One friend of mine heard about a big $300+m gift to a college and said point blank, “That’s like giving $300m to Walmart or McDonalds.” The schools had ceased to be a charity in his mind. They were just money-grubbing businesses to him and I learned from his insight.
Jonathan Meer and Harvey Rosen try to figure out why scholarship recipients donate less as alumni than rich kids. (Paper) Catherine Rampell at the NY Times runs through some explanations about why the ones who should feel grateful aren’t showing it by giving money.
I’m sure each person’s decision is different and there are probably some who share the reasons that Ms. Rampell cites, but I think the dominant reason is obvious. It’s like giving money to McDonalds or Walmart. The college industrial complex is already fantastically wealth and they already enjoy wonderful tax breaks that normal people do not. So why give to them if they’re already rich?
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