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Inheritance is Not Capitalism


Yesterday, I had an epiphany. Simply put, inheritance is anti-capitalism. Think about this for a moment before you completely dismiss this idea.


First, capitalism is an economic system where a free market determines the prices of goods and services. Typically, money changes hands for the transfer of assets, products, services, transportation, etc. Therefore, this money or income is earned. Even when bartering without money, the returned services or goods are earned for given services or goods.

On the other hand, inheritance is the transfer of wealth and possessions from one person to another person, typically after the death of the first person. As you can also deduce, a person who inherits money from another person did not earn it. There was no transfer of goods, assets, or services for this money.

In actually, inheritance is equivalent to a genetic lottery. If someone is luckily enough to be related to someone with wealth, then they have a chance of inheriting money without any effort.

I am not advocating the abolishment of inheritance, especially since a lot of people earn money so that their family members would not have to. It would also be a logistical nightmare trying to prevent people from donating money to their family members. However, it is interesting to consider the social and economic effects on society if people stopped inheriting money. "Trust babies", people who upon birth received enough money so that they never have to work for a living, would cease to exist. Therefore, more people from rich families would have to survive and make a living on their own merits and income. Now that is what I would call a more capitalistic society.

by Phil for Humanity
on 06/05/2008

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