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  • Fat_Man

    The real focus of any tax reform movement needs to be on “non-profits”.

    Yale University isn’t a non-profit. It is a hedge fund that runs a university as a side line because it is cheaper to do that, than it would be to pay taxes.

    The Universities gave up on being non-profits when they started charging what the market would bear in tuition. If they were really non profits, they wouldn’t charge tuition at all.

    The hospitals are another racket masquerading as non-profits. in fact they are far more profitable than tax paying businesses.

    • Anthony

      Don’t exclude Harvard (ostensible hedge fund running a University).

    • Kevin

      Agreed. NFPs removing assets (real property as well as endowments) from the tax base means everyone else has to pay more. Especially when these very same NFPs then turn around and yes their tax free assets to promote every higher taxes and government expenditures.

    • Rick Caird

      Nonsense. Calling Yale a hedge fund is a fun talking point, but it is totally spurious. A hedge fund rewards its owners with a percentage of the profits. It also rewards the investors with the a percentage of the profits. None of that happens with Yale. and Its endowment just keeps growing decreased by anything they might spend a part of the endowment on. You could argue that Yale, and the others, should spend more of their endowment on education, but that is different than rewarding investors.

      • Fat_Man

        Just find out how much the managers got paid.

        • Rick Caird

          Are they employees of Yale? Actually, the investment office consists of employees of Yale and the Investment committee which overseas investments and strategy consist of former Yale students who have been active in the investment business. No one is being paid on the performance of the various funds.

          • Fat_Man

            “During the most recent reported year, 2011-’12, Chief Investment Officer David Swensen GRD ’80 and his second-in-command, Dean Takahashi ’80 SOM ’83 were the two highest paid employees at Yale, making a total sum of $2.9 million and $2.1 million respectively. Former University President Richard Levin came in third, with over $1.6 million in salary and benefits.”


          • Rick Caird

            So, are asserting, Yale would be better off paying someone, oh, $80K, to manage a $29 billion portfolio. That is not the decision I would make. In fact, penny wise, pound foolish comes to mind. Just for reference, $2.9 mill is .01% (if my quick math is correct).

          • Fat_Man

            No, I don’t want that. I want the taxpayers to recoup the tax benefits that they have conferred on Yale by a one time tax of $15 billion, and a law limiting the investments of tax free endowments to Treasury bonds. $80K to manage such a portfolio ought to be more than sufficient. Further, the presidents of tax free colleges should not be paid more than the President of the United States, and should not receive larger pensions than he does.

          • Rick Caird

            Wow, what a weirdo you are. You now believe you know the relative worth of everyone in the country and how all jobs should be valued. What’s more, you believe you have the financial acumen to determine, even in the face of negative interest rates, these financial advisors should invest only in treasury bonds. What a genius you are.

            The idea that no one should be paid more the the President of the US is really nonsense. Should all CEO’s and Presidents, even of private companies, be forced to campaign for the office, too and be voted on by the people. I will bet you also believe the using the word “Democratic” changes “Democratic socialism” into something else entirely.

            Next you will tell us that socialism and capitalism are pretty much the same and we should choose the one that works.

          • Fat_Man

            I don’t think have correctly identified my pigeon hole. My thesis is that Yale, like a number of other so-called private universities, is not a private institution at all. It is so entwined with the governmental apparatus, so far subsidized, directly and indirectly, by the tax payers, and has so many privileges granted by the government, that it is in fact, if not in theory, a governmental unit.

            I do not care what any private person earns in any context. But, it is not appropriate for governmental units to pay their employees without regard to the incomes of the taxpayers who support it.

            It is not appropriate for governmental units to own corporate securities and to be able to interfere in private markets for corporate control. It is not appropriate for governmental units to invest funds they hold in a way that subjects those funds to a risk of loss. The tax payers worked hard to earn that money, losing it in financial speculations is stealing money from the taxpayers.

            If, in order to avoid regulation, Yale wants to stop being a governmental unit, fine. Let them do that. I’ll wager they could not do that without insolvency.

          • Rick Caird

            Tough to keep up. First, you complained Yale was a hedge fund, then you wanted to limit the salaries of those managing the endowment, and now you have decided that, somehow, Yale is an arm of the government and needs to have its salary structure controlled by the Feds. I’ll bet you have a new name for that nonsense. Maybe you can call it something like “Democratic Socialism”. Wow, catchy.

          • Fat_Man

            Take it for what it is worth.

      • Andrew Allison

        How do you measure profit? The shareholders (not the owners) get various non-monetary profits, including hiring, er admission, preferences for their kids. Just as in any other hedge fund, the owners (faculty and adminitstration) are ridiculously over-compensated.

        • Rick Caird

          I guess you now have some magic formula for assessing the value of a job. Of course, I doubt you will publish that formula. As I said, a salary equal to 1 100th of a percent of the value of the fund under management hardly seems like “ridiculous over compensation”. Particularly when the performance was +20% last year. Most people would consider that quite a bargain. I also suspect the faculty and administration would be quite surprised to learn you consider them “owners” of the fund. Legacies are given favorable status because it turns out to be good business and encourages donations.

          • Andrew Allison
          • Rick Caird

            Since Yale made +20% last year, that makes them NOT a hedge fund as your reference would imply. Thanks for proving my point.

          • Andrew Allison

            You are correct. I should have written: Just as in a hedge fund, the owners (faculty and administration) are ridiculously over-compensated. If you are suggesting that the Yale portfolio increase of 20% last year justifies the compensation, I suggest that it walks, talks and quacks like a hedge fund [grin]. However, I think the point which Fat Man was making is that institutions which invest tax deductible contributions should pay taxes on the profits, just as we peons do with our IRAs.

          • Rick Caird

            OK, let’s me explain to you how hedge fund managers are compensated. They get a fixed fee and 20% of the profits when a position is closed. The Yale guys, on the other hand, get .01% of amount under management. That does not seem “over compensated” to me or pretty much anyone else.

            However, if you are going to make a blanket statement about tax deductible donations, then you have to include donations to Charitable foundations, museum, the Red Cross and any other charity that invests money or has an endowment. I really think you would have a huge problem selling that idea.

          • Andrew Allison

            What part of “Just as in a hedge fund, the owners (faculty and administration) are ridiculously over-compensated.” is unclear ( Unlike the faculty and administration, the manager of the endowment are being underpaid relative to their hedge fund peers.

          • Rick Caird

            I missed the fact that you were actually using a total non sequitur in a feeble attempt to make an absurd point. Are you now trying to make the absurd claim that the employees of Yale are somehow being “ridiculously overpaid” as a result of the endowment?

            I am eagerly awaiting your justification for that claim. To prove that point, you will have to be able to show that a PhD Professor of Math at Yale is making substantially more money than a PhD Professor of Math at a school with a much lower endowment, say RPI or Carnegie Mellon, and less than a similar PhD worker in a research or corporate environment. Sounds like a fun project for you. Let us know your results.

  • amoose1959

    “…from a training grounds for elite Northeastern WASPs to genuinely….” Young man that has been a myth for the last 50 years perpetuated by our present day elites.
    Eventually all religious institutions will be taxed and charitable giving will no longer be tax-free. So much for WASPs.

    • dawnsblood

      Maybe but Europe is far more atheist than we are and they haven’t started yet. In fact the richer states (Germany and the UK to name two) still pay churches. I wouldn’t surprise me if it happened but I suspect it is still a ways off.

  • jeburke

    “If tens of thousands of Connecticut students were benefiting from Yale’s efforts in the state, politicians would be much less eager to go after its endowment.”

    I don’t think it would matter a bit. The Dems need money and they’re running out of people to tax, having jacked up personal and corporate taxes recently. People vote, and companies can and will move to Texas or Tennessee. This is simply plundering an institution that benefits mostly people who don’t live or vote in Connecticut and cannot pick up and move.

    • Doctor_Wu

      I wonder how hard it would be for the Yale Corporation to reincorporate in the Caymans, and just mare contributions to a small charity in Connecticut?

      • Fat_Man

        Non-profits cannot change their charters, merge, dissolve, etc., without the consent of the Attorney General of the state. The Attorney General of the State of Connecticut, is an elected official. The odds of him allowing Yale to move range between none and 0%.

    • megapotamus

      Right, an emptied Treasury is worse than a gun to the head for those who live by mulct. No one is safe, that is the real lesson and quite delish for those of us who were never safe.

  • Kneave Riggall

    This is what decaying civilizations do. After the Romans forsook their pagan gods, the state taxed the temples out of existence. Now that Americans have lost faith in higher education, the door is open to taxing private educational institutions (and cutting public support for public universities).

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    I would prefer cuts in the Bloated Government Monopoly at all levels. Most of what the Government now does should be done by the private sector where the “Feedback of Competition” provides both the Information and Motivation which forces continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price.
    It’s unjust to attempt to steal a University’s endowments just because they have a large sum, without treating all endowments equally.

    • teapartydoc

      Not much of a Jacksonian, then, are you? The entire nonprofit sector needs to be destroyed. No man, or set of men, are entitled to any exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community.

      • megapotamus

        There are plenty of companies selling products that are ‘non-profit’. Charities, so called, are no more than entertainment corps and should be treated no differently. Let them cheat on their taxes like a normal person.

    • Fat_Man

      See above. Yale is part of the government. It is no more private than the Federal Reserve. And, the Fed is not very private at all.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Well, glad you noticed that the public does not seem to be against school lunches for needy kids.

    • Suzyqpie

      The children serve as human shields for the purpose of growing government. It’s for the children, they are our future….
      School lunch grew into school breakfast, school dinner, and now there is summer school breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
      All for the kiddos….who are now suffering from obesity.

      • FriendlyGoat

        A good liberal (and I am) would point out that the erstwhile industries of the private sector—–PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Mars, Hershey, Nabisco, Frito-Lay, Hostess and several hundred others—–are more responsible for obesity in America than is the public-sector school lunch program. (And you would be hard-pressed to refute that, although you will most likely try. As I recall we have different views of what a “debris field” is, even different views of what “debris” is.)

  • Beauceron

    “decades of irresponsible governance, bloated workforces organized into unions that keep asking for more, poor residents wanting and needing more basic services”

    The right answer to this problem is, of course, responsible governance. But that would involve the Left confronting its narrative and admitting much of it is wrong. That is never going to happen.

    The Left’s answer is always that we just haven’t had enough of it, that the policies have failed not because they’re wrong, or irresponsible or simply unworkable, but because they were done halfway or not committed to fully. So they want larger governments, more union organization, and more immigrants that need social services.

    • mikekelley10

      Common sense is Kryptonite to the left.

    • Fat_Man

      And somebody has got to pay for it. Et Tu, Yale?

    • Dana Charbonneau

      ‘Responsible governance’ would mean saying ‘No’ to public sector unions. That won’t happen because unlike a businessman, the government isn’t responsible to show a solid bottom line. It isn’t their money, their job, or their responsibility. Nor are we stockholders. At least we don’t act like it.

  • JDsHandsomeSon

    Good. Raid them and take it all. Let the universities enjoy what they prescribe for the rest of us. I recommend taxing the salaries and benefits of professors first.

    • Angel Martin

      This is hilarious !

      Yale and its faculty have been pushing left wing redistribution crap for 60+ years and now:

      Yale’s chickens… coming home… !

      • Suzyqpie

        The Spechul Snowflakes will be challenged to learn that, well, they just aren’t that special. There is some humor in all of this. Government is supposed to redistribute someone else assets, Not Ours.

  • Bill Peschel

    Perhaps Yale’s political science department can help the state research ways they can cut costs and fund pensions, such as eliminating gold-plated health plans and retirement packages for lawmakers, stop hiring their friends as “consultants,” and promote a sunshine law that opens all government accounts online for anyone to inspect and question (because after all, they’re spending taxpayer money, right?). That should shut them up.

    • Fat_Man

      Won’t happen. They are too busy stamping out micro-aggressions.

      • Dana Charbonneau

        And grooming future Presidents…

  • Robert Burke

    Looking forward… even as the spark that lit the Civil War in 1860… was the confrontation of STOPPING the expansion of slavery into new territories… so likewise, the HUGE confrontation between liberty worldview and Progressive-Meteor-of-Death worldview… will be when the liberty states effectively defund all tax monies of Progressive Education in K-12, university, law and journalism schools. Progressive-Meteor-of-Death worldview holders, at that time, will announce that the 11 or so states of secession (CA, OR, WA, IL, MI, WI, NY, CT, MA, DC) have already seceded from the liberty flyover states… and then all hell will break loose. Then war will come. God have mercy.

    The point is, the true and best and most effective battle strategy for liberty lovers, is to defund Prog Ed from K-12, university, law and journalism schools. This is the heart of the matter. And the darkened heart (and brains) of Progressive-Meteor-of-Death worldview holders… shall then come out from covert activities and proclaim their allegiance to mental slavery. The free folk must win this fight.

  • megapotamus

    Yeah, make those fatcats cough up! I like how the law is applicable to only one institution. That’s a bit of a Bill of Attainder peeking out there but heck, they’re Leftwingers so scalp ’em, skin ’em and spray ’em with brine if they bark.

  • Terenc Blakely

    So the question is, are lefties just effing stupid or is there something else going on? My suspicion is that most lefties are consumed consciously or unconsciously with so much self-loathing, disgust with our country, it’s history, culture and most of the people in it that they want to destroy everything…. under the guise of ‘helping the unfortunate’. That is why they espouse policies that don’t actually help anyone, especially in the long-term. Plus, I’m sure the graft that those policies engender helps keeps the non-truebelievers in line.

  • sukietawdry

    This is only the beginning of what’s coming our way as cities and states have to grapple with their unfunded liabilities. People who have assets because they’ve planned well and invested and saved for their retirements better beware. As should people with private pensions. Undoubtedly the very last thing that will be considered is telling public employees that they won’t be getting 100 cents on the dollars they’ve been promised.

  • George R

    Yale and other Ivies would never want to expand their enrollment much, at least not under the primary brand name. Yale and Harvard have status because they are extremely difficult to get into. Satellite campuses would need to exist under different branding so the branding of Yale is not diluted. Furthermore, Yale may not have such expertise — running community colleges is a completely different business model from running an elite university.

  • WigWag

    My recommendation is that any university with an endowment in excess of $10 billion be required to select undergraduate candidates for admission by random selection amongst all applicants who score in the top 50 percent of the SATs or ACTs in any given year.

    Universities that refuse would be penalized by having an excise tax of ten percent applied to the the amount of principal in their endowment funds.

    We need to destroy our elites before they destroy our country. This would be a good way to start.

  • Gray Wolf

    Talk about “petard.”
    99% of Yale faculty and administrators are liberal to far left.
    The state of Conn. (led by the hockey puck of a Governor) is liberal to far left.
    What goes around comes around.

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