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Author Topic: The "Inheritance Paradox"  (Read 5080 times)

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AL the Inconspicuous

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The "Inheritance Paradox"
« on: February 22, 2010, 08:52:21 PM »

The smarter commies love making this argument as an alleged example of capitalist unfairness - property can be inherited, but liabilities cannot be.

Thus is the unavoidable paradox of property rights: if my ancestors did something good 50 years ago I may inherit the benefits, but if they did something bad (ex. genocide) then the victims cannot hold me liable for what my family did that I took no part in.  It isn't grounded in capitalism but in the immutable reality of civilization: beneficial human actions create something that can be shared, but harmful human actions only warrant punishment against the guilty individuals, not their ancestors (or their racial groups, as would be the case with African-American reparations).

I don't have a major problem with this, but I'd still like to hear some opinions on better facts and rhetoric that can be used to justify this.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 08:57:12 PM by Alex Libman »
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NotYourSlave

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2010, 11:13:50 PM »

An inheritance is a gift, which means it is a two-sided transaction.  If I don't accept it, the transaction did not occur.  My parents can leave me assets, but I am free to not accept them.  I guess my parents could attempt to give me their debt, but I'd be morally free from not accepting it.
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AL the Inconspicuous

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2010, 11:30:44 PM »

Yes, but is the inheritance tied to liability in some way? 

Like, if you were to find out that there is a Swiss bank account put in place by your ancestor that got his money from slaves, and your claim to it was recognized, then do you face any firm legal liability (i.e. beyond simple social ostracism) to a person who can document his lineage from the said slaves?
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Ecolitan

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 12:12:14 AM »

If I were judge and jury I'd give the money to the nigger.
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AL the Inconspicuous

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2010, 01:03:42 AM »

Hey now, let's keep this race-neutral please.  It might have been a Japanese ancestor holding a Korean sex slave, a member of one Hindu "caste" abusing a member of a lower "caste", etc, etc, etc.

And do you realize the potential slippery-slope consequences of such a verdict?
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digitalfour

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2010, 01:14:17 AM »

I don't have a major problem with this, but I'd still like to hear some opinions on better facts and rhetoric that can be used to justify this.

Life's not fair and any attempt to make it so is also unfair.
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NotYourSlave

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2010, 11:11:36 PM »

Yes, but is the inheritance tied to liability in some way? 

Like, if you were to find out that there is a Swiss bank account put in place by your ancestor that got his money from slaves, and your claim to it was recognized, then do you face any firm legal liability (i.e. beyond simple social ostracism) to a person who can document his lineage from the said slaves?


I'd say in any case, if someone acquired an asset illegitimately and another party could prove that the asset was their property, then they should be able to get it back.  I don't see how that relates to someone else holding you liable for your parents' actions.
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Level 20 Anklebiter

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2010, 07:24:52 AM »

Without inheritance, capital accumulation would be non-existent.
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AL the Inconspicuous

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2010, 07:40:54 AM »

I'm leaving all my wealth to my 10,000 virtual clones, which they will use to build asteroid belt manufacturing interests and invest the profits into more virtual storage space to spawn more clones...
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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2010, 07:43:40 AM »

STOP READING CHRIS STROSS' NOVELS THEY ARE BAD FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH!
/thread
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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2010, 09:14:18 AM »

If your parents leave you money, and also had debts, then those debt must first be paid out of the inheritance.

Inherited wealth goes back into the economy, ultimately. If the receiver invests well, then the money circulates. If the receiver just blows it all, then it still goes back into the economy.
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TimeLady Victorious

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2010, 09:54:13 AM »

You can't have your neighbor's cake and eat it too.

If the money was made out of slavery, then I don't see a reason why the descendants of those slaves shouldn't be able to sue the current inheritor of that wealth to get compensation for such.
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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2010, 12:28:26 PM »

Yes, but is the inheritance tied to liability in some way? 

Like, if you were to find out that there is a Swiss bank account put in place by your ancestor that got his money from slaves, and your claim to it was recognized, then do you face any firm legal liability (i.e. beyond simple social ostracism) to a person who can document his lineage from the said slaves?


Was slavery legal when your ancestors owned slaves?  If so, then the slave's descendent wouldn't have a legal right to your inheritance (he might have a moral right, perhaps).
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gibson042

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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2010, 02:44:52 PM »

The inequality doesn't seem related to inheritance, but to entropic decay in records-keeping. Just as selling stolen goods creates transitive liability back to the original thief, so too would inheriting stolen goods (with both cases obviously requiring sufficient evidence). And existing liabilities must be covered before any inheritance transfer—inheritance or otherwise—can justly proceed. However, the passage of time naturally serves to introduce uncertainty and disperse both obligations and claims, eventually making any attempt at recovery first cost-prohibitive, and eventually impossible.

For example, imagine an easily-identified heirloom that is always explicitly willed to the eldest child—it may be easy to find a rightful owner today, even if it was lost in the 1600s. Contrast that with a similar heirloom that is not so meticulously tracked, the mention of which was eventually dropped from a descendant's will in the 1860s. Now contrast that with a claim of restitution over a failed business venture between people that died before 1900 without resolving things, and never explicitly mentioned the affair except perhaps in stories to their grandchildren.

In principle, obligations exist in all three cases (up to the limit of net inheritance). In practice, only one might be worth pursuing—making the others irrelevant except for academic discussions like this.
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Re: The "Inheritance Paradox"
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2010, 09:33:59 PM »

I can understand how a person can inherit "stuff" but not "guilt". How is guilt an inheritance you can pass from generation?

I guess I should ask this to a liberal upper-middle class white person with "white guilt".
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