Dick DeVos Philanthropy Continues to Shape America into The Unusual Country that It Is

Private philanthropy has played a significant role in making America the unique country that it is. Let start by putting numbers into clear perspective. 11th percentage of the total united state workforce is comprised of nonprofit organizations. This contributes to about 6% of the total gross domestic product. From another point of view, charity sector passed the defense industry in size in 1993, and the gap has continued to widen. It worth noting, the numbers has not taken volunteering into account. It is estimated that charitable volunteers make up between four and 10 million volunteers. Thus, philanthropy is an undeniable massive force that operates in our society.


To understand the history of America, it useful and inspiring to consider some of the Americans philanthropists in history. Moreover, examine powerful role played by privately funded civil society in protecting American citizens. To think of government as the sole guarantor of human rights can be termed as Unwise considering generations of cautionary example from America history. For example, back in 1704 when African-Americans were held as slaves with full government sanction and educating them was forbidden. Schools were set up quietly by private donors, and hundreds of Manhattan slaves were instructed. In 1803, the law continued to make it a crime to teach a slave, but philanthropist such as Arthur Tappan paid for African –Americans to go to college.

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Philanthropy has continued to shape our public policy, a niche where donors nudge national opinion and law making in constructive directions. It is one of the areas that have significant payoffs for those who understand its mysteries. One of my perfect example of a philanthropist who has donated to community projects driven by the conviction of serving as a faithful servant is Dick DeVos. He is the son of Amway co-founders, Richard DeVos. He was listed by Forbes magazine as the 67th richest person in America.


As an entrepreneur and a businessperson, Dick DeVos has spent his business career in various executive positions at Amway, the NBA’s Orlando Magic, and The Windquest Group where DeVos is currently serving as the president. As the president of Amway, DeVos held the responsibility of overseeing the company operations in more than 50 countries. In his final financial year, the company reported $4.5 billion sales. Early he served as the vice president of the business, and he helped the company to explore new markets, which resulted in triple international sales.


Other than business roles, DeVos has been a key player in wide range of community initiatives. He founded Education Freedom Fund, which awarded about 4000 scholarship to unfortunate children. He has also served on the State Board of Education. He is the author of “Rediscovering American Values” a New York Times best-selling book.

Thor Halvorssen’s Perspective on Socialism

Thor Halvorssen is the founder and president of the Human Rights Foundation and is strong advocate for individual liberties, civil rights and democracy. He recently gave an interview to Fox News, in which he explained his take on democratic socialism. The principles underlying democratic socialism have been the subject of plenty of media coverage as of late, thanks to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Senator Sanders has been promoting democratic socialist principles as an alternative to the current U.S. economic model and as a way to improve the plight of America’s poorest and middle class. While many of these democratic socialist polices sound good in paper or make for interesting reading in college textbooks, Halvorssen cautions that real world application of democratic socialist principles can be a recipe for disaster.

For an illustration of Halvorssen’s warning, we need look no further than Venezuela, he says. When an authoritarian regime operates using democratic socialist principles, Thor Halvorssen warns that this is a surefire way to restrict individual liberty and afford the government an excessive amount of power over its citizens. Although countries such as Denmark and Sweden have subscribed to democratic socialist principles, the idea of the government owning property in the place of private citizens or the government being able to set prices and control supply can be a scary proposition. Halvorssen is much more in favor of the potential of the free market to help society prosper as a whole because he contends that it does not have the potential to erode individual freedoms, as does socialism in practice.

Halvorssen’s family has had more than its fair share of negaitive experiences with socialist authoritarian regimes. While Halvorssen was studying at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, his father was imprisoned over preposterous charges of terrorism because he had the gumption to investigate and infamous and powerful drug cartel. Halvorssen’s mother was also shot during a peaceful political protest in Venezuela, and his first cousin is currently being held as a political prisoner. While these may seem like extreme examples, Halvorssen warns that democratic socialism can be a very slippery slope. Find him on Facebook for more news and updates.