Mike Renzulli

More About: Economy - Economics USA

Capitalists Who Cut Their Own Throats

Ayn Rand was rightly critical of companies who had contributed money to universities stating that because of the anti-capitalistic mentality among professors and intellectuals that make up the faculty, they, essentially, were feeding the very beasts who despised their existence.
The New York Times recently published 2 stories that point out precisely what Ms. Rand talked about.
Mr. Stephen A. Schwarzman, who is chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, visited a school run by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York meeting with the school's children as part of the Diocese's expression of thanks for his $5 million gift to the church's Inner-City Scholarship Fund.
Additionally, James H Simons, a former mathematician turned successful hedgefund investor, recently gifted Stony Brook University $60 million.
While I admire both men greatly for their accomplishments and the wealth they have acquired is well-deserved, I strongly disagree with the places they have decided to donate their money.
In the case of Mr. Schwarzman, the Catholic Church is notoriously anti-capitalist in its teachings. Its clergy, like many religious denominations, routinely talk down or demonize profits and the wealthy unless rich members of their congregation make donations to the church. Christianity's hero, Jesus, is quoted in The Bible saying that a camel may pass through the eye of a needle before a rich man may enter heaven.
In a public speech he gave in Brazil in May of last year, despite denouncing Marxism, Pope Benedict XVI decryed the distance between rich and poor which he claimed resulted from captialism.
Just recently, Benedict updated the list of sins condemned by the church naming "excessive wealth" as one of them.
There are also many examples of even fundamentalist and evangelical denominations signing on to the idea that we are our brother's keeper.
In 2003, The Christian Coalition issued a statement in favor of an Alabama ballot measure that would raise state taxes by $1.2 billion calling on voters to approve it stating: ''It helps the very least among us.''

This past week, some leaders of the Southern Baptists, known for their theological and cultural conservatism, signed a resolution at their national convention calling for "prudent action" on climate change nearly signing on to the environmentalist view of global warming.

 One signer of the declaration is quoted as saying: “I learned that God reveals himself through Scripture and in general through his creation, and when we destroy God’s creation, it’s similar to ripping pages from the Bible."

In terms of Mr. Simons gift, while his affection for his former employer is understandable, it is a fact that the vast majority of the faculty of universities, like Stony Brook, teach their students that capitalism is evil or indirectly support Marxist-oriented ideas.
As such, while on the surface the Governor of New York and heads of S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook may appreciate Mr. Simons' gift, they are in reality propagandizing for Simons' demise behind his back.
Many university faculty members and religions indirectly work hand in hand in order to undermine mankind by condemning human achievement and self-esteem through accomplishment.
Both institutions subscribe to the Platonic idea that people shall be assigned their place in society and that only an elite group, in this case the intellectuals and clergy, can lead the people since they will have true knowledge and, henceforth, rule society. They also teach that profit of any kind is evil, poverty is held to be virtuous and accomplishment that leads to riches is condemned.
While both gentlemen have a right to do what they want with their money and, by no means, am I implying that Mssrs Schwarzman and Simons are contributing toward maintaining a Platonic world view intentionally.
However, their money would be better spent being reinvested in the stock market so jobs would be created resulting in a much better return on investment.
Both gentlemen may want to consider that they are contributing to having their throats cut down the line since most of the personel of the institutions they have given financial backing to hate their wealth and work to undermine their very existence and way of life.

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