For Goodness’ Sake: A Two-Part Proposal for Remedying the U.S. Charity/Justice Imbalance

50 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2015 Last revised: 29 Apr 2020

See all articles by Fran Quigley

Fran Quigley

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: July 8, 2015

Abstract

The U.S. approach to addressing economic and social needs strongly favors individual and corporate charity over the establishment and enforcement of economic and social rights. This charity/justice imbalance has a severely negative impact on the nation’s poor, who despite the overall U.S. wealth struggle with inadequate access to healthcare, housing, and nutrition. This article suggests a two-part approach for remedying the charity/justice imbalance in the U.S.: First, the U.S. should eliminate the charitable tax deduction, a policy creation that does not effectively address economic and social needs, forces an inequitable poverty relief and tax burden on the middle class, and lulls the nation into a false sense of complacency about its poverty crisis. Second, the U.S. should replace the deduction with ratification of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This two-part process would reverse the U.S. legacy of avoiding enforceable commitments to economic and social rights. Charity would take a step back; justice a step forward.

Keywords: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Charitable Tax Deduction

Suggested Citation

Quigley, Fran, For Goodness’ Sake: A Two-Part Proposal for Remedying the U.S. Charity/Justice Imbalance (July 8, 2015). Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2015-7, Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, Vol. 23, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2558237 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2558237

Fran Quigley (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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