The Golden Rule: Who has
the gold rules.
Private foundations have taken
substantial control of the environmental movement in America,
as well as blending them with labor unions and far-left groups.
These foundation bring with them what
psychiatrist Roy Menninger called "the
narcissism of the righteous," a.k.a. the "I'm a better angel than you"
syndrome. Having money and the power to decide who gets it is
intoxicating and toxic both to those who give and those who get. They live in
a world that knows nothing of creating wealth, but only of spending it.
But don't call it
plutocracy (the rule of wealth) because that will end your
credibility among the plutocrats. And don't call those who rule by
wealth an oligarchy (rule by the elite few) because that will end
your credibility with the elite few.
So we're reduced to
calling them rich guys who give the money and the marching orders.
And we call the green ones the ecoligarchy.
Smile, it's a joke. You know, a story with a humorous ending? Or an
unexpected juxtaposition of two disparate planes of thought that
produces a sudden insight?
However, the products of
the plutocracy and their ecoligarchy are not funny to the people whose
lives they ruin. They destroy jobs, they destroy companies, they destroy
industries, they destroy industrial sectors. Their power is enormous and
Many liberal foundations have become prescriptive,
that is, they design their own programs for leftward social change and then pressure a
highly orchestrated network of environmental groups to perform their projects.
Some foundations no longer accept applications, but only
fund pre-selected groups. It's strictly by invitation
Case in point: The
Blue Moon Foundation (formerly the W. Alton Jones
Foundation) once had a policy statement
that advised applicants:
The foundation works principally through foundation-defined
initiatives addressing its priority issues. These initiatives usually take the form of
coordinated grants to multiple institutions, each of which focuses on one or more
components of an overall campaign defined by the foundations mission. Proposals for
participation in these initiatives are invited by the foundation.
have some version of this exclusionary policy.
means pressuring applicants from the open application process into
programs they would not have originated themselves.
Environmental Grantmakers Association
(EGA) is a group of more than 200 foundations with important environmental
programs. The EGA foundations meet in closed sessions to plan strategy in shutting down
every economic action that affects the environment.
Foundations and "public interest" non-profits
are a big, influential and expanding industry
During the last 15 years, the number of foundations has
nearly doubled from 22,000 to 39,000
Foundation assets now exceed $200 billion, half of it
controlled by fewer than 200 foundations
Big foundations, which have a distinctly liberal cast, use
their tax-exempt dollars to fund everything from the environmental movement to studies
supporting the welfare state to population control.
When used to finance "public interest" group
advocacy, foundation wealth can have an enormous influence on which public policy is
Most significant policy initiatives undertaken today by
the Federal government have some foundation support, and many are implemented as a result
of foundation-funded advocacy
Those who run big foundations represent a small, elite,
insulated group, most of whom live in the eastern United States, hundreds or even
thousands of miles from the areas affected by the environmental policies they support
Foundations have no voters, no customers, no investors
They have no wish to receive feedback from those affected
by their decisions, nor are they accountable to anyone for funding policies which
adversely affect the well-being of people or local economies
Tax exempt foundation funding of environmental advocacy
groups unfairly tilts the playing field against the views and input of those most affected
by the policies advocated
The average citizens voice and input in the
government decision-making process is often drowned out by those advocacy groups largely
funded by foundations, making our government seem even more remote and less responsive to
the needs of the average person
At least 18 foundations give grants to environmental
organizations to spy on critics, with the total of these grants from 1992 to 1996
exceeding $1 million
BASICS OF FOUNDATIONS
A foundation is a modern innovation to
provide for the endowment of non-profit enterprises and the establishment of an
association or corporation to carry out its founders plans.
Once the founder is dead, the foundation
administrators often change the founder's plans and operate programs that the founder
would have opposed. This is the case with most foundations that fund environmentalist
Most foundations are set up as
charitable trusts. The grantor conveys money, stocks or other property by a deed of trust
to a named trustee or trustees, to be disbursed as the instrument directs.
The endowment of a charitable trust is usually
invested in a securities portfolio managed for the foundation by professional investment
firms. The money foundations give away each year comes from the annual profit on these
The charitable trust may or may not be incorporated.
Most modern foundations are corporations. Technically, the foundation is the document of
endowment or incorporation, but the term usually means the organization that administers
Both public charities and private foundations form
part of the nonprofit structure of the environmental movement. Most private foundations
are grant donors while most public charities are grant recipients.
are charitable organizations supported by members of the general public.
They are allowed to operate programs to accomplish their tax-exempt
purpose. Most environmental groups are classified by the IRS as public
charities, such as the
Natural Resources Defense Council.,
even through NRDC was created by the
a private foundation.
A private foundation is a charitable
organization that is funded by one or a few persons rather than the general public.
Although subject to stricter rules than a public charity, a private foundation is
tax-exempt just like a public charity and may carry on the same activities,
such as the
Nathan Cummings Foundation.
may run their own programs,
for example, George Soros'
Society Institute is a private
Often, a private foundation simply makes grants to public charities
instead of operating its own programs.
Public charities file an annual report, Form
990, to the Internal Revenue Service even though they are tax exempt.
Private foundations file Form 990PF.
The Form 990PF reveals the foundation's
entire list of grants given during each year, and the endowment's investment portfolio in
complete detail, including prices of stocks when purchased, when sold, current book value,
and dividend earnings.
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