Opinion: How philanthropic dynasties are exerting their power over US policy

Source: David Callahan, The Guardian, July 25, 2017

As a nation built in opposition to the aristocracy, is it right that US billionaires are creating foundations to confer power and privilege on to future generations? ….

….Studies have found that wealth that is directly passed down to heirs tends to disappear pretty quickly. It’s gone in most cases by the second or third generation, according to one 2015 analysis.
Private foundations, on the other hand, offer a way to preserve – and grow – estates over many decades and even centuries. There are more than 90,000 private foundations in the US, with over $800bn in assets, almost half of which are under family control. ….