Maybe Generation-G for “guilt” should focus more on their own productivity, or lack thereof, rather than trying to “make the world a better place” with other people’s money. Andy Kessler writes in The Wall Street Journal:
Passing through the San Francisco airport recently, I ran into a couple I know who were waiting to pick up their teenage children. “Coming back from camp?” I asked.
They responded with a gaze that could curdle milk into yogurt. Their kids were coming back “from their service trip to Guatemala,” their mother informed me. “It was a wonderful volunteer experience, they really are improving lives.” Gee, and I thought my kid was doing well by working at Jamba Juice this summer.
A little digging turned up some information about these service trips. One is called the Global Leadership Adventure: Children of the Maya. “Volunteer at a Maya school, attend a ceremony with a Maya shaman,” the website reads. You’ll receive 30 hours of community-service credit—also known as college-application fodder—for only $2,999. For $200 more, head to Ghana for two weeks to “improve local health and living conditions, live just steps away from the beach.” What about investing the same $2,999 in Guatemalan entrepreneurs? Fat chance. Volun-tourism is charity for the giver.