You don't need to sympathize with me. I'd much rather have acknowledgment of reasonable statements than sympathy. I've worked in the corporate world for 25 years, and I've been a high-level manager - in Sales and Marketing. I'm not nearly as naive to business practices as your comments imply.
As everyone here knows, I'm smiling as I type this comment. I'm not upset or mad in any way - but I am struck by your inability to words your comments on this topic in any way that recognizes the leadership of the Church might have pure motives in doing what they do. They might be trying sincerely to be "good stewards", and they might be trying sincerely to make sure the Church is never in the financial position of the mid-1900's.
We all know there is a strong corporate aspect of the Church. It is a corporation specifically because the US government wouldn't let it be a traditional church with polygamy. It was a corporation with mediocre then bad financial management for decades. Now it is a corporation with apparently great financial management. We get it, so please don't lecture to us about that.
Corporations, sans the people who run them, are as you describe; corporations, however, can't exist sans the people who run them - and their motivations. There are wonderfully caring corporations, and their are heartless corporations - and the way they manage their finances often has NOTHING to do with the difference. Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn't. Again, it depends largely on the motivation and focus of the leaders.
It's really easy to paint in black-and-white. It's really easy to have a thesis and insist that the facts fit that paradigm. I'm not saying the facts about the Church's finances can't fit your paradigm, since I don't know the top leadership personally, but I am saying you are retrofitting what you are calling facts into a paradigm - not constructing a pure paradigm from an unbiased perspective through the use of clear, indisputable facts. I understand that part of the ambiguity of the facts is that the Church doesn't publish its financial records, but you are imputing motive in your comments - and that absolutely is a subjective exercise.
Again, I've been in sales and marketing for years. Facts aren't facts; they are things that are manipulated all the time to show what the presenter wants to be shown - and different presenters take the same facts and turn them into competing Truth all the time. It happens every day. "Lies, damned lies and statistics" is a famous statement - and it's famous because it's true.
Let me use the most recent example of the use of finances to make my point:
BYU is seen by many people in a bad light, but it is seen by many people in a wonderful light. I'm not a BYU grad, so I have no personal reason to praise or condemn it - but I've worked for the last few years in higher education, so I have some personal understanding of the funding issues involved in building and running a university. The LDS Church has created an institution that can be attended by its members for significantly less than it would cost to attend most other really good colleges and universities, and, in the cases of other colleges and universities without huge endowments, the comparative costs to the students and families aren't even close. The primary difference between a place like Harvard, which can provide its education to the poorest students through only their accumulation of standard student loans, and a place like where I last worked, which cannot do so even though the tuition is around half of Harvard's, is the size of each institution's endowment - multiple billions of dollars in the case of Harvard and a few million in the case of my former employer. Harvard can provide a good (not great) classroom education precisely because it has existed for hundreds of years, has educated extremely wealthy students and has gathered billions of dollars in reserves; my current college can provide better classroom instruction than Harvard does, in many cases, but it doesn't have the reserves Harvard does, so it can't enroll as many poor to middle-class students. It is largely tuition driven, and the student body reflects that basic reality.
BYU is an interesting example of an institution that couldn't exist as constituted (allowing even quite poor students to get a quality education) without a huge, on-going investment from non-tuition sources. That is a charitable expense in the purest sense of the word, since, imo, education is one of the most core, foundational aspects of success there is. However, no critic of the LDS Church is going to count it as humanitarian aid for those students who couldn't attend if it cost the same as most comparable universities.
Furthermore, the mainland BYU's don't just serve American white kids, and BYU-Hawaii certainly doesn't serve just American white kids. That simply is a terrible mischaracterization. The Church's universities serve primarily church members, and, right now, the portion of the membership who are in a position to attend one of those schools primarily is "first-world" - and primarily white. As the first-world membership diversifies racially and ethnically, as it is doing, the make-up of students at the BYU's will change accordingly, as it has done.
The Church made a conscious effort a while ago not to try to establish other full colleges and universities across the world specifically because they cost so much to run in a manner that makes them affordable to kids from low-middle socio-economic situations. Instead, they established the Perpetual Education Fund to provide assistance to members who serve honorable missions and then have to return to the poverty they left in order to serve. That allows them to attend college or trade school or some other form of continued education and, hopefully, bring them out of poverty within the society their new stability can bless in some way. They also started giving regularly to schools in third-world countries and to charities in that serve those schools. (Interestingly, those donations also aren't counted in many critics' numbers, since many of those donations are given to other charities who get credit for the actual end-point donations.) Iow, the Church isn't ignoring non-white, non-American students; rather, they are trying to help in a way that really will help without having to expend the type of resources that are required to run full institutions of higher education.
The point is NOT whether or not you and/or I agree completely with that approach. The point is that the characterization of the Church's education expenses as being race-insensitive doesn't match how I personally see "the facts" - and framing such a complex situation in such simplistic terms does injustice, imo, to a reasonable discussion of "the facts".
Again, I believe it's important to acknowledge that we really don't reach our conclusion from an unbiased analysis of "the facts"; the perspective we bring to the very act of seeing those facts is every bit as important as the facts themselves.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)
Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken