chapter  8
14 Pages

Exchange Versus Grants: The Buck Case as a Struggle Between Equal Opportunity and Equal Results

ByAaron Wildavsky

This chapter analyzes whether it is possible to make creative and effective use of substantial sums of money to aid the poor or enhance education in Marin County, California; whether devoting substantial private funds to charitable purposes in a county whose median income is above average runs counter to any known principles of public policy or to existing governmental policy; and whether such expenditures fit reasonable notions of appropriate foundation policy. The chapter argues that securing the greatest possible equality of condition is indisputably not national public policy and need not be foundation policy. Cost-benefit analysis is an effort to make choices by comparing their advantages and disadvantages on a common economic plane. Seeing signs of success in the post-Second World War period, foundations interested in public policy hit upon a simple expedient: getting government to take over a program showed it was worthwhile.