Apple donates $500,000 to Silicon Valley anti-poverty group

“Apple, the world’s most valuable tech company, has donated $500,000 to the anti-poverty initiative SF Gives, Fortune has learned from two sources familiar with the matter,” JP Mangalindan reports for CNNMoney. “”

“The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant joins a list of 15 corporate contributors that includes Google, LinkedIn, and Zynga. Launched in early March, SF Gives is the brainchild of Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and Daniel Lurie, CEO of the nonprofit Tipping Point,” Mangalindan reports. “The goal: have 20 businesses contribute $500,000 each, or $10 million total, to fund local charitable programs.”

“The arrival of an initiative like SF Gives comes at a precarious time for Silicon Valley. Critics of the thriving tech industry have blamed companies for a meteoric rise in rents and increased evictions. In recent months, protesters have blocked Google’s employee commuter buses, held a rally at the annual Crunchies tech awards gala, and stood outside the San Francisco home of Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose, distributing flyers and holding signs maligning Rose as a ‘parasite’ and ‘leech,'” Mangalindan reports. “SF Gives wouldn’t be the first time Apple has made a charitable contribution. The company has given $70 million to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, raised from the sale of (PRODUCT) RED-themed devices and donated tens of millions to Stanford hospitals.”

Read more in the full article here.

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23 Comments

  1. This is great news and will make so many forget that nasty commuter bus situation. Now, perhaps, they will fix the broken IMAP email app, now going on six months of fail.

  2. What strikes your heart initially as ‘compassionate” might be exactly the opposite if you let your brain process it. For example:

    50 years and $21.5 trillion have been blown on the misguided, as usual, Dem/Lib/Prog’s “War on Poverty.” Shortly after the War on Poverty got rolling (1967), about 27% of Americans lived in poverty. In 2012, the last year for which data is available, the number was about 29%.

    What turned the War on Poverty into a social and human catastrophe was that the enhanced welfare state created a perverse system of incentives, and people adapted to their new environment.

    The adaptation of the working-age poor to the War on Poverty’s expanded welfare state was immediately evident in the growth of various social pathologies, especially unwed childbearing. The adaptation of the middle class to the new system took longer to manifest, but it was no less significant.

    Even people with incomes far above the thresholds for welfare state programs were forced to adapt to the welfare state. As crime rates (driven by rising numbers of fatherless boys) rose in the cities, and urban schools systems became dangerous and dysfunctional, the middle class (of all races) was forced to flee to the suburbs.

    Because many middle-class mothers had to go to work to permit their families to bid for houses in good school districts (as well as pay the higher taxes that the expanded welfare state required), self-supporting families had fewer children.

    The pathologies that resulted from the War on Poverty were not the fault of the poor themselves. They simply adapted, in a logical and predictable way, to a welfare state designed and promoted by our progressive elites.

    It is amazing that progressives, who treat the theory of evolution as religious dogma, also seem to believe that there is no such thing as “human nature.” They also seem to believe that “nurture” (which presumably includes exhortation from government bureaucrats) trumps “nature.”

    Unfortunately for progressive programs like those making up the War on Poverty, there is an essential human nature that we all share, and humans respond predictably to the incentives present in the environment around them.

    Children are programmed by evolution to rebel against their parents’ control, and to seek to be independent. Prior to the welfare state, the only way for girls to escape the authority of their parents was to become economically self-sufficient, by getting a job and/or getting married.

    The progressive welfare state, especially after it was expanded by the War on Poverty, provided a third option for teenage girls seeking to get away from their parents’ control: have a baby. As soon as a young, unmarried girl had a baby, she officially became a “poor family,” and the government would force taxpayers to support her and her baby.

    Girls of all races responded predictably to shifts in welfare state policy… [Growth of unwed childbearing exploded after “The War on Poverty”]

    Of paramount concern to young men is, “What do I have to do to get laid?” In 1950, the answer to this question was, “Get a job, make money, get married, and support a family.” The War on Poverty changed this to, “Just show up. Don’t worry, you won’t have to support the children that you might father—the government will force taxpayers to do that. In fact, you might even be able to live off the women and children that are living off the welfare state.”

    None of this had anything to do with race. The black middle class fled Detroit for exactly the same reasons as the white middle class. President Obama, who presumably is not a racist, lives in the heart of Washington, DC, but sends his kids to a private school. And, as Charles Murray has documented in his book, “Coming Apart,” underclass social pathologies are taking hold among poor whites.

    Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2014/03/19/the-war-on-poverty-wasnt-a-failure-it-was-a-catastrophe/

    1. It wasn’t the “War on Poverty” that made life worse for the poor and turned much of the middle class into almost-poor: it was the War on the Poor by the plutocrats who robbed the country of its wealth and shipped our jobs overseas. Both major parties are owned by the plutocrats. If you blindly adhere to a major party, you are enabling the end of democracy in the U.S. We already have an oligarchy, but it is at least pretending to let the people have a say. That won’t last long if people like F2T2 keep spouting pro-elite nonsense like the above. Again, note that I include the Democrats in being right-wing. They might be wearing a glove, but they are still part of the iron fist of the super-rich.

      1. I tend to agree. The American CEO’s will tell you they had to move their factories overseas to “compete”. Did America really? When America had most of the knowledge and manufacturing know-how? Or maybe CEO’s chose to move operations to decrease labor costs and maximize “shareholder value”, namely, their pockets, as their wealth is tied to the share value in the short term. When we exported jobs and factories, we also exported our most precious asset, our intellectual property and capital, more precious than all the oil in Alaska and nat. gas in our shales. In a recent interview, one wealthy industrialist from China, summed it up succinctly: “The Americans are stupid. Does Boeing think we don’t have smart engineers here that can learn from their factories here and figure out how they do what they do? In 15 years, China will have our own Boeing.”

    2. Far more welfare has been given to companies, rich individuals and corporations than all the anti-poverty programs ever enacted by every level of government. Funny how NeoCons seem to always overlook all the giveaways to business.

    3. Talk about lies, damn lies, and statistics! Yes, the poverty rate in 1967 was lower than it is now, but the War on Poverty launched in 1964. In those first three years, poverty rates dropped quite dramatically. The ramp-up of the Vietnam War marked a retreat from the Great Society programs, and particularly from the community-based programs that had been the most effective in breaking the cycle of poverty. The beginning of the Nixon administration also represents the beginning of a slow but steady retreat from desegregation and equal political rights. You can hardly blame the growth in inequality since 1967 on liberals. Republicans were in control of the White House, and often Congress, for 28 of those 36 years.

  3. I wonder what the angle is of this anti-poverty initiative. Giving money to the poor is certainly compassionate and helps people in immediate need, but ironically it is usually ineffective at addressing poverty long term. If Apple is backing this, I would think this initiative has some clever angle aimed at getting real results.

  4. It would be great if the shareholders of the company were asked if it is better for Apple to donate shareholder’s money to a cause Apple is interested in or would they rather donate to the cause that is dear to their hearts.

    When Apple did the red iPods the consumers had a choice to support or not support something. This isn’t the role of a company to give away other people’s money. Where does this end? How much shareholder’s money will be gifted away without their consent? Instead, how about a special dividend to the shareholder’s with a recommendation of non-profit groups that could use their support. Sometimes, even more money is raised that way. When companies and governments take other people’s money and redistribute it as they please, it doesn’t go unnoticed by they people you took the money from!

    1. “it doesn’t go unnoticed by they people you took the money from!”

      There are more of the people where the money is going to then there are people whose money is taken from.

      In the world of politics, they’ll take the 100 votes of the receivers and cut their losses with the 1.

      It’s easy to get into office and power over the people when you are Santa Claus.

      1. The rich pay a lot lower percentage of their “disposable income” in taxes than everyone else. Of course, they use those savings to buy the politicians who keep things that way (or make them worse).
        Most poor or middle class people find coal in their stockings from your “Santa Claus” politicians. Sometimes they paint the coal green and call it food. The media then says “Look – they are feeding the people!”

        And you bought it hook, line, and sinker.

        1. When you combine local, state, federal, sales, & capital gains taxes, the richest actually pay less taxes now than the middle class as a total percentage of income. They are quick to argue about things like property taxes, where the rich do pay more taxes, to make it seem as if they pay a higher tax rates in general. Meanwhile, they have rewritten the rules on stock trades (where they tend to “earn” most of their income) turning it into tax avoidance game for the rich.

          1. It is reassuring to know that informed and intelligent folks know the above couple of comments are false and misleading.

            It is frightening to know that many with a shallow understanding will buy into this misguided and divisive dribble. What is worse? Many, out of emotional frustration with their own status, will blindly repeat it. Just as these two did.

  5. “The arrival of an initiative like SF Gives comes at a precarious time for Silicon Valley. Critics of the thriving tech industry have blamed companies for a meteoric rise in rents and increased evictions. In recent months, protesters have blocked Google’s employee commuter buses, held a rally at the annual Crunchies tech awards gala, and stood outside the San Francisco home of Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose, distributing flyers and holding signs maligning Rose as a ‘parasite’ and ‘leech,’”

    Sure blame Silicon valley for your economic condition and not the city and state governance. And why do you never see these people protesting at movie theaters with their $10.00 ticket prices and $3.00 drink or candy bar?! You never see a “leech” sign at a Hollywood event. Is that thanks to the police presence at these events? Or is it selective outrage over who is a one per center?!?

    1. The problems in Silicon Valley are directly related to the excessive concentration of the top 20%. They drive demand for everything out of sight, since they can outbid just about everyone for resources, housing, schools and transportation infrastructure (more freeway lanes for Porsches, fewer bus routes for those who need them) to name a few. Even Google recognizes the value of bus transportation. Why don’t they issue bus passes for their employees and work with the city to ensure adequate coverage, rather than run a private limo service?

      As far as the 1% being parasites and leeches, it depends on the individual. Some are, some are not. (Warren Buffet, not a leach; Donald Sterling, leach and parasite).

  6. Nothing more than a look good, feel good project. Starkly absent from the article is any mention of specific philanthropic goals.

    How about this? Each of these corporate entities allocates their “philanthropic” cash internally. Start by establishing a dedicated group within each “organization tasked with enticing 14 to 18 year old kids from impoverished areas into their organization. Pay them minimum wage for menial, necessary, tasks. Bonus them heavily for productivity and performance with cash and age-appropriate goodies to keep them engaged. Withhold 10% of their earnings in a pool which they, collectively, can commit to helping their community as they see fit. Provide them with quality health insurance that they can take back home to their immediate family and thereby encouraging support from their living environment and community.

    Yep, this, or something like it, would be tough work for the management of companies like Apple. After all, there is value to keeping an arms length from the street when it come to philanthropic opportunities. I can visualize the spinning heads and neigh sayers within HR, accounting and legal departments. Undoubtedly challenging issues would arise. However, isn’t corporate America known for overcoming the impossible with amazing results? Can’t corporate America spare a little of their creativity and intellectual power? Properly executed, the outcome of such an approach has the potential to bring long reaching goodwill and untold value to public relations.

    It is widely known that corporate America has stored away a few bucks and is willing to part with some of it in the interest of supporting their communities and those in need. Real solutions to reducing poverty and building a heathy nation require more than money and high minded feel good projects. Real solutions demand risk taking and getting some corporate fingernails dirty.

  7. To be honest this is just window dressing. A half a million dollars buys very little in Silicon Valley.

    The cheapest non-forclosure single family house in San Jose, California listed on Trulia is an 848 square foot fixer in the highest crime area in town for $400,000.

    Here is the listing if you are curious:

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3153760611-12015-Ellery-St-San-Jose-CA-95127

    Just putting the half million in perspective. Taking a whizz in the Pacific Ocean comes to mind.

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