To me, the case against philanthropy is ideological, not practical.
Yes, ideally we’d want a world where philanthropy isn’t useful but we do not live in that world.
Yes, democratically it would make sense for billionaires to pay more tax instead but do we think Trump will use the money better?
Removing the need for philanthropy is a massive undertaking that requires structural shifts in the economy and the way the government is run. As much as on Medium, it seems like everyone is vociferous supporters of this, it’s still not a mainstream view in terms of the system actually changing enough to realize it.
I think this is quite an American-centric view if we look at the work done on malaria by the Gates Foundation, the likelihood the local governments could have achieved what they did would be very low.
I think discouraging philanthropy is the last step in changing the system, not the first. Even if the money is purely selfish, it’s still helping people who aren’t as privileged as the majority of people who will read this article including myself.
I also think you underplay the amount of skill/hard work it takes to create something like Amazon which is clearly useful by the millions of people who use it every day.