How The U.S. Is Collapsing

The U.S. has the most unequal, or aristocratic and anti-democratic, distribution of wealth, of all of the major economies — and this is now set (on account of tax-law changes that started in 1986) to become vastly worse and what one leading legal scholar is already predicting to create “the New Feudalism” in which America will be competing with the worst of the old forms of feudalism: permanent institutionalized and legalized castes, at the top of which, it will be practically indistinguishable from that of the titled “Nobility,” which the American Revolution had been revolting against and overthrew. Polling shows that today’s Americans place very low priority upon reversing this trend, which is now becoming a flood that drowns-out any real hope of a restoration of some degree of democracy in this country. Whereas Democrats care somewhat about this matter, Republicans care very little about it. In any case, the U.S. is already the most economically unequal of the world’s leading economies.

On 9 January 2020, Pew Research Center headlined “Most Americans Say There Is Too Much Economic Inequality in the U.S., but Fewer Than Half Call It a Top Priority: Democrats and Republicans differ on whether addressing economic inequality requires major changes to the economic system”. It showed that, “Income inequality in the U.S. is rising … and it is the highest among G-7 countries.” “Since 1981, the incomes of the top 5% of earners have increased faster than the incomes of other families.” 41% of Republicns and 78% of Democrats agreed with “There’s too much economic inequality in the U.S.” The reason why the Republican figure was lower is that middle and upper income Republicans didn’t think that the problem “requires major changes,” and most Republicans are in those two income-categories. However, 63% of low-income Republicans DID think it “requires major changes.” By contrast: among Democrats, 72% of lower-income ones did, and an even higher percentage of each of the other two income-categories did: 74% of middle-income, and 79% of upper-income, Democrats, did.

In January 2018, Deutsche Bank produced an 81-page report, “US Income and Wealth Inequality”, whose Page 10 was headlined “Income inequality very high in the United States” and it showed a chart comparing the U.S. with all 33 of its allies including in EU, NATO, AUKUS, and also Israel. The only one that had nearly as much inequality as America was Turkey. And it’s soaring in U.S., so it’s leaving all the others even farther behind in the inequality sweepstakes: the most aristocratic oountry, by far, is America.

inequalityIn December 2022, Eric Kades headlined in the Connecticut Law Review, “A New Feudalism: Selfish Genes, Great Wealth, and the Rise of the Dynastic Family Trust (DFT)”. Here are excerpts (links were added to it by myself, for purposes of clarity, and documentation:

Today’s record levels of economic inequality are infecting our future as the top 0.01% bequeath vast wealth to their descendants. With the death of the Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP), this inequality has the potential to harden social class lines — not just for a generation or two, but forever. Although it may sound implausible, interviews with estate lawyers serving very high-net-worth clients reveal that some members of the wealthiest tier of testators are already exploiting the RAP’s elimination, along with a tax loophole, to establish dynasty trusts that will financially empower their bloodline as long as it continues. Recent work in evolutionary biology reveals a universal and powerful human drive for high-status descendants — a drive for “quality” progeny so powerful that it appears to trump the usual desire to maximize quantity of offspring. Coupled with the long history of dynastic family wealth in England, this science suggests that today’s wealthiest testators will utilize powerful modern legal institutions (e.g., well-developed laws of contract and trust; deep and efficient capital markets) to forge a new sort of trust that I dub a Dynastic Family Trust (DFT). DFTs will be larded with innovative provisions leveraging a founder’s wealth to maximize descendants’ status for generation after generation. For those fearing the pernicious effects of concentrated wealth on democracy and equal opportunity, the rise of the DFT is alarming. Fortunately, there is a very easy fix: simply reinstate the Rule Against Perpetuities. Given a race-to-the-bottom dynamic among the states, national legislation is necessary. …


The overarching worry is that DFTs raise the specter of a New Feudalism in twenty-first-century America. Under “the old” feudalism, a small circle of dynastic families ruled medieval England for centuries. Without the modern tools of sophisticated trust law and liquid wealth, they nonetheless preserved their privileged status via the rudimentary but effective institutions of primogeniture, the fee tail, and preventing subdivision of the family’s land—the essence of power in the feudal economy and polity.240 Although no single factor undid their pervasive social hegemony, one critical development was the imposition of the RAP and the concomitant evisceration of fee tails. This marked the beginning of the end of the dynastic family wealth birthed by English feudalism.241 To this day the RAP remains the law of England242 and prevents the alarming prospects of a New Feudalism, built on DFTs, in the homeland of the Old Feudalism.

The rash and perverse abolition of the RAP has put the contemporary United States on a very different footing. … It is  supremely ironic that a nation ideologically founded in large part on rejection of the significant remnants of (the old) feudalism in eighteenth-century England now stands at the precipice of a New Feudalism that could never arise in the England of today. At present, little stands between the United States and the instantiation of a perpetual nobility completely at odds with the nation’s founding principles.

How much attention did the U.S. ‘news’-media pay to that landmark study? Did you know, before you read it here, that there was any such thing as the “Rule Against Perpetuities” and that it had been what broke the back of feudalism in ancient England? And did you know that increasingly ever since 1986, America has reverted to this ancient feudal system that locked-in status on the basis of birth, locked it in, in perpetuity, for all future generations of the ’Nobility’ (though without any aristocratic titles to go along with it, so that the U.S. regime can still pretend not to BE an aristocracy)?

The U.S. is increasingly becoming the world’s stand-out model of dictatorship, locked-in, by caste. It’s increasingly winner-take-all, and keep-it-forever.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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