All his life Billy Jones was a greedy man who only cared about making a profit. His company, Billy Jones Reality, was known throughout every state in the American South as a slum lord who took advantage of the poor at every opportunity while only doing the minimum required by court orders to keep Billy's thousands of rental properties up to minimum housing standards.
For over 5 decades Billy Jones ran his business in this way accumulating millions, perhaps billions in cash and properties.
As Billy began to get older he began to become concerned about how he might be remembered. Not wanting to be remembered for the cheap, skinflint, greedy slumlord he really was, Billy decided to put some of his money into his newly formed, non profit Billy Jones Foundation of Greater Greensboro.
Soon after his death his heirs began donating the foundation money to so-called "worthy" causes the first being a big music barn where rich people from all over the country could come to enjoy concerts the working class could never afford to buy tickets to see. His heirs actually started introducing themselves to strangers as philanthropists-- whatever that means.
Billy would be proud.
Soon after it was announced that the Billy Jones Foundation had given a Million Dollars to a local homeless non profit that would be renting houses for 25 homeless families.
Now the Billy Jones Foundation was being touted as heroes in the local media.
Of course, what the local media never reported was that Billy Jones Reality owned the 25 houses the local homeless non profit would be paying the rent for. Billy Jones Reality donated the money to the Billy Jones Foundation, got a tax deduction for doing so, the Billy Jones Foundation donated the money to the local homeless non profit and the local homeless non profit paid the money to Billy Jones Reality.
But it didn't end there.
When the news of the Million Dollar donation spread, lots of other local non profit foundations, corporations and individuals also donated to the local homeless non profit to help more homeless families. So the local homeless non profit rented even more houses and apartments from Billy Jones Reality who remains a slum lord despite the fact that the Billy Jones Foundation continues to give money away.
Soon every unit Billy Jones Reality could get their hands on was rented but there was a limit on how long the local homeless non profit would pay the rent for each family-- eventually they had to stand on their own as it should be.
Now Billy Jones is remembered as a hero and his heirs philanthropists but just as soon as those people the homeless non profit placed in homes owned by Billy Jones Reality miss a rent payment they will once again be homeless.
So what really changed besides our perception? And why isn't Billy Jones Reality also required to stand on its own just as those who live in its homes are required to do?
Of course, as you know, Billy Jones (That would be me.) is penniless, never owned a reality company, has no living heirs and never founded a non profit foundation. Obviously this story is fictitious.
Or is it?