OBSERVATIONS AFTER TEN YEARSrnby Edson I. GaylordrnThe questions I ask myself from time to time are: What isrnthe Ingersoll MiUing Machine Company doing with itsrnown philanthropic organization? What does Ligersoll havernto do with philanthropy at all? We are engaged in a highlyrntechnical international machinery business, which is extremelyrndemanding because of surging technology, because there arerncompetitors from all over the world for the customers uponrnwhich we depend, and because, by the unalterable nature ofrnour products, we sell our wares in markets that swing betweenrnboom and bust. This requires a very high degree of investmentrnin money and in people’s lifetime commitments. We atrnhigersoll are preoccupied with the task of being better than ourrncompetitors in order to survive. Where does philanthropyrncome in?rnThe answer is straightforward. We are in the business of givingrnaway monev because our government passed laws that putrnall of industry in the philanthropy business. We are a privaternconipau)-, with a very small number of stockholders. Beforernany dividends can be paid to the owners, our largest stockholder,rnthe U. S. government, demands its dividend, whichrnis many times the amount of dividend the owners have everrntaken from the company.rnAs you know, a company can make charitable gifts before itrnpays taxes, but this advantage turns into a disadvantage if thernowners make their own gifts from their dividends after taxes.rnEvery dollar of support from a company is worth a dollar, butrnthis is not true of the same dollars of support from the individualsrnwho own the company. This is a poor reason forrnAmerica’s industrial companies to engage in activities remoternfrom their proper business, but that i,s what has happened.rnThis is how the higersoll Foundation came into being, andrnwhile our foundation bears little resemblance to its counterparts,rnlike the Rockefeller or MacArthur foundations, its reasonrnfor being is the same.rnPerhaps a more difficult question to answer is how the IngersollrnFoundation got involved with the higersoll Prizes. Howrndoes a hard-hitting commercial enterprise with plenty of problemsrnof its own find itself supporting prizes for creative literaturernand scholarly letters?rnWhen the Ingersoll Foundation was first formed and whenrnit first had money in its coffers, the chief executive and principalrnshareholder of Ingersoll was Robert Gaylord, who was arngreat champion of freedom, capitalism, and the United Statesrnof America. He anguished over the growing popularity of thernfalse claims made by liberal opponents of capitalism. ThernIngersoll Foundation, under his leadership, sponsored andrnconducted a series of meetings extending over several years inrnwhich we met with Ingersoll employees, members of the Rockfordrncommunity, and other guests to examine the benefits ofrnthe capitalistic system against the claims of its opponents, asrnwell as the source and nature of man’s individual rights. Thernprogram was unique in that we did not set out to influence arngreat number of people we did not know (and who did notrnEdson 1. Gaylord is chairman of Ingersoll International. Thisrnaddress was given in Chicago last November 12, on the 10thrnanniversary of the Ingersoll Prizes.rnknow us) as to the virtues of the capitalistic system; rather, wernexplored these critical issues with friends. The results were impressive,rnand a sizable group of people increased their knowledgernof the free-market system and thus improved their abilityrnto influence others.rnThe disappointment came from the fact that while thisrnwas going on, it became clear that economic understanding ofrnthe free system would not, by itself, insure the future of a freernsociety and its free markets. All around, there was a change inrnvalues and in the behavior of Americans. We became morernand more aware that the real issues had more to do withrnmorality. The Ingersoll company cannot be successful inrnother than a free-market economy; neither can it be successfulrnif the people who work for the company are not trustworthyrnand cooperative, do not have pride in work well done, andrnare not self-reliant and willing to submit to the rules and standardsrnof our society.rnIt was then we asked the Rockford Institute for advice onrnhow our foundation might help to reverse cultural trends andrnto reestablish, in some way, integrity, self-discipline, and cooperationrnas respected norms. Of all the ways that a people arernmolded in their behavior, we chose books. I do not believe Irnhave to defend this choice with this group, but it is clear thatrnif people are going to change behavioral patterns, this will notrncome about from newspaper articles or television spots. Thernrethinking of life’s priorities is far more apt to be stimulatedrnand guided by books of wisdom. Books are not dusty volumesrnon a library shelf; they are the most powerful opinionmakersrnin the world, and they are forever there for those whornseek the truth. And so it was our decision that we would findrna way to honor those who have written profound truths aboutrnthe values that society must cherish to remain free.rnWe were awed by the prospect of such a long-term effort.rnThe only reason strong enough to induce the decision wernmade was the conviction that our culture is in trouble, that thernvery existence of our free society is dependent on reversingrnits moral decline, and that the most enduring and powerfulrnway to influence thought is in books. Indeed, we were sornawed by the prospect of such an endeavor whose long-term resultsrncan probably never be measured that we decided to staternour purpose as simply as possible and then get on with it.rnOnly after ten years does it now seem appropriate to add anythingrnto our statement of purpose.rnMany of you have been here to see the Ingersoll Prizesrnawarded year after year. You are all the best judges of whetherrnthe efforts of the Ingersoll Foundation have been beneficial.rnThe literary world has treated the past recipients of the IngersollrnPrizes with great honor; perhaps through these awardsrnwe have had some part in influencing other skilled spokesmenrnof our age to write of human virtue. If so, our work hasrnbeen successful. crnAPRIL 1993/17rnrnrn