Tit for Tat

by Don Boudreaux on February 8, 2012

in Current Affairs, Hubris and humility, Other People's Money

Here’s a letter to one Elaine Marshall:

Dear Ms. Marshall:

I have no idea how I wound up on your e-mail list, but given that I’m there I take the privilege of responding to your e-mail of this morning in which you write that “Millions of women and grassroots activists expressed their outrage last week at Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to stop funding breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.  And, thanks to their inspiring efforts, the Komen Foundation backed down.”

To me, nothing about those efforts are “inspiring.”  Quite the opposite.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is a private organization whose ‘controversial’ decision is well within the bounds of legitimacy.  That Foundation’s officers – as opposed to you and the “millions of women and grassroots activists” – have the keenest insight into how its spending decisions affect its ultimate goal of finding a cure for breast cancer.  How do you and the “activists” you applaud know that the Komen Foundation’s goal would not have been better promoted had the Foundation reallocated its funds away from Planned Parenthood and toward some other recipient?  What wizardry transforms your “outrage” into insight about how the Komen Foundation’s grant-making decisions affect its fund-raising prospects?

That you presume to know better than the Komen Foundation how its privately raised funds are best spent to achieve its admirable goal reveals only your and the “activists’” insolence and utterly unmerited sense of self-importance.

Why don’t you practice minding your own business?

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

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