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Inheritance and Mediocrity

Posted on April 10, 2005 in Class Folly Watch

square179.gifI think the Bushes are an excellent example of the principle I am about to invoke and the harm it does: most parents are unable to recognize the mediocrity of their children. The effect this has plays out the hardest in wealthy families where money is often transferred to second or third rate talents. Socialism, interestingly enough, does more to create a system where the most talented can rise to the top than faux libertarianism (which is really capitalism). In the ideal socialist society, there is no chance to transmit large sums of money as inheritance: this money is transferred back into the common pool to be redistributed, the greater portions going to those who make the greatest contributions to the economy.

In a system where there is the possibility of going homeless, the children of capitalists are understandably scared. But they take it a step further — they put people out on the street. Why? So that they can enjoy luxuries. Capitalist systems turn out a lot of junk. They need to keep many people poor. As workers gain power and enforce changes in their homelands, they move the factories offshore so they can exploit child labor and enslave their parents without fear of containment.

I do not believe in abolishing the free market except where the good being transferred is a common good, e.g. sewers, roads, electricity, parks, etc. Trade in food and clothing are just two items I prefer to allow to be free. Trade in junk goods is also best handled as a free market item. Accumulation of wealth does not disturb me as a reward for a life well lived: but it must never become a springboard for the mediocre becoming the governors of our destiny. This is the tragedy of America today: we’re controlled by a class which has no idea of what it means to make your own life.

When I hear Barbara Bush defend all her sons as “good boys” I hear the very reason why we should renew heavy inheritance taxes: we can’t afford to allow the less-merited to decide the course of our lives.

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