Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 | Regarding the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial thanking the Moores for their community support: big deal. How about we trace the source of funds for all of this charitable giving? The wholesale defrauding of investors in Peregrine to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. The sweetheart deals his development company received for the ballpark, and surrounding area, which of course enriched the value of the very product he is now selling.

So, he gave some money back, great. As we all know, there are tax benefits to doing as much. In fact, there’s a strong tradition in our society of taking all you can, at any human cost and then burnishing your image later on through foundations and charities. John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie anyone? I’m not saying he’s an evil person, but just that now is a perfect time in our society and in these harsh (and corrupt) economic times, to meditate on what it means to be a genuinely good person and the balance between commerce and charity. It’s also a good time for journalists to stop fawning over our apparently ‘successful’ business people without scratching the surface a little deeper. The Ken Lays and Bernie Madoffs were all superstars on the charity circuit at one time too.

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