When Connecticut's state government runs out of money, and goes after Yale's endowment, the best defense Yale musters sounds a lot like the usual business rationale, but with slightly different indirect objects. Here's Yale's lobbyist, Richard Jacob, defending the usefulness of a large endowment. “Yale’s generous financial aid policies, which enable Yale College students to avoid any loans, and which waive any parent contribution for low-income students, exist because of the endowment." Take away our tax break, Mr Jacob is warning, and there will be less to trickle down to those low-income students who somehow apply and get admitted. A rent-seeking oil baron could not defend the depletion allowance any better.