Tuesday, May 27, 2008Margaret Soltan's all over Harvard's scandalous endowment. I'm not normally one to participate in the (admittedly enjoyable) ressentiment-related activities of despising some entity's wealth, but in this case, I have to agree and second. Dear Alma Mater of blessed memory operates with tax exempt status while charging one hell of a tuition bill that it could clearly afford to foot for everyone for, like, five hundred years, and I still spent the better part of last night sorting through old papers in preparation for tomorrow's move, a not-insignificant number of which were those familiar cream laid solicitations for my hard-earned, taxable cash. So in addition to begging for my money in order to re-invest it, spending nothing on the activity that earns them tax exemption (like some wino on the corner with a sign around his neck asking for bus fare when, by common consensus, he's going to buy a fifth the second you're out of sight), they're also cluttering up my personal space. Given my feelings about clutter, I'm not really sure which is worse.
Fortunately, some of my cleverer classmates have come up with a way to bite their thumbs (sir) at this gross violation of the spirit of the tax code. From now on, whenever I receive one of those beautiful, tree-killing solicitations, I'll donate a small sum to Harvard Alumni for Social Action, which funds African graduate students and African educational institutions. I encourage all of my fellow alums to do the same.