Harvard University is the world’s richest university, with a $36.4 billion endowment that’s larger than the gross domestic products of Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Chad, Togo, Benin, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Jordan, Bolivia, Iceland and about 85 assorted other independent nations.

Harvard’s GDP is 77% of Ghana’s GDP, 10% of South Africa’s GDP and 7% percent of Nigeria’s GDP – the largest economy in Africa.

Surely, Harvard is not a country! But with the exception of a few nations, Harvard is richer than all of West Africa!

And that is the dirtiest reality.

Harvard produces nothing – not food, not water, not air, not land. It surely did not invent fishing, farming, mining, nor clothes making, all of which have been present in West Africa since the ancestors of the so-called founders of Harvard left Africa some 50,000 years ago!

Harvard was formed in 1636. Not even the first modern era college, the University of Timbuktu, established some 7 centuries prior – in 982 – in one of the richest empires then known to man – The Ghana Empire (300 – 1270), and which in the 12th century enrolled more than 25,000 students (compared to Harvard’s 21,000 today) from across Africa as well as parts of the Mediterranean could boast a tiny fraction of a realistic comparison of today’s Harvard’s wealth?

University of Timbuktu campus.
University of Timbuktu campus.

And why?

Just how a tiny school in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States came to own so much for doing nothing – contributing nothing, improving nothing, giving nothing for the betterment of mankind – is the question that beats the current generation in West Africa and even beyond.

At best, Harvard has been at the forefront of championing a capitalist cause around the world and indoctrinating youth with an incongruous sense of an unnecessarily sophisticated system of business and wealth creation – lying and stealing!

At best, as the Pope of the Catholic Church would put it, a Harvard Indoctrination is at the root of the highest levels of inequality that humanity has known in her more than 200,000 year history.

And at worst, Harvard kills – it destroys lives.

And so it was no surprise when a superior student of the Harvard Game, Hedge fund manager, John Paulson, had $400 million to put toward a philanthropic endeavor at the Harvard School of Engineering.

Philanthropic?

Surely there were other institutions even in the United States that needed Paulson’s support?

A small investment team, MG Squared Investments, offered a range of other ways Paulson could have spent the money: Associates Degrees for 63,877 Americans, whose parents are already financially crippled with college degree debts, feeding every child in D.C. (the US Capital) for two years, mosquito nets that would save the lives of 119,760 children overseas.

But Mr. Paulson’s final decision: a small school in Cambridge, called Harvard University. And maybe you may have heard of it?

One writer in the US, Malcolm Gladwell, also thought otherwise.

gladwell1 gladwell2 gladwell3

Vox reporter Dylan Matthews of the US used the news to update a story on why wealthy people should stop donating to Harvard.

“Giving to Harvard is not philanthropy,” he wrote, noting that the majority of students come from families with incomes of over $125,000 and that the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the recipient of Paulson’s donation, serves already well-funded fields like robotics and computer science. “It’s not helping people who need help, and it’s obscene that Paulson is getting a massive tax write-off for it.”

“Let me be extremely clear: Harvard is not a charity. If you want to donate to it as a bribe to help your kids get in, go nuts. It’s not the absolute worst thing you could do with your money. Kidnapping people and making them fight to the death in gladiator pits would be worse. But if you want to make the world a better place, your dollars are better spent literally anywhere else.

Harvard overwhelmingly serves the already wealthy and privileged. It likes to boast that more than 65 percent of its undergraduate students receive financial aid — but then appeals to parents by noting that families making over $150,000 are still eligible for “significant financial aid.” That jibes with a 2013 survey the Crimson took of freshmen. Fifty-three percent reported family incomes above $125,000. By contrast, the Census Bureau found that in 2013 only 19 percent of families in the US had incomes in that range. Meanwhile, 14 percent of freshmen had family incomes in excess of $500,000, placing them solidly in the top 1 percent.”

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Wow Harvard students are rather wealthy in comparison to the rest! I like Vox’s suggestions for what to do with 400 million. Who else can buy these malaria nets and feed hungry children? Why do people throw away money that can really make a significant difference in the lives of the less privileged?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here