For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his own family in perpetual preferences to all others forever, and though himself might deserve some decent degree of honors of his contemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them. – Tom Paine in Common Sense, 1776
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. — Thomas Jefferson
But, you know, we have these entrenched entities – and I’m talking about both Republicans and Democrats – who believe that when you’re elected to office, you become some kind of member of the aristocracy, and that anyone who challenges you is attacking you and is unpatriotic. This is foolishness. — Benjamin Carson
We are the only real aristocracy in the world: the aristocracy of money. — George Bernard Shaw
I thought I would bring up some quotes about aristocracy as the inspiration for this Sunday. Some would deny an American aristocracy but obviously these quotes would not share that belief and neither do I. But they do account for a full range of privileged classes all the way from kings to the monied classes of aristocracy. Being blue collar in my roots I am just no fan of inherited or monied class.
When many of these words were spoken there was a rather stringent inheritance tax in place. In some cases it was as much as 80%. This meant each generation had to find its own way in the world and could not depend of their families to provide wealth for them. Of course now that the 1% hold so much power in this country they are trying to hold on to all they can. so now they try to re-label the inheritance tax into the death tax and even have some outside their monied group parroting that phrase for them. The old saying about power corrupting can also be said for inherited wealth; it absolutely corrupts.