The Priorities of Foundations Need to Improve for Americans

The Priorities of Foundations Need to Improve for Americans

February, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Nader asks large foundations to rethink priorities.  Nader notes the Center for Auto Safety:“One aviation safety group of long-proven merit, the Aviation Consumer Action Project, had to close down, while another, the Center for Auto Safety, has worked wonders but on a tiny budget.”  See

As usual, Nader is right on a subject of life or death importance.

Foundations have “sequestered” billions of dollars made, and tax sheltered, in America.  Yet here in America we are still struggling to get out of the Great Recession while foundations spend huge amounts of money elsewhere.   Just one example, in an interview in 2010, Melinda Gates was interviewed:Q. “Why don’t you direct more of your philanthropy toward the United States, where your foundation could create jobs for the unemployed, or try to solve the health care crisis? A. “As a foundation, first of all, you have to focus. But we absolutely do focus on the United States. We have three large programs: global health, global development and U.S. programs. About 20 percent goes to U.S. programs.”  See

20 percent!  How do Americans make that “20 percent” as infamous as either Romney’s 47% or the 99% of Inequality in America infamy?
Since 2010, when fellow American Melinda Gates uttered that “about 20 percent”,  about 120,000 fellow Americans died of their crash injuries and about another 500,000 fellow Americans suffered serious crash injuries.  And as the latest NHTSA report shows the estimated value of societal harm in America now amounts to nearly a trillion dollars each year.  See
We who care for crash victims — and know that we can adopt a Vision Zero deaths and serious injuries goal for all new cars in a decade — need to ask:  Why?  And Why not?
For starters imagine closing the loophole in IRS rules that allow foundations to include foreign travel expenses as part of the foundations “charitable” expenditures.
American foundations need to be more patriotic.
And Americans need to do better demanding it.  Yes we can!

PS  Since I wrote this earlier, I realized I had underestimated the number of crash deaths since October 2010 and a reader sent me the following article by another colossal foundation spending big money made in America and tax sheltered in America but spent elsewhere rather than on Americans here in the U.S.A.  

Former mayor of NYC Bloomberg who did not have a Vision Zero Goal of crash deaths in NY city for years has “decided” to give $125 million over 5 years to improve road safety elsewhere around the world.  See   And the Bloomberg programs sound like the programs President Coolidge and Secretary Herbert Hoover advocated in the 1920s.  See It is as though fellow American Bloomberg never read Nader’s “Unsafe at Any Speed” that pointed out the need for auto safety technologies to be developed and applied.  Auto safety technologies, required by law, spurred by Nader’s work in the 1960s have now been estimated to have saved more than 600,000 American lives.  See

At least Bloomberg’s successor NY City Mayor De Blasio has set a Vision Zero Safety Goal for NYC.  See

Hopefully, these fellow Americans will act more patriotically in the future and help build a safer America before spending more elsewhere all over the world.

The American people deserve better than they are getting.



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