Ethan Zuckerman thoughtfully and appropriately points out that one big missing question in my recent Wired piece on measuring philanthropic impact is whether some of this positive societal change should be in the hands of government instead of philanthropists. He correctly points out that since the Reagan/Thatcher era of the 80s, we've started shrinking the role of government and have started to see big philanthropists and the private sector being called on to do what government used to do. In a post from 2013, Ethan wonders why he doesn't have rail solution to his commuting problem from Western Massachusetts. He suggests that without government, things like railway system are difficult to fund - the market isn't the best solution for many social goods.
I think the idea about whether we should be doubling down on philanthropy or fixing government and increasing government resources is a great question and probably the right one. I think the idea of fixing the government and turning the corner on the privatization is a daunting idea, but something we need to discuss.