What The Heck Are These Tax-Free Endowments For?

Bumped and updated:

The endowments of Harvard+Yale+Stanford+Princeton = 
More than a Quarter of a Trillion Dollars (before market crash)
There will be many, many losers in all of this but universities and other 'non-profit' institutions will be among the top. While there are dozens of stories about taxpaying businesses performing heroically, institution after institution has behaved abysmally in this critical situation. I came close to posting a quote from a university administrator who "laughed out loud" when asked if he would be giving refunds for unused room and board this semester. 

Given the fact their students are going to get a taste of distance learning, their awful behavior (which has been going on the last two decades behind the scenes) will be out in the open for all to see. 

It is way past time for Congress to start taxing the endowments and to begin setting limits on them. 

-- original posting -- 
What?! The Met has a tax-free endowment of $3.6 billion! Why can't it spend a tiny part of that endowment to keep its people on staff?

The exact same thing is true of universities. Harvard has a tax-free endowment, the last time I checked, of $55 billion [unknown given market crash]. I don't know whether they are planning any layoffs but other universities are. If this isn't the type of situation where endowments are tapped, why are these tax-free endowments allowed?


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