Tag Archives: Poverty threshold

Charity Missions: Are They Relevant, Or Are They Adorable?

Charitable mission statements tell us what the world looks like as the charity succeeds.

When the mission is rendered moot, the charity is superfluous.

Outside the USA, arts nonprofits are suffering due to reductions in government subsidy. In the USA, however, subsidies are almost non-existent, save for the NEA, which supports with pennies, paper clips, and Cheerios from underneath the Congressional Budget couch cushions.

So the US turns to capitalistic support. Survival of the fittest.

I don’t know. Perhaps the NEA now only exists to exist, like the NRA, PTA, PBS, Catholic Church, or the United Way.

Because in a country where the wealthiest 1% own more than the least-wealthiest 90% and where 95% of monetary gains since 2009 went to the wealthiest 1% of the population, could it be that charities are now just quaint relics of a populist past?

Charity Culture: If Doing the Right Thing Makes You an Endangered Species, Do It Anyway

Sadly, few people know “Profiles in Courage.”  Ask around.

Among performing arts charities, some leaders shrewdly keep their positions because they fear appearing impolitic. They seek sustainability for themselves first, and then, secondarily, their organizations.

To them I implore:

  • Pay performers wages, on the books, legal standard or better, for every hour they spend:  rehearsals, performances, fittings, etc.
  • If your charity isn’t making a substantial difference, merge or close. If it is, share your secrets.
  • It’s about social progress, not black ink. Both are preferable, but you’ve failed if your best work is 30 years of balanced budgets.
  • Take a stand. Don’t buy trouble, of course, but don’t become invisible to save your own skin.
  • Theatres:  plays aren’t written, they’re wrought.  It’s about the production and the viewpoint, not the script and sets.
  • Do something.  Don’t be something.


On July 24, 2009, the national minimum wage was $7.25/hour.

A year has a capacity for 2,080 hours (40 hours x 52 weeks). 2,080 hours provides an annual gross income of $15,080 (if the employer pays for holidays, sick days, insurance, parking, etc.).  Income tax lowers the figure down to $12,516.

The 2009 official poverty line for the US (family of four) was $22,050.

4½ years later, minimum wage is still $12,516/year.

If the minimum wage were doubled for businesses with 50+ employees, the gross annual minimum wage would be $30,160.  After federal tax, those employees would take home $25,033. 2013’s official four-person-family poverty line is estimated to be $25,000.

Sounds about right. Unless the economy is built on maintaining a working poor. If that’s the case, we should reduce the minimum wage and build workhouses.

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