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The philanthropy of Steve Jobs

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Jonathan Mak/On courtesy/Reuters

(Read caption) A symbol designed by Hong Kong design student Jonathan Mak. The author argues that Jobs' greatest charitable contribution was through Apple itself.

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The Chronicle of Philanthropy makes a passing (and mostly implied) point that libertarians have been making for many decades, namely that the real philanthropy of business creators is not how much in company resources they give to charity but rather the way in which their enterprising commercial activities help society. It is a huge point with far-reaching implications, and it is odd how the Chronicle just mentions this point so casually:

Jobs “did not sign the Giving Pledge nor did he ever make a public gift that appeared on The Chronicle‘s Philanthropy 50, an annual list of the largest charitable gifts.” However, “devices like the iPhone and iPad have helped many organizations communicate more efficiently. They have allowed groups to improve the way they respond to disasters, communicate with supporters, and carry out their day-to-day work.”


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