Why does their income matter

Reader comment on: The Tax Notes Fight Heats Up

Submitted by Chris (United States), Apr 13, 2010 03:36

Maybe you can explain how this post fits in with the general argument you are trying to make. Basically it comes across as one large ad hominem. If you have nothing more to say, why not criticize the way they choose to run their organization. Isn't it ironic for a supporter of capitalism to dictate how someone else should run their business?

Harvard and non profit hospitals are not non profits because they offer tuition breaks or or charity care, they are non profits because they follow a set of requirement for all non profits. That's a simple answer but it seems that you still haven't made it past the glib doesn't mean right statement. The concept that a non profit must give things away for the lowest price possible denies the realities of daily life. Rent, utilties, salaries that incentivize good people to stay are just as important to non profits. Rather than stating how they should run their business, why not take a cue from capitalism itself and allow them to live or die in the marketplace as every other organization both for profit and non-prodit must do?

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The Future of Capitalism replies:

In exchange for the subsidy they are getting from me as a taxpayer because of their non-profit status -- no taxes, and tax-exempt bond financing -- which they got for claiming to be established for the purpose of educating the public -- they get some second-guessing. It's not a business, it's a non-profit. If they were a business, I wouldn't be second guessing them. In fact charity care is required of non-profit hospitals and scholarships/financial aid is an important part of how tax exempt educational institutions justify their tax exempt status. If Tax Analysts wanted to give up their tax exemption I'd be happy to let them live or die in the marketplace free of criticism, though you'll have noticed that sometimes I criticize the coverage of for-profit publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, too, and even sometimes criticize how the Times runs its business (or at least for doing so in a way inconsistent with its editorials).

Other reader comments on this item

Title By Date
⇒ Why does their income matter
[w/response] [190 words]
ChrisApr 13, 2010 03:36
public service
[w/response] [187 words]
David Cay JohnstonApr 12, 2010 14:57
Ask the people turned away from Harvard and hospitals
[w/response] [98 words]
ChrisApr 13, 2010 03:43

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