Saturday, April 01, 2006
THADDEUS B. PICKENS: PERFORMANCE ARTIST OF THE BUSH ERA
T. Boone Pickens: Performance Artist and Tax Dodger.
Most of you may be surprised to learn that T. Boone Pickens is a Performance Artist. You probably thought he was only a billionaire. He is much more than that. Thaddeus B. Pickens is a performance artist who has a walk-on part in a modern Morality Play called "The Age of Bush".
But first a word about Charity for reasons that will soon be clear.
WHAT IS CHARITY? Judeo-Christian society consider Charity a cardinal virtue. It was a principal that arose from the better instincts of all tribal ancestors. When city-states created merchant social classes, Charity became institutionalized. In the Middle Ages the Tribune became the Vassal and the Church was paid by the State to care for the poor through feudal taxation. By the Renaissance, Charity became a class notion of nobelis oblige by which the money class does good deeds such as fund things like orphages and pest houses for the poor. The Age of Reason was damaging to the Church as the rise of the Universities secularized and made charity a social rather than ecclesiatical responsibility. Then came the emergence of the bourgeoisie, the rise of the Industrial Age, literacy, democratic revolution and the concept of the social economy in which care for the poor became a function of the social Weal.
When income tax was instituted in 1913 in the United States, it was established as a form of redistribution when, after the Age of Reform, it became clear to policy-makers that the social need, particularly among poor children of the exploited immigrant populations was outpacing private charity. The establishment of the income tax set up a tension between public welfare and private, charitable giving. In the crucible of this tension, the tax-deductible charitable donation was created as a substitution of in-kind service for wealth transfer.
Back to T. Boone Pickens. Well...I will let a blog from Oklahoma University pick it up from here. The OUInsider.com puts it well:
STILLWATER – Touted as the largest single gift to college athletics in the U.S., only weeks ago, aging Texas oilman Boone Pickens, appeared to hand over a check for $165 million to a breathless gathering of Oklahoma State University officials. But some wonder today if any money really did change hands.
The magnitude of such a donation stunned those in attendance and around the country as news spread of the huge gift. That so much money was earmarked for an athletic village of Olympian proportion made it even more remarkable. But as the shock and giddy hometown excitement has worn off; some are starting to ask questions. And those most in the know are saying little.
In making the historic gesture, Pickens, 77, laughed and told those in attendance that he had not had much sleep – worrying how he was going to get his hands on that much cash.
When this newspaper asked for copies of the check or wire transfer to prove Pickens had indeed found the money to complete the gift, the answers were interesting.
Under OSU administrative procedures and Oklahoma state statute, any gift of money to the university must be deposited the same day by an officer or employee of Oklahoma State University and shall be deposited with the Oklahoma State University Office of the Bursar into a properly designated account on the same banking day as received. But that apparently didn’t happen in this case.
“It’s a secret,” OSU Foundation marketing director Becky Endicott said in describing the Pickens’ gift and where the money had been initially deposited.
Endicott did go on say that the money went right back to Dallas, to BP Capital Investment – a Pickens’ controlled, high-flying firm that specializes in betting on the price of oil, natural gas and other commodities. According to the company’s website, the minimum investment to play the market with Boone Pickens is $1 million dollars.
IN ANOTHER ACCOUNT of the "Charitable" Giving of T. Boone Pickens, The New York Times writes:
At the end of the year, he gave $165 million to a tiny charity set up to benefit the golf program at Oklahoma State University, reaping Mr. Pickens a tax deduction. Records show that the money spent less than an hour on Dec. 30 in the account of the university's charity, O.S.U. Cowboy Golf Inc., before it was invested in a hedge fund controlled by Mr. Pickens, BP Capital Management.
"It's all his money, and he's on the investment committee" of Cowboy Golf, said Mike Holder, the university's athletic director and former golf coach, who is on the board. "If a person's making a gift of that size, he can stipulate what he wants it invested in."
Asked whether investing in BP Capital had been a condition of Mr. Pickens's gift, Mr. Holder said no. "That was my decision," he said.
So, at a time when 40% of the poor in America are children and the Elderly cannot afford prescription medicines, and access to education is being restricted by declining public investment in our schools, T. Boone Pickens just can't resist a money-making opportunity wrapped in a giant middle-finger called Cowboy Golf. He is truly a paragon of the Age of Bush.
Clothe the naked? Heal the sick? Feed the hungry? Awwww, Hell Naw...give "Cowboy Golf" $165 Million for 30 minutes and keep $30 Million in taxes that would otherwise go to Uncle Sam.
Like Dire Straits, T Boone Pickens gets "Money for Nothin' and the Chicks for Free..." Well, at least the "Money for Nothin'" part.
Yep, Ol' T. Boone is a Performance Artist.
And this critic give the creep two thumbs down...