Editor's note

The value of endowments at U.S. colleges and universities has swelled in recent years: to $547 billion in 2016. Schools like Harvard, Yale and the University of Texas use these billions of dollars in income to help pay for salaries, scholarships and other expenses. Now Republicans want to slap a tax on some of those earnings to help pay for their $1.5 trillion tax cut. But since only a few elite schools would be subject to the tax under the GOP proposal, is it fair or just punitive? Ohio State economist Jay Zagorsky considers the question.

In an unusually heated race, yesterday Virginians elected Democrat Ralph Northam as governor. He won handily, with a nine-point lead, but you wouldn’t have expected that based on the state’s newspaper endorsements: Nearly every editorial board in the state threw its weight behind Republican Ed Gillespie. Journalism professor Jeff South thinks it’s time for the media to stop telling people how to vote.

And on the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone, Peter Richardson tells the story of another iconic San Francisco magazine, Ramparts, whose “rebellious spirit, flair for publicity and professional design would all leave their mark on” Rolling Stone.

Bryan Keogh

Economics + Business Editor

Top stories

Harvard, located along the Charles River in Cambridge, boasts the largest endowment at $37.6 billion. Jorge Salcedo/Shutterstock.com

GOP plan to tax college endowments like Yale's and Harvard's would be neither fair nor effective

Jay L. Zagorsky, The Ohio State University

Colleges and universities boast US$547 billion in endowment assets, yet only a handful of elite schools would be taxed under the proposal.

‘When you look back on it, where else would those articles appear? The Saturday Evening Post?’ Nick Lehr/The Conversation via flickr

The magazine that inspired Rolling Stone

Peter Richardson, San Francisco State University

Ramparts started as a Catholic literary magazine. But when Warren Hinckle took the helm, he developed a layout, voice and rebellious spirit that Rolling Stone would go on to mimic.

Ralph Northam, Democrat of Virginia, has cruised to a comfortable victory over his Republican rival. But you wouldn’t have predicted that based on Virginia’s newspaper endorsements. Aaron Bernstein/Reuters

Northam win in Virginia shows why newspapers should stop endorsing candidates

Jeff South, Virginia Commonwealth University

It's time for newspapers to stop telling their dwindling number of subscribers how to vote.

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Having published the report, President Trump and his Cabinet cannot wish its findings away.

  Gary W. Yohe