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Why Philanthropy MattersHow the Wealthy Give, and What It Means for Our Economic Well-Being$
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Zoltan J. Acs

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148625

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148625.001.0001

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American-Style Capitalism

American-Style Capitalism

(p.149) Chapter 6 American-Style Capitalism
Why Philanthropy Matters

Zoltan J. Acs

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines American-style capitalism from the perspective of the currents of prosperity, and how philanthropy became a part of American-style capitalism. American philanthropists presumably value a strong capitalist system because it is the system that nurtured their individual success. Thus, they seem to recognize that the strength of American capitalism resides neither in the size or influence of an industry or a set of firms nor in a country's GDP. Rather, as philanthropists have put it, the strength of capitalism is measured in a more aspirational way. The chapter first provides an overview of changes in American capitalism and the rise of a new Gilded Age economy before discussing the role of universities in sustaining a society that valued learning, innovation, and competition. It also considers the estate tax as a policy that could strengthen the relationship between entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and opportunity in America.

Keywords:   American-style capitalism, prosperity, philanthropy, Gilded Age economy, universities, innovation, estate tax, entrepreneurship, opportunity

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