Eli Broad: Being Unreasonable

Friday, May 04, 2012

Philanthropist Eli Broad discusses his new book, The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking, and what he’s learned starting businesses and cultural institutions.

EVENT: Eli Broad will be speaking at the 92nd Street Y May 6 at 8PM. Ticket information is available here.


Eli Broad

Comments [19]


This billionaire is a prime example of an economy based on Barnum's adage: "There's a sucker born every minute" He may feel a slight pang of guilt about playing a rigged system for so long and so well, but don't preach to the plebs, we're not all lining up to be marks or players. As for his "philanthropy", "75%" at his particular level of income will not effect his lifestyle at all, (NB, he can still afford to keep & insure his over-priced art investments) and the amount of self-gratification from the ostentatious publicity surrounding the donation negates his supposed spiritual arguments for doing it: he should read his scripture sometime.

The talk about the art industry was an excellent weaving of issues, illustrating just how removed from the vast majority of the world's population these people are, and what a giant multi-leveled con-game they indulge in. The most nauseating part of this conversation though, was his comment that a major reason for a good education was to provide cannon fodder for their wars, his so-called "national security" argument. If these are the people we are looking to for guidance, is it any wonder we're in such a mess.

May. 04 2012 11:26 AM
Taher from Taher

martha from gpt,
glad you brought up this guy’s art shtick. I know all about it. Another self-serving arena the .000001% can play and even makes a buck by the millions. And yes in this case we got the poodle Deitch serving his master.

May. 04 2012 11:11 AM
John A.

I don't generally complain when someone has what appears to be a (I'll agree that it may be calculated) change of heart. What better thing is there to do with perhaps ill-gotten wealth but to give it back?

May. 04 2012 11:08 AM
anna from new york

RJ, not only that.
How about paying employees decent salaries? And giving them (oh horror) decent vacations after a civilized workweek (no 80 hours)?

May. 04 2012 11:02 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

I love the way Mr. Broad refers to himself as the royal “we.” That should tell us everything about who he is. A guy who made a lot of money and now thinks he has something important to offer to us serfs in America. What he has offered is third-rate art and museums and elitist schools that at the end change nothing.
What you get is a gala dinner by the “we” who bring out a bunch kids of color and they entertain them with a song and dance.
“See how much better they are now that we have charter schools.” Give me a brake.

May. 04 2012 11:02 AM
anna from new york

OK. Let's try again.
I firmly believe that a good, well structured society doesn't need philanthropy. Philanthropy is only needed when the most ruthless are allowed to abuse the system and the population.

May. 04 2012 11:00 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Oh, and about the percentage of giving: The poor are known, through many studies over many years, to give higher proportions of their income than the well off.

May. 04 2012 10:58 AM
martha from gpt

thanks, brian, for getting to substance

May. 04 2012 10:58 AM
harry from brooklyn

another fat cat telling us how to live and what to do

May. 04 2012 10:58 AM
james from nyc

Charter schools give "business people" an apportunity to steal money from the school system...

They talk BS about giving parents choices, but the choice is to give thier money to some "business person". That "business person" will figure out how to screw everyone in the long run.

NO interest in fixing the education system, just another scam like mortgages and the bubble stock market before it.

May. 04 2012 10:56 AM
Maria from Upper West Side

Parents hate the "Education Reform Movement" and its business model. Our children are not "business." Why don't these philanthropists with their ALEC-driven legislation leave our children and our schools alone? Internationsl test scores in other countries are based on their highest-performing students, in the US they are based on ALL students.

May. 04 2012 10:56 AM
RJ from prospect hts

What about "philanthropists" giving back by giving increased taxes, so that democratically elected public officials--can decide what public policy should be? And work toward campaign finance reform so that wealth doesn't corrupt democracy?

May. 04 2012 10:56 AM
anna from new york

"Why should the wealthy be entitled to make public policy?"
Such a good question.

May. 04 2012 10:55 AM
Carl from New Jersey

I agree that everyone can get involved in 'giving'.
Does he agree that the rich like himself should pay more taxes?
Instead of giving away money at the end of your life, how about paying taxes now -- save your country & help those that need it?

May. 04 2012 10:55 AM
martha from gpt

Ahhhhh the evil squid of LA, Eli Broad, now trying to suck up education policy joining the ranks of other evil marauding squids. Interesting how many of them are also very intent on sucking up the art world.
I think Brian actually has little clue to whom he is speaking. (Ask about Jeffrey Deitch.....). Calling the real estate magnate & leading member of the LA power elite 'a philanthropist" ?

May. 04 2012 10:54 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

Lord, this man is clueless.

Could we please, please, please get the corporate rich out of our social structures. This man should have nothing to do with our school system. Let him buy overpriced art like the rest of the corporate drones.

May. 04 2012 10:53 AM

Eli Broad, along with the Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, are the three biggest funders of the privatization of our public education system. The problem with our education system is poverty - why don't these billionaires do something about that?

Of course he disagrees with all the studies that show charter schools are not doing any better, and sometimes worse, than public schools. So he's going to spend some of his millions concocting a study that says the opposite. Completely out of touch 1%-er who didn't send his kids to public school and has no idea what it's like to live on the margins.

May. 04 2012 10:52 AM
Kosha Brightwell

Does the guest believe that the key to improving education is to focus on the family and its repsonsibility and not neccesarily the schools and teachers? Is there any will to address low-performing FAMILIES/PARENTS or is that too politically/racially explosive?

May. 04 2012 10:50 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Why should the wealthy be entitled to make public policy?

May. 04 2012 10:48 AM

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