Billionaire philanthropists deserve praise in erasing college debt

When billionaire philanthropists engage in various acts of giving to colleges and universities, their largess is criticized by some as doing little to help solve the fundamental problem (“How Philanthropists Can Ease College Debt,” The New York Times, Dec. 27).  In other words, no good deed goes unpunished.

There’s no question that existing tax laws and their own egos explain much of their generosity.  But that’s no reason to denigrate their giving by calling them “shock benefactors.”  They could just as well not donate anything at all to educational institutions. They’re not responsible for what exists in higher education.

It’s impossible for these 1-percenters to solve the inequities that characterize colleges and universities in this country.  That’s why I applaud them for their actions, regardless of their motivation.

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