We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I almost agree: Just look at the ads for great causes - Only $19/mo, and you get a free blanket. There's always lots of crying women. The founders are taken over by professional money raisers (MADD, Habitat for Humanity, United Way etc.) who get big pay checks and bonuses . But if you look you can find charities that actually don't advertise and do what they claim; St. Jude, American Cancer Society, churches and many others.
I think you have to understand the history of a racket, and then the answer as to why it becomes one is self-evident.
Years ago, the criminal element and in particular the political machines they associated with would issue rights to certain individuals or groups to have parties. The tickets for these parties were expensive and designed as a form of income for those approved to throw parties. Different individuals had different classes they would cull from and being designated as a person to purchase tickets to a certain party often held a level of prestige. In the movie "Gangs of New York", this is alluded to with Bill the Butcher's party to celebrate his victory over Priest Vallon.
No doubt Bill's party was a very desirable one, and no doubt he made a very healthy living from the sale of those tickets.
The parties themselves were often boisterous affairs, and made a 'racket', and the parties themselves became known as 'rackets'.
When you consider how fundraising is done today, the parties and giveaways to 'support' some 'great cause', you see the parallel. While buying a ticket is no longer required, the guilt of not purchasing a ticket is enough to assure the very best of society buy, and attend, these events.
It's part of being with the 'in crowd' to support whatever cause has the best party or giveaways for the donation you're making.
When you think about actually dealing with any 'great cause', what you really need is the people with a desire to make a difference, and a bit of cash to assist in meeting that goal.
Today, what that really means is just having the cash, and attacking your goal in as splashy and media-driven a manner as possible. The best way to get money is to just ask for a donation. But who wants to give $1,000 when they can buy a ticket to a PR event and have their picture on a magazine or website homepage if they pay $5,000 and get a 'free' goody bag for attending?
The racket today is still the same - raising money through the purchase of a good, product or service. The main difference is that today the 'requirement' is simply guilt, and the payoff is the good press you get personally for attending and being seen as a 'positive force in society'.
Meanwhile, the actual volunteers doing the work and really making a difference will be ignored. They are not important to 'the cause'.