“All across our country, we have nonprofits—big foundations—that are effectively social-justice hedge funds,” J. D. Vance told a conference on woke capital hosted by the Claremont Institute Center for the American Way of Life in Washington, D.C., earlier this week.
“The Ford Foundation has $14 billion dollars in assets under management. Their leadership is serving on many of our corporate boards. And of course, the corporate boards of some of our biggest companies are serving as the leadership of the Ford Foundation,” continued Vance—author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, a venture capitalist, and with others, a likely leader of conservatism for some time to come.
Ford is philanthropically investing in “Critical Race Theory, they’re investing in the racial division all across our country, they’re investing in all of the progressive social causes of the moment.” They’re “one of the biggest investors in the Black Lives Matter movement that destroyed many of our towns and cities last Summer,” he went on.
Now, if I want to sell my house or if a middle-class American wants to sell their house and they make say, $200,000 …, they have to pay tax on that $200,000 of money that they made. [If] the Ford Foundation sells $200 million dollars of real property in an investment transaction, they pay zero tax, because our public policy has enriched and prioritized the foundations and the nonprofits that are destroying our country.
Vance then turned his attention to higher education. “[T]he biggest capital allocator, or at least one of the biggest capital allocators, in the world is that woke social-justice hedge fund known as Harvard University.” Harvard, he said, “has over $120 billion under management, … funds some of the most-destructive ideologies all across our country, [and] literally trains the next generation of priests in the seminary that’s dominating our professional class.
“That university’s endowment pays not a dollar of tax,” he continued. “It has no obligation to draw down the principal. It is literally ammunition for the Left and we, through our public policy, have given that endowment more power.
“This raises the question, of course, what do we do about this?” Vance asked. “A few ideas on this front,” he said, widening his focus back to all of nonprofitdom.
The first is that we should eliminate all special privileges that exist for our nonprofit and foundation class. Why is it that if you’re spending all your money to teach literal racism to our children in their schools, why do we give you special tax breaks instead of taxing you more? …
The decision to give those foundations and those organizations special privileges is a decision made by public policy. It was made by man, and we can undo it.
You can view Vance’s entire talk at this link. The comments quoted above begin after the 10-minute mark.