With this post I am starting another series which will be cataloged as American Aristocracy. The basic foundation for this series is that if nothing in done to prevent it our nation will likely move from a democracy to an aristocracy in the coming decades, maybe even years. The first installment in this new category is about the “Death Tax”
The quote above came from Adam Smith. His book entitled “The Wealth of Nations” written in 1753 is considered the bedrock modern economics. Here is a little of what Wikipedia says about him:
Smith laid the foundations of classical free market economic theory. The Wealth of Nations was a precursor to the modern academic discipline of economics. In this and other works, he expounded upon how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity. Smith was controversial in his own day and his general approach and writing style were often satirised by Tory writers in the moralising tradition of William Hogarth and Jonathan Swift. In 2005, The Wealth of Nations was named among the 100 Best Scottish Books of all time. It is said former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher carried a copy of the book in her handbag… Smith is cited as the “father of modern economics” and is still among the most influential thinkers in the field of economics today… Alan Greenspan argues that, while Smith did not coin the term laissez-faire, “it was left to Adam Smith to identify the more-general set of principles that brought conceptual clarity to the seeming chaos of market transactions”. Greenspan continues that The Wealth of Nations was “one of the great achievements in human intellectual history”.
If we are a nation built on Smith’s principles, how did we get it so wrong on the idea of inherited wealth. Smith very plainly says here that wealth should not pass from one generation to another. Each generation must find its own way in the world. Wealth belongs to the people in general and the way it passes is by an inheritance tax. How did that tax become so viciously attacked by the Republican party? The GOP proudly pronounce that the free-market theories of Adam Smiths are the bedrock of their party. Smith’s quote “a power to dispose of estates forever is manifestly absurd”. What is the answer to this dichotomy? Of course it is that the rich pretty much now control the GOP and even to a large extent the Democratic party. Money is becoming the epitome of power in our system of government, even above the individual vote. Sadly money buys votes often through untruthful advertisements in an uninformed democracy.
Let’s bring in another source of economic theory and that is from the original natives of our country. Native Americans did not believe in property ownership. The land and everything on it is only used while by us, never owned.. Inherited wealth is yet another example of where things have morphed absurdly beyond our original foundations. This is a prime example of the coming American Aristocracy if we do nothing to prevent it.