Partners of Young People with Wealth: North Carolina RG’s amazing, strong, fierce Partner Praxis Group

By: The North Carolina Partner Praxis Group

The North Carolina partner praxis group is a fierce, loving, and caring community. We are a group of Resource Generation members who are partners of young people with wealth. We come from poor, … Continue reading »

Philly RG testifies for Affordable Housing

In January 2016, RG Philly created a Political Action working group, to discern our role in and take action on local economic and racial justice campaigns. We went through a process of considering where we could have the most impact, … Continue reading »

Cross-Class Giving in Philly with Bread & Roses

by Ben Goldstein

Photo courtesy Bread and Roses Giving Project

What does it mean to be accountable to a cross-class, cross-generational and multi-racial group raising money for grassroots organizing as a young white man with access to wealth? This is … Continue reading »

No Guarantees

by RG Retreat Organizer, Jes Kelley

I was born in rural Georgia in the deep South. The story always starts there, other pieces get a little hazier. We moved around a lot, throughout small towns in the Southeastern US. I … Continue reading »

Part of the web: Tracy and Cara on the RG Mentor Program

Cara from a Skype window

by Cara Romanik, RG member

Tracy is always in the same place when we talk:  her study in West Cornwall, Connecticut, at her desktop computer. There is a cherry-colored wall behind her, a bulletin board … Continue reading »

Advice on Advisors

Pierce - HeadshotI grew up moving from ‘relatively comfortable’ to verifiably wealthy. I was well provided-for, and, provided­ for. I never had much monetary awareness -my family always told me we were upper-middle class. A few memories of attempts to learn more are met with dismissal or outright being laughed at. With friends, I never kept my wealth hidden; still, I genuinely preferred torn t-shirts and hand-me-downs to anything gaudy or ostentatious. So, as acquaintances became friends, and they learned more about me, there usually came a point when they would ask, “Dude, you wealthy?” And I would respond, introducing humor to deflate potential tension (a favored technique of mine – keep this in mind-heart as you read on), “Dependently wealthy, yeah”

And then my mom died.

 

I inherited her wealth. (Though I am relatively ‘out,’ I will keep a few things – including figures – private, for the sake of others). I stretched my brain over the ways I could most do good with this money. Give it all away? (Isn’t that the neo-liberal’s dream?) Buy my own home? (Isn’t that the American dream, and the obvious investment?) Invest in green energy and human rights. Be the benefactor of my loved ones and social circle. Put it all in this school I am founding. Save the world…

(more…)

RG Philly Chapter Making the News!

On May 17, members of Philadelphia’s RG Chapter turned out to the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education rally to demand more funding for public schools, charter school accountability, shutting down the school to prison pipeline and returning schools to local control. Heather, a member of of this chapter who was at the rally, says that the chapter is starting to work on the fight for fair funding for public schools.

“We were slightly worried before we showed up–is this the right place for us, our message,” Heather says. “The other folks there were mostly union members, and a handful of student and parent groups. But we went for it, and we were surprised by how well we were received. One of the first people who saw us came up and took our picture, and heartfeltly said, ‘That’s the best sentiment I’ve seen in years.’”

(more…)

The Tax Deal and What It Means for Wealth Inequality—and Us

By Alison Goldberg. Despite a mighty mobilization by progressive groups, this past week, President Obama struck a deal that would extend high-income tax cuts and gut the estate tax.

These policies will widen the already gaping wealth divide.

As young people with wealth and privilege, what role can we play to challenge policies that create further inequality, policies that also increase our own wealth and privilege?

Resource Generation and Wealth for the Common Good are getting ready to launch a joint tax campaign in early 2011 that will grapple with these very questions.

In this context, I thought it would be useful to repost this article by Chuck Collins about the tax deal and the work ahead:

Obama Tax Deal Further Concentrates Wealth and Power: Stop the Death Spiral to Plutocracy

by Chuck Collins, Originally posted at Common Dreams, December 9, 2010

In 2010, an essential moral test of a public policy choice is: Does it further concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a few?

Or does it disperse concentrated wealth and power and strengthen possibilities for a democratic society with greater equality, improved health and well-being, shared prosperity and ecological sustainability?

Does it move us toward Plutocracy or Peace and Plenty?

(more…)

The Smooth Life

Jamie Johnson is so pretty.


My friend sent me a link to a podcast a few months ago from The Moth, a series that features true stories told live. The storyteller was Jamie Johnson, a documentary filmmaker who made Born Rich and The One Percent. Because I am the world’s slowest emailer, I only listened to it this morning, but I was so glad I finally did.

Johnson tells the tale of how he and his father became estranged after the debut of his first film. When, after months of silence, the two finally sat down together, his father told him, “You just don’t get it, Jamie… there’s a reason why rich people don’t talk about money.” When pushed to explain what he meant by this, Johnson’s father just pulled a mysterious videotape marked “1972” from his bookshelf, handed it to his son and left the room.

The tape turned out to be a documentary film critical of the family’s business dealings in South Africa during apartheid. In the credits, Johnson discovered his father listed as a producer. Eventually, his father told Jamie the story of the film, and how, after it was released, the family company’s CEO called to reprimand him. “Life isn’t going to go well for you if you keep working against the world that you’re a part of,” the CEO told him. And at that moment, Johnson’s father made a choice to change. (more…)

Sharing Our Stories for the Common Good

Libbey Goldberg (no relation) wrote the piece below as an op-ed for Wealth for the Common Good, to help influence current public debates about taxes. I think it’s a great example of how we can use our stories about wealth and privilege as a part of larger campaigns.

May we all thrive
by Libbey Goldberg

If all of us are to thrive in the United States, we need accountability and support from our public systems of education, health, and transportation —the very systems that we invest our hard-earned tax dollars in.

Unfortunately, the 2001 Bush-era tax cuts gave $700 billion in breaks over eight years to those with annual incomes more than $250,000. The government borrowed money to make these tax cuts possible.

These cuts are due to expire at the end of 2010, but Congress is considering a proposal that would extend them. I come from a family that will pay more if the cuts expire, and I’m urging our lawmakers and President Obama to allow let this happen. We can’t allow these irresponsible tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans continue.

If restored, these taxes could bring in an estimated $45 billion in annual revenue. That is money that could be far better spent on investments in our schools, infrastructure, research institutions and social services.

The story that I was told about how my family accumulated its wealth is a common one: “My grandfather grew up poor, the son of produce peddlers, Jewish refugees from Poland. He made his own fortune through sheer will, hard-work, shrewd business sense and intelligence.” (more…)