Ivy Donations Are 'Loathsome'

Giving to 'Affirmative Action for Rich' is 'moral crime,' writes Hamilton Nolan
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 7, 2010 2:20 AM CDT
Should we give tax write offs for 'affirmative action for the rich'?   (?z0xx.)

(Newser) Gawker's Hamilton Nolan is scrambling onto the anti-Ivy League bandwagon by slamming donations to the elitist institutions as "loathsome" and a "moral crime." The schools "are terrible choices for huge donations. Supporting education is a worthy cause; but there are many, many more effective ways to help the masses than giving millions to Ivy League schools. No matter what those schools' endowment officers tell you, they do not really 'need,' that money," stews Nolan. Furthermore, most donors are not seeking to improve education; "they give in order to make it easier for their own children to get into those schools," he adds.

The Gawker broadside follows a $100 million donation to Columbia's business school by buyout king Henry Kravis. It also comes in the wake of a scathing New York Times piece by an academic demanding that tax deduction benefits be axed for Ivy donations because the schools' preference for blue-blood legacy students amounts to illegal discrimination against those without connections—what he terms "affirmative action for the rich"—which affect far larger numbers of students than traditional affirmative action for minorities. Such legacy preferences are decidedly "un-American, standing in direct contradiction to Thomas Jefferson’s famous call to promote a 'natural aristocracy' based on 'virtue and talent,'" writes think tank fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg.

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