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Central Park luncheon thrown by Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao didn't go as planned, but that doesn't mean cash donations given directly to poor is a bad idea.

"In the wake of Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao’s failed attempt last week to hand out $300 each to hundreds of homeless people in New York, a Columbia University political scientist speaks up in The New York Times for the growing practice of fighting poverty by giving cash to the poor. Mr. Chen had publicly promised to give money to poor New Yorkers at a free lunch in Manhattan last week. The philanthropist asked the New York City Rescue Mission to supply guests for the event, but the charity agreed to cooperate only if he withheld cash handouts, which mission officials feared recipients would spend on drugs and alcohol." --the Chronicle of Philanthropy

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