Jubilee Capitalism

Jubilee Capitalism July 4, 2015

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PZ Myers shared the cartoon above. It struck me as reflecting on it that there is an interesting convergence between the radical egalitarian meritocracy talked about in the comic, and the vision of the Jubilee law in the Bible. The Jubilee law required that once a generation, land would revert to its original owner. The possibility of accumulating wealth infinitely and indefinitely was eliminated, and the recuperation of land meant that the children or grandchildren those who had fallen into poverty had another chance to start with a clean slate.

It is just as noteworthy that conservative voices in our time do not call for the application of Biblical economic models such as the Jubilee law, any more than they desire to really have an economy which genuinely reflects the conviction that no one should have what they did not earn, and that if people start on a level playing field of genuinely equal opportunity, then their success or failure will be what they deserve.

"Apparently only poor Israelites, foreign slaves can be disrespected all you like."

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  • Progressives don’t understand consent, news at eleven.

    • Scott Paeth

      Consent doesn’t factor into the argument of the comic.

      • Yeah, that’s my point.

        • Scott Paeth

          Your point is that you missed the meaning of the comic? Strange point to want to make, but fine, I concede it.

    • Scott Paeth

      Also, we understand it perfectly well. We just don’t think it’s relevant in these circumstances.

    • antimule

      Prove to me that people should respect idea of “consent” when it comes to property (or anything else). Besides none of us where born when most of property was discovered and distributed. Where’s my consent?

    • Tony Prost

      I consent to inheriting vast amounts of money!

    • guest

      How many of the landowners in America and Europe are sitting on land that was taken from other people without their consent?
      How much of the inherited wealth being passed through families was made on the backs of other people’s labour without their consent?

      • All nations are descended from conquerors.
        “How much of the inherited wealth being passed through families was made
        on the backs of other people’s labour without their consent?”
        -If you mean from the 1860s or before, none. If you mean from any source using tax money, some.

    • Andrew Dowling

      Modern economics is chock full of non-consenting actors.

  • TomS

    The problem with the argument is that it equates money with the award of hard work.
    The real award of hard work is the character that it generates.
    It is obviously impossible to ensure that all people are born with equal material possessions.
    But character is not a conserved quantity. One person’s gain does not come at the expense of another person’s loss.

    • Michael Wilson

      My issues are one, if we claim we are eliminating handouts to the undeserving, then why is the property of the dead going to debters? How have they earned the wealth? That wealth is the dead mans, and when they die, it is no ones. But if they contract to give it in the event of their death, why can’t they? Should the rich not give gifts to who they like? Must they buy Christmas and birthday gifts for random people? Whats wrong with giving a factory to a woman you raised and love if you think they can be a good steward versus giving it to a random person? If they are not up to it, they will pay, if they have no talent for investment, wealth will steadily erode away to those that can profit from it.

  • John MacDonald

    My friend once told me she was “proud” that she got a job at her father’s law firm. To this day I’m not exactly sure what she meant by “proud.”

    • Michael Wilson

      So you think the job was hers even if she didn’t bother to learn to read? Lighten up, don’t be a hater!

  • guest

    I don’t know, what about people who worked hard to develop the land and then lost it? What if they were living on it at the time, did people get made homeless?

    I’d be in favour of a cap on who much land one person can own. The world is our shared inheritence. Everyone ought to get a bit of land to live on.

  • ccws

    One of the best Ideas I’ve heard in a long time. When I worked in banking, the only customers I sometimes LOATHED were “rich people’s kids.” Bunch of spoiled, entitled idiots for the most part…YMMV… /rant