their typical annual donations earlier than usual. (Chronicle, 11/29)
COMMUNITY | Earlier this month, Hilton Worldwide held its first annual Global Week of Service. Hilton employees completed more than 800 volunteer projects in 401 cities across the world, including right here in our region. Here’s a recap of the week.
- In Montgomery County, almost three-quarters of high school students’ Advanced Placement exam results received college-ready scores of 3 or higher. That puts the county near the top of the nation for such results. Prince George’s County also saw a big leap in test scores for Hispanic students. (WaPo, 11/29)
- On the flip side, D.C. has the worst high school graduation rate in the entire country, according to the Department of Education. (WTOP, 11/29)
LOCAL | A new study finds that people in our region spend an average of 72 percent of their income on housing and transportation. Wow. (WTOP, 11/29)
TRANSIT | The Council of Governments has released a 30-year forecast for transportation in our region, and it looks pretty gloomy. Despite infrastructure investments for roads and mass transit, expected population increases are going to clog roads and public transportation. (WAMU, 11/29)
On the subject of jet packs (we were on that subject, right?), the theme from Disney’s under-appreciated classic The Rocketeer is movie scoring at its finest.
LIFE | In 1988, when The Economist released its last comprehensively researched list of best places to be born in the world, the United States was number one. The list ranks the countries that offer the greatest chance of a newborn having “a healthy, safe and prosperous life.” Guess where we rank 25 years later? (HuffPo, 11/29)
Rebekah has the Daily tomorrow for the last day of November. Can you believe that Saturday begins December?!
I know I put a lot about movies in today’s post, but here’s one more thing. Wreck-It Ralph is Disney’s latest animated effort, and it is really great. I highly recommend it for adults and kids alike. The Atlantic has a fresh take on the movie – and what it can teach us about urban planning. Very cool!