In defense of inherited wealth

Imagine how unequal society would be without it

Clinton initative
(Image credit: (Ramin Talaie/Getty Images))

Wealthy and idle young people bother us. In the abstract, we resent these little princelings and suspect them to be deficient in the will to succeed and innovate. My colleague John Aziz made a dramatic form of this argument recently, saying that inherited wealth is the mechanism of feudalism, and, well, did you know that the Middle Ages were very low growth years compared to the Industrial Revolution? When the market loses the children of the talented to a pampered upbringing, we lose their wealth-spreading innovative talent.

Essentially, Aziz has argued that we would all be wealthier if Chelsea Clinton were not handing out the money of her wealthy friends to the poor from a charitable foundation, but rather that if she returned, bloodshot-eyed and desperate, to the financial sector, she could innovate something. Let's raise the death tax and force Chelsea into a hedge fund. That'll solve inequality!

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