Norms, Ethics, and Law in the Service of Philanthropy*
This chapter looks at how charitable tax law can be used to increase giving. The chapter focuses (1) on the rule that nonitemizers may not deduct their charitable gifts and (2) on the water's edge policy, which states that for an organization to qualify as a charitable deduction for a taxpayer, it must be organized or created in the United States. The chapter argues that both of these laws would have detrimental consequences for social capital and, in turn, for giving. To increase giving, the author argues that law ought to take social capital into account. It is also argued that in the case of the water's edge policy, there is expressive content that is inconsistent with cosmopolitan conceptions of the good, and with the prospect to develop global social capital.
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