Tales of Tadeusz

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Foundation Owner's Problem

You're rich. Fabulously. You decide to endow (give lots of money in a complicated legal way with all sorts of strings on it) to a Foundation that will keep fighting to preserve or create values that you think are worthy of society.

So, you're likely a conservative.

You raise your children as well as you can, but you probably spent more time on your business than them. But they never had to work like you did. And their children are frankly pretty likely to have grown up in a limousine liberal atmosphere unpenetrated by reality, and trained to feel guilt about wealth, and possibly not having done anything useful to justify to themselves their own wealth.

R. J. Reynolds is an example of this. One doubts that he would want to be associated with liberal causes, but now, after five or six generations, he is.

So, at least one foundation, the Olin Foundation, is thinking of disvesting. That is, give the money now in large chunks to various groups they agree with.

This is great news for Heritage, and other conservative groups, at least right now, because it means a vast shot of money in the present day.

But one thing that has kept Heritage and Cato, and other such groups on course is that they are funded by Mr. Olin. Stray too much, and the money dries up. Now they are independent, and they can possibly do their own leftward drift.

Not sure how to solve this problem, although I have a couple ideas.


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