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We have seen many novel means of raising money lately; but the method adopted by Colgate seems to be the most unusual. The local committee in charge of the Colgate Endowment Campaign has decreed that every Colgate alumnus with in the district shall be assessed at the rate of $5 for every inch of waistline measurement above the arbitrary standard of 30 inches.
This scheme, it is reported, has already been put into effect, and several payments have already been made. But the plan seems to us to be based on an unsound economic theory, to the effect that a man's pocket book is as corpulent as his person. The facts scarcely seem to bear this out. Most of our millionaires (take Mr. Rockefeller for example) do not come under the scope of such an excess profits tax as this. Most of them are of medium build; some of them are actually thin. And in this hot weather, it is not likely that anyone, millionaire or otherwise, will feel eager to undergo physical measurements.
Another awful thought. Suppose that some fortunate Colgate alumni possess girths of less than the 30-inch norm. Will the Committee feel itself bound to reimburse such men for their shortcomings at the rate of $5 for each inch of deficiency? We hardly think so. If they did, we might see an alarming increase in the number of Colgate alumni to be found among the Living Skeletons and the Human Matchsticks at the circus. Colgate may need the money; but a surtax on waistlines is a dangerous way to raise it.
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