Self-Redistributing Wealth

First of all, I freely admit I may be going way overboard with this notion, so feel free to shoot me down. My question is how scriptable or smart our money can get? For instance, can you have coins that look around themselves and say, "there's too many of us in this wallet," and abandon ship for the farthest empty wallet they can find?

Taxation of excessive wealth is one of those cases where an external (hence potentially untrusted) party imposes order on the monetary system. According to a recent IMF study, for instance ( taxation of wealth promotes growth and prosperity for all. Right now, that happens as an external imposition on the owners of the money. Nobody likes taxes, and power can easily skew taxation systems to favour the wealthy. (Of course we know that NEVER happens!) But could the currency itself dislike its own concentration, and flee when it literally becomes too much?

I know this notion is somewhat similar to demurrage (hence, Freicoin) but in this case the currency does not depreciate, it simply moves of its own accord.


  • SatCaSatCa Member Posts: 29
    Someone will have to shoot me too...I am actually trying to find out how smart.
    @Karl_Schroeder?, till now my understanding is that the smartness is an art.

    Warren Buffet would understand an organisation and it's people.
    That is the script for smart money, people are the most powerful aspect in the equation.

    I'm working on bringing together a team of people who have understood and accepted that the international economic situation is in turmoil, Bitcoin couldn't really help.

    But bitcoin is a pillar into which a lot of money has been spent, and a lot of people of

    various economic backgrounds have invested their money. Competing with it on any

    scale is not a good solution, keeping in mind the global scenario.

    I'm thinking we need a powerful, economical solution and it should be handled with care.
  • sjenkinssjenkins Member Posts: 28
    Weirdly I was just wondering last night what properties might be desirable in a self-redistributing currency. So far I came up with:

    1. Over time all balances move towards the mean: All below average balances are rising and all above average balances are falling.

    2. Redistribution happens slowly enough that the currency is worth being rich in, and yet quickly enough that the currency is worth being poor in. Maybe the redistribution rate could be set as a (fixed? Votable? Self-tuning?) "half-life" for wealth/poverty such that all balances are approaching the mean but doing so asymptotically.

    3. Currency is never created or destroyed in this process just redistributed.

    4. One person, one balance. Or possibly "one stake, one balance" where the stake is the person or entity's initial buy-in to the currency?.

    (Note this is one night's rambling thoughts, not a fully developed proposal.)
  • der_trollder_troll Member Posts: 7
    I find it difficult to understand that such a currency could be anonymous, as there needs to be some sort of mechanism to make sure people don't just create more addresses/accounts. Remember that if every person gets an account, the rich people can simply buy the accounts of their friends/neighbors/poor people, and to avoid that there needs to be some governance that probably not could be done in a decentralized way.

    That being said, I do not see the need of such a currency, and disagree with Karl and the IMF regarding taxation.
  • giannidalertagiannidalerta Miami, FLMember Posts: 76 ✭✭✭
    Crypto Socialism. :(
  • sjenkinssjenkins Member Posts: 28
    edited March 2014
    @der_troll : The problem of "one person, one account/vote/whatever" is going to appear again and again with DAOs. A solution OTOH only has to appear once. If it doesn't, or until it does, then either a) this isn't a completely anonymous currency yet or b) it needs to be tuned so that buying up multiple accounts is a poor proposition.

    I was wondering if a self-tuning rate of redistribution could achieve b) above. Say the rate was tied to the total movement of the currency so that each account is like a stake in the "GDP" of the DAO. Count redistribution as *negative* movement in this calculation. Now buying a load of accounts with the intention of keeping them poor devalues the whole thing: Your friends, neighbours and poor people walk off laughing with your fiat/ether/bitcoin which you swapped for something that's worth less than when you bought it, *because* you bought it.

    (BTW one need for such a currency is that if you don't find *some* way to keep everyone in the game, the losers will sooner or later be sorely tempted to turn over the tables).

    @giannidalerta : This lacks many undesirable features of real world socialism. Removing the trigger words (Redistribution, Wealth, Taxation) and framing the discussion in terms of stake might help create some distance here, if that is what's required.
  • Karl_SchroederKarl_Schroeder Member Posts: 37 ✭✭
    We typically want wealth to be productive. One study showed that people don't mind other people being richer than them--even much richer--as long as they felt that those people were doing something useful with such riches. On the other end of the spectrum, the Grameen Bank has shown that even the poorest can produce value--and quite efficiently--if given the opportunity. The idea of a self-redistributing currency isn't, as I see it, some underhanded play at socialism (even if that were bad, which is a political assertion rather than a fact). The idea is to keep money generating wealth in a fractal way, i.e., at all scales; and having the currency itself do that removes any justificatory arguments in favour of government interference. I like sjenkins's ideas about wealth moving to the mean, and if it moves to the mean it's not being controlled by either the plutocrats or the communists. In contrast, in simulations I've seen, if you start with an even distribution of "dumb" money among trading agents, the concentration initially moves to the mean but then skews into an extremely inequitable state where a tiny fraction of the agents have nearly all of it (and if you rerun such simulations it'll do it again, but among other random agents, i.e., it doesn't concentrate among the "deserving" but independently of the characteristics or behaviours of the agents, via amplification effects of highly sensitive attractors... that I don't really understand, I'll admit. Burke Brown has been doing work on this problem for years and I'm trying to figure out his results right now.)

    By the way, the IMF doesn't like the results of its study any more than you do, der_troll. But, results are results.

    I had been thinking about the one person, one balance problem before posting this idea, and I couldn't really see a solution. It seemed like the obvious flaw, but I'm encouraged that some of you guys think it might be solvable.
  • sjenkinssjenkins Member Posts: 28
    One study showed that people don't mind other people being richer than them--even much richer--as long as they felt that those people were doing something useful with such riches.

    Hmmm. Here's an alternate self-tuning system: A currency which adjusts itself to maintain a fixed ratio between the richest and poorest so the richest person in the system *always* has, say, 1000 x the buying power of the poorest. Again this could be a fixed, votable or self adjusting ratio.
  • giannidalertagiannidalerta Miami, FLMember Posts: 76 ✭✭✭
    Not liking any external force, be it government, person or program deciding if I have to much of something.
  • der_trollder_troll Member Posts: 7
    @sjenkins The "one person problem" will come up again yes, especially with "electronic democracy" projects.

    "Your friends, neighbours and poor people walk off laughing with your fiat/ether/bitcoin which you swapped for something that's worth less than when you bought it, *because* you bought it."

    I agree, but it is important to make a system where the rational choice for the individual is the best choice for the system.

    @Karl_Schroeder? Sorry, I didn't think it through. "Socialism" was the first thought that came to my mind too, but that is of course not what it is, as this currency would be voluntary, transparent, fair and decentralized. After some thought I see the point of such a mechanism, but only if it is done right. First of all, I think it should only affect "super rich accounts" (e.g. >0.1% stake). And I don't think it is a good idea that the "tax" is given to the "poor accounts", as that creates a bad incentive. I think it is a better idea to distribute it equally or based on stake.

    I have not read the IMF study, but I don't think that study was about taxation of unproductive wealth? I doubt that the IMF was unhappy with the results, it was probably the results they were looking for.
  • der_trollder_troll Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2014
    When we are on the subject of productive/unproductive wealth, I want to mention something I have been thinking about for a long time. I have been thinking about a currency "backed by" shares, like an index fund. That way, savings are actually somewhat productive. Maybe, in the future it could it be possible to make such a currency with ethereum? It would probably require "code obfuscation"?

    It could consist of shares in DACs, chosen by the users of the currency through voting based on stake. It is here your "self-redistributing wealth" could be most useful in my opinion, as it could prevent large stakeholders from having too much power in the voting process.
  • Karl_SchroederKarl_Schroeder Member Posts: 37 ✭✭
    Oh, I'm loving all of this. Very cool ideas.

    I like the idea that the rational choice for the individual should be the best choice for the system. On the other hand, it would be even better if those choices that our various unconscious cognitive biases push us towards are also the best choices for the system. 'Cause, you know, 'rational economic actors' aren't, and all that.

    I'm just riffing on one of my other current obsessions, which is cognitive science. There's some convergence point where smart currency design and cognitive science positively amplify one another's virtues. As opposed, you know, to what happens when dumb monetary systems and completely inaccurate models of human nature amplify one another's catastrophes.
  • FreddyFenderFreddyFender Member Posts: 39
    @Karl_Schroeder I thought that trying to apply basic income is noble and an approach is needed, but how about a different angle? What if the push for monetary justice was not from the currency direction of crypto, but from the valuation of services and production? Much of our evaluation has been skewed to appear fair in modern terms but falls short when view against historical worth. Modernists use terminology to implicate the worker/producer as failing to achieve some standard and try to hide the technological tsunami of increasing return for Mass, Energy, Space, and Time. The Developmental Singularity as described by J. Smart shows a nexus of innovation (Ethereum?) and new technologies (Blockchain) to free the worker and ensure some capitalization along the borders of global poverty.
    "Asia in the 21st Century: A Leveling of the Global Divide" (
    I'm sure a Pentagon hammer does not cost $4000 or a HMO bandaid a small fortune, but what does a good meal and daily comfort compare to? Money going directly into everyone's hand for work based in valuation and not some arbitrary actions of specialized economists would be interesting, a game changer. Valuation creating the currency, and trade of each currency determined by "Real World" justice-systems. What's fair? Who decides? We would need to shadow the governing process without obstruction of legitimate governments. Oversight without enforcement.
  • sjenkinssjenkins Member Posts: 28
    edited March 2014

    Not liking any external force, be it government, person or program deciding if I have to much of something.

    Well you wouldn't exactly *have* any of it: You'd just be able to gain temporary control over some of it. Yours to spend, but if you don't feel like spending it then someone else gets a go. Not a suitable currency for building a big pile to sit on, if that's your thing.
  • der_trollder_troll Member Posts: 7
    @giannidalerta? "Not liking any external force, be it government, person or program deciding if I have to much of something."

    That was my first thought too, but remember that this is not an attempt to keep your overall wealth down, just that your stake in this particular currency should not be too big. Instead of owning 1% of this currency, you would own e.g. 0.001% and have the rest of your wealth in Bitcoin, ether, shares, gold, real estate, etc.

    We are so used to ideas like this coming from people who love to use force to get everyone on board, so when somewhat similar (but peaceful) proposals come up, the association with forceful ideologies makes it repulsive.
  • SatCaSatCa Member Posts: 29
    I agree, this may be crypto socialism. Still consider this the best way of ensuring everyone has enough power over the internet.

    @sjenkins: I'm thinking, we should not discriminate against the rich in favor of the poor.

    Also, on-demand redistribution is more important than auto redistribution...try not to

    design a lottery. ;)

    honestCoin forum has new updates. Gonna be 'Legendary'.
  • giannidalertagiannidalerta Miami, FLMember Posts: 76 ✭✭✭
    @sjenkins? i ain't no smaug. Temporary control over something..,?

    @der_troll? I got what your saying and thanks for your explanation. Many things have been proposed in "peaceful" beneficial frames of mind... they never end up that peaceful. :(

    Here is my problem with redistribution or taxes.

    Example: If I lived in an apartment complex with 50 other people and 25% of those people were much wealthier than the rest. What would the fairness of them having to pay more for something that everyone equally shares? Just because they have more? Maybe they worked harder than everyone else, maybe they are smarter, etc.

    I am no economist, but as an average person... I don't see the fairness of someone taking my property and redistributing it.

    Can someone put these ideas into a practical example? Say for example Ethereum was working today... how would this Redistribution of Wealth be applied?

  • Karl_SchroederKarl_Schroeder Member Posts: 37 ✭✭
    I think a good area of analogy is the sharing economy. My car sits idle much of the time, so why not share it? I get a tiny bit of money, the resource is used, somebody else gets to travel without having to buy their own car... everybody wins. As has been pointed out, wealth that you sit on isn't very productive. I like the idea of Elon Musk having enough control over his own money that he can make Tesla and plan to go to Mars; he couldn't do that if he wasn't rich so he should be rich. But he spends like crazy, he doesn't sit on that wealth. So, don't think of this in terms of money, but in terms of the ability to allocate a wealth-creation enabler to whoever happens to be able to use it best at the moment. Like sharing your car, only more abstract. Ideally, this isn't "redistribution" in the typical sense, but a win-win sharing scenario.

    Another way to look at it is that your strong territorial instinct regarding what you consider yours is not a good fit to things that are capable of multiplying if not so tightly controlled by you. If the IMF report is right and taxing the rich does benefit the entire economy, then it also benefits the rich. If having possession of the car I own means I don't share it, then nothing is added to the economy; if I own it but also share it, then value is added.

    So, rather than frame the discussion in terms of zero-sum hoarding vs. redistribution of a fixed quantity, I'm interested in what can be revealed by thinking in terms of optimized use of resources. Once again, the Grameen bank has shown that large aggregated and centrally controlled pools of capital are not necessarily better value generators that broadly distributed small pools. Ideally, you'd want both and everything in between, and why complain when somebody else uses "your" resource to produce more wealth than you're able to with it? In the end everybody benefits, including you.
  • sjenkinssjenkins Member Posts: 28
    edited March 2014
    @giannidalerta The thing is, the reasoning behind all this is based on values and a world view that you might not happen to share. In this case even trying to persuade you becomes a form of low level coercion, a moral blackmail: "Believe in this coin or you are a bad person". History teaches you to expect more robust forms of persuasion to follow on from this sort of thing. Its a bad start.

    It might be better to view the proposed coin as its own argument? Decide for yourself if it aligns with your viewpoint and goals? Take your freedom to buy it, or use it, or sell it, or not, as the guarantee that you are not being coerced in any way about any of this?

    But having said all that, and only because you asked:

    Example: If I lived in an apartment complex with 50 other people and 25% of those people were much wealthier than the rest. What would the fairness of them having to pay more for something that everyone equally shares? Just because they have more? Maybe they worked harder than everyone else, maybe they are smarter, etc.

    Some of the rich will have worked harder, some will be smarter. Others will have been lucky, others mildly dishonest, others downright criminal.

    Some of the poor will no doubt be lazy and stupid. Others unfortunate, others the victims of injustice and crime.

    Now, a market is very good at telling the difference between the rich people and the poor ones here but it is utterly rubbish at distinguishing the good actors from the bad. A market is too busy optimising value to *ever* correct an injustice. If I steal your laptop, set up a software business on it, hire and train some engineers who buy their own laptops, and cars, and cups of coffee, then a whole lot of wealth is getting generated. But still you never get your laptop back and that injustice is baked into the economy *forever*. Like a 'taint' analysis of a stolen bitcoin: Given enough mixing nobody has your coin any more but everyone's got a few satoshi of it.

    Various old economies grew out of invasive colonial ones. Various new economies are the result of dismantling some totalitarian regime and dividing up the spoils. None of the injustice at their root ever got corrected, because markets just don't do that. It got spread around, passed around, diffused, until everybody is to blame and nobody is to blame, but its all still there and it always will be.

    Note that even the hardest working, smartest and most honest rich people carry some of the 'taint' here. If they ever did business with someone who ever did business with someone who inherited the spoils of a dismantled former dictatorship from a former regime higher-up, then in some small fraction they own the spoils of injustice. There are laws that allow them to ignore it, but its still true.

    So how about a self redistributing currency where money trickles (*not* flows, just trickles) downhill from rich to poor. Not everyone downstream will be a victim of injustice, but the victims *will* tend to be downstream. Not everyone upstream will be a perpetrator, but the perpetrators *will* tend to be upstream. And everyone's money is tainted anyway. Tune it just right and the terminally lazy won't get too many free lunches. The hard working rich won't lose much that wasn't tainted in the first place. Nevertheless injustices that the market would happily recirculate forever will, over time, be shaken out of the system.

    Note 1: This is my answer to the question you actually asked. I've got other reasons to be thinking about this stuff too. Also @Karl_Schroeder? , whose thread we're in, is coming at it from quite a different and interesting angle.

    Note 2: Could you please re-read the first two paragraphs of this post?
  • Karl_SchroederKarl_Schroeder Member Posts: 37 ✭✭
    edited March 2014
    I started my 2005 novel Lady of Mazes by saying, "Technology is legislation." When I mentioned this idea to Bill Buxton a couple of years back, he kind of frowned and said, "I'd prefer to say that technology is bias." I stand by my original formulation, because sometimes, you technically have choice, but in reality you don't. Technically, you have a choice about whether to own a phone or not, or whether to have an internet connection. But just try to get along without them. If we develop a new currency that becomes dominant, we may fool ourselves into thinking we (and innocent others) have a choice about whether to use it or not, and in some abstract, technical, philosophical sense maybe we will; but really, we won't. Therefore, it behooves us to design it in such a way that it benefits those most vulnerable, under the assumption that they will have no choice about using it.
  • sjenkinssjenkins Member Posts: 28
    @Karl_Schroeder? I've been making the unstated assumption that such a coin would not become the single dominant currency. If it looked seriously possible that it could then I'd rather tweak it so the domination didn't occur than tweak it to mitigate the effects if it did.
  • SatCaSatCa Member Posts: 29
    edited March 2014
    @sjenkins : You are right. Believe in this coin else you are bad is what such a global

    currency may express, but only initially. Later you will want the coin because it changed

    history...and is historically good. I'm imagining the economy may loose ability to check

    spread of corruption after about 3-4000 years.
  • Karl_SchroederKarl_Schroeder Member Posts: 37 ✭✭
    Yeah, good point indeed. We should probably have a range of altcoins. I'm realizing I've been committing the error of thinking of "currency" as one thing that's merely given different names in different countries. But it doesn't have to be, does it? And maybe that fact will reflect reality better than the present situation.
  • sjenkinssjenkins Member Posts: 28
    These proposals boil down to encoding an ideology into a currency. (Although wittingly or not all the other coins will have ideologies baked in too). Smart money is discriminating money. That's how it works. If the whole world starts using your currency then either everyone agrees with you (woo!) or some people are being bent to your will. I was a bit dismissive of @giannidalerta? calling this a "controlling force" but with universal adoption, it would be.

    OTOH there's several competing suggestions just in this thread alone. The danger probably isn't so much a One World Coin Order, more likely it'll be The People's Coin of Judea vs the Judean People's Coin etc. etc.
  • gmautry1gmautry1 Member Posts: 4
    @sjenkins "A market is too busy optimising value to *ever* correct an injustice." Not true. If you steal a laptop, you are acting outside of the market (at least, an ideal free market). The rightful owner of the stolen laptop may well utilize goods and services available within the market to attempt to regain possession; this is a case of the market acting to "optimize" the value the owner places in possession of his property. He may also attempt to obtain just compensation for his costs in doing so, perhaps from the profits of the software business launched from the stolen laptop.

    However, if he is unsuccessful, this does not mean that the market "ignored" the injustice, nor does it mean that the justly gained profits of the business, nor the honest employees or contractors and any justly obtained resources comprising the business are "tainted" by the original act of theft.

    The idea of a persistent and pervasive taint infecting everyone who has ever dealt with anyone who has acted unjustly at whatever degree of separation is pernicious and false and should never be used to argue for or excuse anything. An act of injustice is a discreet act, compensation for that injustice must also be discreet.

    I see nothing wrong with the idea of a self redistributing currency, but I don't believe that such a currency, if adopted voluntarily, would have even a remote chance of becoming overwhelmingly dominant as suggested by @Karl_Schroeder. In any case, establishing such a currency for the purpose of washing injustice out of a tainted economy seems to lack moral clarity. The true purpose of such a system is clearly charitable, as no one with an overflowing balance would be likely to subscribe voluntarily for other than charitable reasons, while those with a negligible or zero balance would subscribe in order to benefit from that charity.

    It seems to me that a more profitable discussion might be one concerning the concept of DA charitable pools, with funds donated globally and released locally by donors, (or by trusted agents designated by donors), who are cognizant of the circumstances of the needy recipients.
  • sjenkinssjenkins Member Posts: 28
    @gmautry1? A market may offer security products to protect your laptop and insurance products where you sell the risk of theft to someone who can bear it. But once the laptop is stolen the market does indeed ignore the injustice. If the thief is caught and just compensation obtained that's because someone is enforcing property rights, a political matter not a market adjustment. Even if caught by private police, bought and paid for, where do those police get the "right" to confiscate your goods back for you? From the polity, not the market.

    Anyway the laptop was just the toy example. There's more meat in the question of how historical injustice gets folded into the market. If your grandparents were forced onto the collective farm at gunpoint, your parents forced back off of it with bulldozers, and you now live in a factory working 16 hour shifts polishing the screens for the devices we're having this chat on, is everything fine now? Maybe there was some insurance policy the grandparents neglected to buy? Maybe the beds in the factory dorm being comfier and less scratchy than the ones in the farm dorm were is compensation enough? (I'm not denying its an improvement. But compensation? Enough?)

    If 'taint' doesn't measure a diffused, distributed culpability carried by the whole system then what *does* it measure? Some people are saying its literal possession of stolen goods. Others saying no, you just click your heels together and say "fungible" three times and the whole issue vanishes in a puff of smoke. Whatever it is its always been there, its just that we can see it now.

  • Karl_SchroederKarl_Schroeder Member Posts: 37 ✭✭
    I just finished reading Stafford Beer's "Designing Freedom." He may be a bit old for some of you (the book is a collection of his Massey Lectures from 1973) but he's directly relevant to pretty much everything being discussed on this site. One example is his definition of "control." You are (or any system is) in control if you are (or it is) able to maintain normal outputs (continue to do the "things you do") in face of arbitrary perturbations to inputs. This is a cybernetic definition of control, and way more interesting than political or ideological definitions. For instance, it doesn't prescribe any particular *means* of exercising this control, whether coercive, reward-based, direct, indirect, etc. It doesn't mean you exercise power over others or other systems. It doesn't play in the same mental space as freedom vs. determinism. In the constructs Beer talks about, what flows through and between systems is "Variety" (as in Ashby's Law), which in systems discussions today is usually flipped around and talked about as "Constraint" (see Terrence Deacon). It is systems' ability to deal with variety that determine how in-control they are.

    The current experiments with altcoins could be seen as attempts to build new feedback loops into economics. The various altcoins amplify or attenuate variety (number of possible states) in economic exchanges in various ways. This is perfectly straight-ahead Ashby/Beer cybernetics. A self-redistributing currency is just another example. All share the feature that the currency itself is an actor and information-carrier in the system rather than being just something that flows through it. Regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum, this core idea seems to be the important take-away, and the reason we're all talking in this forum.

    Is it neutral? No. Was money ever neutral? No; its default amplifiers and attenuators of Variety are simply so baked into our society that people take their effects for granted. By opening up alternative possibilities, bitcoin will probably help transform society even if it never gets widely adopted.
  • chris613chris613 Member Posts: 93 ✭✭
    @sjenkins? your ideas about taint are very good, thank you. "Whatever it is its always been there, its just that we can see it now." Recently I've been thinking a lot about what the blockchain technology can and should mean for the honesty and transparency of accounting and I feel like suddenly, nearly overnight, all non-crypto money is rendered farcical, a broken and untrustworthy technology that should be abandoned immediately in favor of public, permanent, unimpeachable ledgers. Not for all things, of course, you can have cash money in your pocket, but public corporations and governments should be required (if you're into that) to conduct all transactions on-chain or suffer significant penalties such as revocation of charter. The ones who want to show good faith should immediately work on standardizing a stable set of blockchains among them and move onto it without coercion. It could be done in 5 years or less for early adopters, and probably 15-20 years for all major players (think back to www adoption rates among major players).

    @gmautry1? said "The idea of a persistent and pervasive taint infecting everyone who has ever dealt with anyone who has acted unjustly at whatever degree of separation is pernicious and false"

    I agree that it's pernicious, but not so much that it's false. Holding each person somehow personally culpable for a portion of the injustice that supports them would be arbitrary and unfair, but over the long term I would say that the major flows and concentrations of taint do add up in material ways so it's worth looking at. It's also interesting to think about the implications of tagged money, not necessarily "tainted", but "tied to solar energy" or "often circulated among circus performers", etc

    Sorry for being so off topic

  • giannidalertagiannidalerta Miami, FLMember Posts: 76 ✭✭✭
    @Karl_Schroeder? thank you for your explanation. I like that reasoning provided after my question. Need to catch up on this thread.
  • gmautry1gmautry1 Member Posts: 4
    @sjenkins If you believe that the "right" (your quotes, not mine) to private property, including the right to retrieve stolen property, arises from the polity (the political organization of society), then you and I are on different pages and you needn't bother reading any further.

    I believe that the right of private property is inherent in the natural order. However, whether this is true or not, I still contend that it is futile to try to correct injustice by applying a blanket redistribution of wealth from the more fortunate to the less fortunate.

    1. Such a program, if applied through coercion (which is the only plausible means by which it could be achieved), simply multiplies injustice, without addressing the specific injustices to be remedied.

    2. Even if correcting specific injustices is not the goal, automatic redistribution can only ameliorate the most trivial of injustices. To expand on your scenario, "If your grandparents were forced onto the collective farm at gunpoint, your parents forced back off of it with bulldozers," and, as a result, your mother was killed before you were born, then you are out of luck, and most likely, some of your "compensation" will go to the descendants of the assholes who ordered the bulldozers into your village. Which is not to say that they are less deserving of "compensation"; all that matters is that their account balance falls below some threshold. It is quite possible that the funding for their "compensation" will be drawn from the account of the surviving child of the victims of some other great injustice, whose determination, arising from early adversity in life, led her to great achievement and an account balance above the confiscation threshold.

    Note that I do not say that it is futile to try and ease suffering or to lessen economic equality by such means, only that this is not the same as correcting injustice.
  • gmautry1gmautry1 Member Posts: 4
    My apologies, I meant "to lessen economic INequality"
Sign In or Register to comment.