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Old 04-16-2016, 02:07 PM   #1
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Trust Fund Babies

Lately, I've been reading on the history of Johnson & Johnson. For some reason, the company as connotations that make it more emotionally accessible than the Walt Disney Company. The association with baby products and house hold products pretty much ensure J&J is around people from birth though adult-hood, but in a similar vein to Disney, I was curious about the founding family. How much influence do they have over the company, these days?

I was disappointed to learn that the Johnson Family, much like whatever is left of the Disney Family, have declined in most respectable categories of ability much like how a primordial animal degrades upon domestication from humans. They're mostly socialites, spending their huge, million dollar trust fund checks in opulent ways and not really contributing to the world in any meaningful way that their ancestors did. Unlike the scientists of the 18th/19th century and philosophers across history, wealth has not given them opportunity for pursuing high-concept goals. It's only exaggerated their desire of excess for worldly pleasures.

I wonder, then, if capitalism is going to inherently breed this "trust fund baby" syndrome. Folks with affluenza as you will. I can't see any positive net benefit to society for people inheriting vast amounts of wealth. Even actors/actresses who are rich and spendthrifts have "earned" their wealth.

Let's do away with un-earned mass inheritance then. I'm sure much more productive uses of that money could be imagined.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:58 PM   #2
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Perhaps those that receive the checks don't earn the money but did those that founded what makes the funds possible not earn the right to ensure their descendents are well taken care of?
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:38 PM   #3
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Perhaps those that receive the checks don't earn the money but did those that founded what makes the funds possible not earn the right to ensure their descendents are well taken care of?
No.

People don't need millions and millions to be "take care of". If there's a trust fund that issues out $60,000 per year, they most likely don't have to work and have most of their bills/medicals/education/needs taken care of. The corrupting influence of excessive opulence isn't available, although individuals of poor worth might still squander that kind of money. Poorer people certainly do with drugs, alcohol, and the like.

Moreover, trusts never die, but after eight generations or so, descandants are barely more related than strangers. After eleven generations, they are strangers. Eleven generations is on the liberal side 198 years, so someone from 1818 would not share any special genes with their descendant in 2016.
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:46 AM   #4
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Roy Disney actually did a great deal to move the company away to Eisner over to Lassetter, which has lead to the current resurgence (though the stock is hitting a rough spot thanks to ESPN's sinking). I do think that there could be more done with estate taxes to encourage trustees to do more with the money they get if they intend to keep the finances moving on to the next generation.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:43 AM   #5
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The kind of trust fund babies Dopple hates so much rarely actually pass any serious wealth onto the next generation. Money tends to fizzle out after 3 generations, possibly 2 if the kids are idiots.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:52 AM   #6
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I'm pretty sure that's not true. It applies for ordinary people or lotto winners, but not the super wealthy who have professionals manage their money so it doesn't go poof.

Off the top of my head, rich families across the world that still exist:

Saud
Rothschilds
Hapsburgs
Rockefellers
Vanderbilts
Disney
Johnson
Waltons

In the Rothschilds case, their uber wealth was diluted through having tons of descendants, rather than a choice few squandering it. But they still have major interests in JP Morgan Chase, so it's merely a matter of going from top in the world to the lower end of the top 1%.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:11 PM   #7
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I just don't understand why we need to stop the funds regardless of how they're spent.

Unless we're just being salty poor people.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:14 PM   #8
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Yes because poor people have no reason to be salty that people are being given money far outstripping what they would need to have a comfortable lifestyle and facilitate an aristocrat like culture. While poor people struggling to survive with meager amounts of money.

Really dude
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:17 PM   #9
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How is it the fault of the rich that the poor are as they are?
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:22 PM   #10
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That is possibly the lowest hanging fruit of most fruit I've ever seen and there are countless examples of the upper-class creating and exploiting a lower class for the pure pursuit of monetary gain and / or creating situations for as just. Not to mention all the dirty hands in politics but whatever. You're either trolling or baiting and as someone who has lived on basically nothing I may or may not have an enmity for well off people who simply don't care.

Dopple I think is right, but I don't think the situation can be resolved. Idealistically, their descendants shouldn't inherits millions of dollars but most of that money should go to fixing and helping other people. Obviously that's idealistic, because its basically communism and human greed always makes a muk of that.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:25 PM   #11
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Emotion doesn't make valid a point of view.

You're acting like because your life sucks you're entitled to help. You aren't, the world isn't that lovely.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:51 PM   #12
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The US begs to differ. We have significant social welfare programs that, while morally right, don't really advance the country technologically or culturally. We also have scholarships that do promote that kind of progress by trying to put talented people into situations where they can manage resources.

This is a country that actively dislikes the idea of nobility, which is the genetic equivalent of people born into power/prestige without earning it. It isn't a Grand Canyon of logical leaps to conclude the same distaste applies to material wealth.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
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You're acting like because your life sucks you're entitled to help. You aren't, the world isn't that lovely.
Oh really? Someone should tell all those socialist countries that they're not part of the world. Hey Kaisa! You're not an Earthling anymore!
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:24 AM   #14
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Rip everything down to its base and it's everyone for themselves. It's great that some or most try to help others out and it's certainly something to be thankful for (me and mine all use or have at some point relied on government aid of some sort) but no one is entitled to kindness.

Kindness is a courtesy not an obligation.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:32 AM   #15
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I'm not asking for everyone to lose their inheritance. Obviously, it sucks if everything owned by parents go over to the government if they die. I'm not even arguing for talented scions to lose their fortunes.

For example, almost all the full-grown descendants of Alexander Graham Bell are scientists in some regard. There isn't a lazy playboy in the bunch. I feel like, while whatever inheritance they got wasn't earned at birth, their later life allowed them to prove themselves worthy of it.

People who I'm campaigning against are people like the affluenza kid. Good for nothings who have little positive value to society, and might even represent a negative or self-destructive variable due to the corrupting impact of their wealth.

Most socialites fall into the same category. I'm not sure what Paris Hilton would be if she wasn't born rich, but I think she would have been better off as a person.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:14 AM   #16
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I'm confused what is being debated here. Is it that rich people exist? I thought we answered that question a long time ago, it's not that complicated.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:49 AM   #17
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I am more or less arguing against a sense of entitlement I see in those bitchwhining about people not spending their money on them and theirs as well as the rather silly notion that we should hold these "trustfund babies" to a different standard than most both in how they spend their wealth but also their lives simply because they are as they are.
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Old 04-18-2016, 06:30 AM   #18
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I am more or less arguing against a sense of entitlement I see in those bitchwhining about people not spending their money on them and theirs as well as the rather silly notion that we should hold these "trustfund babies" to a different standard than most both in how they spend their wealth but also their lives simply because they are as they are.
If you're against a sense of entitlement, and against trust fund babies being held to a different standard, you should be against the existence of trust fund babies in general. You're missing the point somewhat - we're not arguing against the wealthy (after all, not all wealthy people are trust fund babies), we're arguing against the wealthy who did literally nothing to earn it, which is by definition what trust funders are.

I believe in equality of opportunity. Someone who inherits large amounts of money, who benefits from family connections and private education, has had easy access to opportunities most people will never know. In a capitalist world, passing down money and connections is the same as passing down titles was in old world aristocracy. This is why the majority of European old aristocratic families are right wing (look at the House of Lords before reform, which had an inbuilt 80%+ Conservative majority) - easy passing around of family money makes it easier to continue to enjoy the same privilege and power that noble titles once gave. Right wing economic policies create an aristocratic class without calling it such.

I do not believe there's any inherent right to pass down money or other advantages to your children (whether that be money and aristocratic titles in the old world or money and connections in the new) any more than I believe parents have an inherent right to disadvantage their children through denying them, for example, a decent education or access to decent healthcare. Children are not the property of their parents. They're individual people, and whether their parents are rich or poor are shouldn't make any meaningful impact on their lives.

Society demonises those who get just enough money to eat from the government because "they didn't earn it", but idolises those who inherit private planes and mansions without lifting a finger. Remind me which of those is the scrounger, again?
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