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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Donations to Colleges and Universities: A Widening Inequality among Schools

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, colleges and universities in the American States received a record $37.5 billion in donations, which represent a 10.8% increase from the prior year.[1] Alumni giving increased 9.4% to $9.85 billion, with the average graduate gift up more than 25% to $1,535.[2] The top ten universities by amounts raised snagged 18% of the total ($37.5 billion), thus doing disproportionately better than even the schools in the middle stratum. What is behind this growing economic inequality, and can anything be done to reverse the trend?

The full essay is at “Donations to Colleges

[1] Melissa Korn, “Harvard Tops Record Year for College Gifts,” The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2015.
[2] Ibid.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Universities and Hospitals: Time for American States to Tax Nonprofits?

The 2015 budget that Gov. Paul LePage proposed to the Maine legislature takes aim at the “sacred cow” of property-tax exemption for nonprofit organizations. Colleges and hospitals, for example, would be levied a property tax, with places of worship and government-owned entities remaining exempt. The rationale is that of fairness to home-owners, who must bear a disproportionate weight particularly in New England, where colleges and hospitals in particular are ubiquitous. However, I submit that a second justification exists—one based squarely on the colleges and hospitals themselves.

The full essay is at “Universities and Hospitals.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Syriza Party Governing in Greece: Austerity and the E.U.

Clarion calls of confrontation roiled through the E.U. after the state election in Greece on January 25, 2015. Would the E.U., heavily dominated by its largest state, and the European Central Bank (ECB) accept a larger public deficit (i.e., more government spending to alleviate the austerity) and continue the cheap loans, or would Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek prime minister, have to choose between continued austerity and default? 

The full essay is at "Essays on the E.U. Political Economy," available at Amazon.