Friday, December 2, 2016

Inheritance (‘Hereditary Privilege?’) vs Legacy, Heritage & Meritocracy

Inheritance (‘Hereditary Privilege?’) vs Legacy, Heritage & Meritocracy

            A former client spent an inordinate amount of time away from his business unlike most of the entrepreneurs I represented and yes, at the expense of additional profits. When going through his estate plan disposition according to his desires,  he explained his approach. Basically, he could give his heirs ‘more’ money – which would take additional time from the family or he could invest his time in his kids values with experiences.
            This client deliberately chose legacy over monetary inheritance.
            The client chose INside out rather than outside in
            (His kids, by the way, turned out terrific – but to protect names – you’ll have to take me at my word.)
            I can’t say that for all my former clients whose kids by way of the lucky sperm club received monetary inheritance (hereditary privilege) but not in effect the heritage of their parents.

Yitzhak (Issac) in Hebrew means ‘he will laugh, he will rejoice’

            Judaism (per a Rabbinic interpretation) is conflicted between legacy and inheritance – further aggravated by Judaism’s foundation emphasis on merit (how one lives not how one is born). This cognitive discord predates the label of cognitive dissonance.

To make money you need money
To get money you need to take a chance

            Biblically, Yitzhak was the first trust baby - the first inheritor. And while the Philistines covered up the inherited wells, Yitzhak re-opened them (his inheritance) and then developed new wells (legacy?). It is arguable that the designation legacy actuation  by Yitzhak per creating additional new wells is but and somewhat diminished by ‘to make money you gotta have money. To get money you gotta take a chance.’ Per inheritance – Yitzhak didn’t take a chance. The inheritance was more than just ‘a hand up.; Thus, designation of his actualizing legacy is at best questionable and worst – wait for it – wait for it – no “laughing” matter.
            Judaically the question  of inheritance/legacy/heritage is mitigated in part by the question of ‘is it fitting?’
            All things being equal, the son would get the legacy (position and or pecuniary) – versus two of equal merit because ‘he is fit.’ However, when all meet the question of competency and the son is competent but not as competent as the others – because he ‘is fit’ he gets the what appears to be an inheritance (rather than a legacy). If anything, therefore, in this case – inheritance – hereditary privilege – supersedes legacy and that of meritocracy – revealing Judaism’s inherent  conflict with itself and not to be argued away by ‘a dialectic of tension’ or ‘aspirational levels.’

Is there anything more absurd than a hereditary mathematician, or a hereditary wise man, and as ridiculous as a hereditary poet-laureate?
Tom Paine in The Rights of Man

Exploratory Well: represents a risk for the company drilling it, because it is not known, before investing in the well, how much oil or natural gas it might contain.
Development Well: is a well drilled in a proven producing area for the production of oil or gas. (The risk, therefore, is much less than drilling an exploratory well.)

            Thus, outside in, Yitzhak drilling even new wells – had an inheritance as they were development wells – not exploratory – let alone ‘wildcat’ wells tht Abraham, in faith, without seismic analysis, drilled.

            Better Abraham to  have spent more time for Yitzhak giving him a little seed capital (a hand up) to drill his own exploratory wells with Yitzhak putting up part of his allowance to have his half shekel – skin in the game. (Otherwise, more often than not ‘heir today, gone tomorrow.’)

            A hand up to develop legacy (as long as the sibling has some skin in the game) carries on a ‘heritage.’ But then what is inheritance with no skin and or without primary merit? A higher probability to heir is human and insulation hermitage. Note unlike Abraham and Jacob Yitzhak didn’t do down to go up. Yitzhak didn’t do this right of passage i.e going from Israel to Egypt or to Caanan etc. Yitzhak stayed at the hermitage, at home – restrained (Gevorah?). (That said, Yitzhak, at least, idn’t go away like today’s entitled snowflakes to college, come back encumbering Abraham with cosigned debt, and being resentful towards Abraham while still living in his basement.)

            So if anything, yes, Yitzhak was the first inheritor- but it was Jacob (especially when he also became Israel) who was the legacy – continued the legacy – the heritage – drilling an ‘angel,’ readying to fight Esau if necessary. (Though it should be noted Jacob – Yaakov (literally the heel grabber) was a trickster maybe something he genetically inherited – regardless of Rabbinic spin – from Abraham’s slight of hand rationalizations on Sarah being ‘his sister’ in Egypt. Of course, this may be Judaic karma that was unresolved further complicating the inheritance / legacy issue.).

Legacy is INculcated INside out; inheritance is bestowed outside in

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