Maria Bustillos and Elizabeth Fladung debrief their day reporting on inequality in Silicon Valley, including their experiences visiting with some groups and leaders helping local people left out of the tech boom.
This podcast is an encore posting from our State of Inequality series.
Maria Bustillos is a journalist and critic living in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Fladung is a Brooklyn-based, CalArts-trained photojournalist. Her work has appeared in The Nation, La Repubblica, The Fader and Wax Poetics Magazine.
With the expensive mid-term elections followed by Thanksgiving and Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday, you’d think that people wouldn’t have much money left over for Giving Tuesday. But if current trends continue, charitable contributions this year may actually match pre-Great Recession levels. We won’t know about 2014 for a while, but the results are in for last year: Americans gave $335 billion in nonprofit, tax-deductible gifts in 2013.
The vast majority of that money did not come from rich people. Yes, occasionally a Mark Zuckerberg will give away a billion or so, which certainly ups the total. But on the whole, those in the top 20 percent give away about 1.3 percent of their income while those in the bottom fifth donate about 3.2 percent of their incomes. That’s unfortunate because America’s “ultra-rich” population grew by about six percent last year.