Larry Cuban reposted a Rick Hess essay yesterday. Hess is explaining how policy works and explained the development of "fair" policy thus:

"Going back to the Enlightenment, the whole logic of democratic law-making was to stop laws from being applied selectively, so that kings couldn't create different rules for you and for me. Because rules are being applied across the board, for good actors and bad actors alike, they can't be based on trust or good intentions."

In contradiction to Hess' statements, I believe history provides ample proof that the current state of affairs provides systematic advantage to a class of people. Why? Because people adapt to take advantage of the system.

Prior to the last successful middle class revolutions, rules were bifurcated using a rule system that identified privileged classes as "noble". They way you qualified was to live off your income for two generations.

For a period, the wealthy were confused as to how to take advantage of the less wealthy. The Romans taught us that elections can be bought. That wasn't a problem. The problem was economic leverage.

Progressive tax rules effectively create half the solution, giving the wealthy an advantage that can be taken away or ratcheted up. The second half of the solution was the corporation.

The invention of the corporation provided a second solution. To begin with, corporations were granted by government and more or less created a noble class of merchants who needed to use combinatorial economic strategies to prosper. But finally in New York (?) the state decided to grant corporations to all qualifying comers.

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