As the founding volunteer director for Thistle Farms I have long ago bought into the myth that beggars can't be choosers. As a professional beggar and priest for more than 20 years, I now understand beggars have to be choosy.
Not all cards are as green as they claim; industry observers often accuse banks of "greenwashing" their most basic cards with logos of well-known charities, without addressing long-term environmental preservation efforts.
The lingering global crisis is forcing us to rethink the objectives and the tools of social policy. Past meltdowns in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin-America provide us with some good hints on what to expect and how to respond.
More Americans are joining with President Obama and the few other elected leaders who have begun to talk about the nation's profound economic inequality. But the topic isn't getting very much attention from charities.
The economic hardships of a nation are felt most by its people. It baffles me not only that some people cannot grasp that reality, but that they so quickly demonize people who are suffering due to economic circumstances beyond their control.