Friday, October 14, 2005

Nepotism Kills

One fact quite clear is that the Americans were aided by the idiocy of Saddams son Quesay. The son's military ineptitude led directly to the slaughter of several units of the Republican Gaurd. His idiotic speech before the Americans reached Baghdad caused many units to drop their weapons and return home.

Nepotism is a universal problem but at its zenith in the Arab world. The King of Jordan designated his son who is the best of a sorry lot of the next generation of rulers. The jury is still out on Bashar Assad who looks lost in Syria. In fact if Syria does become a battlefield do not be surprised to see fragmentation.

Mubarak and Quadaffi want to bestow their countries on their progeny. The Arab armed forces in Iraq and elsewhere hand out rank on the basis of personal loyalty rather then on ability. The result is when they face a real army it is a professional soldier vs a political hack. America has its own problems with nepotism but fortunately the military is left alone. Nepotism is a oroblem that crosses party lines and we should strive to eliminate it.

The truth is that this nepotism and the strong man system ensure Arab defeat. Societies that do not reward its most able are corrupt and prone to failure. Yet the Middle Eastern scholars never point to the strong man / nepotism cycle for much of the chaos and humiliation that they claim is rife in thne Arab world.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hey, these Arabs have got nothing on us. We've got institutionalized nepotism. We call it affirmative action.

B said...


If you think that America doesn't have a well defined system of nepotism then I'm afraid you have gone off the deep end. Without going into Arab or muslum nepotism, to claim that we, as americans, don't (or that our only form of nepotism is affirmative action) is flat out ridiculous. Why do you think that wealth stays in the hands of the wealthy. Sure there are exceptions, but as a rule, wealth stays within the family. I'm surprised with you beaks to claim that America doesn't have a strong system of nepotism.

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

I think B has a strange definition of nepotism. Leaving your wealth to your family isn't nepotism.

beakerkin said...


Passing wealth to the next generation is not nepotism. I regard all forms of utopian social engineering and regressive and confiscatory taxation with disgust.

Nepotism crosses party lines and I am disgusted by it. Yet our malady is not nearly as pervasive as the Arab world. Who determined Bashar Assad is the best ruler for Syria or Kim Jung Mental Patient who is a personal friend of Daffy Ducky.

There is a certain tendency for people to hire familiar coworkers and peers. This is not nepotism but an intelligent practice.

beakerkin said...


I am with you on this one. The right to determine who gets the legacy of a life of hard work should be reserved for families . As I say to the far left and liberals get your hands out of my pocket and I do not want a nanny state.

A safety net without incentives and penaties to work is flushing the money in the toilet. Euro Socialists are learning from failure after failure.

B said...


n : favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)

Always On Watch said...

Euro Socialists are learning from failure after failure.

Are they learning, though?

beakerkin said...

Nepotism shown to people who were peers or coworkers is a good practice. If I worked with a person in company x and am familiar with the quality of work this is prudence. Why hire an unknown vs a known quanity. This is a practical reality of the work place and not nepotism.

Nepotism is the hiring of unqualified cronies and both parties are clearly guilty of this in America. However Nepotism is at its apex in the corrupt Arab rule where power is determined by the lucky sperm club.

BigBubba said...

Mr Beamish, there must be something evil about leaving your estate to your heirs. Congress voted an oppressive death tax and the demoracists scream every time eliminating it is discussed.

Why are people so selfish to work hard all of their life to pass their gains on to provide for their family when they can send it to Washington for all the wonderful things they do for us?

Always On Watch said...

Every time I hear supporters of the death tax speak, I think one of two things:
1. There's the green-eyed monster.
2. You have so much family money that the death tax won't significantly affect you.

Those who have died have already been taxed and taxed on anything left in their estate. Why should there be another tax after they've died? After all, the government already dipped its hands into the till, time and again. Also, many a family farm has had to be sold to meet death-tax obligations.

B said...

Proponents of Estate Tax repeal cite its impact on family farms and family-owned small businesses as a major reason for repeal. They argue the estate tax forces families to sell their farms and businesses to raise the cash to pay their estate tax bill.

This argument sounds plausible but is largely a myth. It is used as a cover for a proposal that would primarily benefit a small number of extremely wealthy families.

Despite the fact that the argument has been made over and over again for years, no one has found an example of a farm that was lost because of estate taxes. Last year, a New York Times article cited the unsuccessful search of an Iowa farm economist for one family farm that was lost because of the estate tax. That same April 2001 article notes that the American Farm Bureau Federation could not cite a single example.

That shouldn't be a surprise. Very few farms are affected by the estate tax.

In 1998, less than six percent of all farms had a net worth of $1.3 million, the amount of an estate that is completely exempt if it includes a family-owned farm. By 2009, estates of up to $3.5 million will be completely exempt. Less than one percent of all farm estates would be subject to estate tax at that point.

Farms are a small portion of taxable estates, about one-quarter of one percent of all assets in taxable estates in 1997. Farm and family-owned business assets accounted for less than four percent of all assets in taxable estates of less than $5 million.

Relatively few taxable estates are primarily made up of family-owned businesses or farms.

* In 1998, only 1.6 percent of taxable estates (776 estates) had at least half their assets in family-owned businesses. Only 1.4 percent (642) had at least half their estates in farm assets and farm real estate. Thus, in 1998, farms and family businesses made up the majority of only 1,418 taxable estates, out of 2.3 million deaths that year.

Most of the relatively small number of taxable estates which include family-owned farms and businesses have more than enough other assets to pay estate taxes without selling the farm or business. Further, special rules for family farms and businesses exempt more of these estates from tax and allow them to take up to 14 years to pay any taxes that are due.

The impact on family farms and businesses does not justify full repeal of the estate tax. We need to make sure that the estate tax doesn't force the sale of a family farm or business that heirs want to continue operating, but these family farms and businesses can be protected by raising the unified credit and the special exemptions they currently enjoy.

Warren said...

B, I'm not going to let you get away with that definition of "nepotism".

From Merriam Webster:
Main Entry: nep.o.tism
Pronunciation: 'ne-p&-"ti-z&m
Function: noun
Etymology: French nepotisme, from Italian nepotismo, from nepote nephew, from Latin nepot-, nepos grandson, nephew -- more at NEPHEW
: favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship.

There are other perfectly good words to describe the things you lump together as "nepotism", favoritism and cronyism come to mind, but nepotism is a specific form of favoritism, toward family relatives.

I do not care where you got your definition, favoritism is general, nepotism is specific form of favoritism.

#2. You seem to be fond of affirmative action. Afirmative action is another form favoritism. The specific form is called racial discriminationion. You can not favor one race of people without discriminating against another!

B said...


My definition of nepotism is from As far as affirmative action goes, when they deck has been stacked against a specific segment of our society for so long, it is only appropriate to allow that segment the ability to be on a level playing field. Are you claiming that there is no longer discrimination against black people? If there is discrimination, how should we fight it? Should we repeal the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment because we have solved the problems that african americans face? I wish that we didn't need affirmative action, but unfortunately we have racist assholes in this world who won't hire somebody based on their race. It is our duty as a country to give everyone an equal opportunity.

Always On Watch said...

Over the years, the exempted amount has crept up. For example, when my father (not a businessman nor a farmer) died in 1998, the exempted amount was $650,000; he owned one house outright and a partial interest in another which he had inherited when my mother died. When my father purchased the two homes, one cost $105,000; but in just 10 years, the assessed value was nearly $300,000, despite the rundown condition. The other was purchased way back in 1947 for $13,500; but it assessed in 1998 at $200,000.

With the soaring values of real estate, it doesn't take much to exceed the exempted threshhold. Also, the exempted amount pertains to the total amount of the estate. Other holdings--stocks, bonds, bank accounts, other properties, etc.--are lumped together into the estate. With the soaring values in this area where I live (Northern Virginia), just the house and its lot will top that exemption--never mind any other family holdings or bank accounts. An estate without a substantial amount of cash to pay the death taxes will be liquidated to pay the taxes.

My point: it's not just farms and family businesses which get slammed and after a lifetime of work and paying taxes at that.

Now, those legators who are wise enough to hire an attorney can get around the laws. But many don't have that kind of savvy.

One last thought...Under Reagan's administration, the law changed so that spouses could inherit all at no tax. But back in 1979, when my father-in-law died, such was not the case; my mother-in-law lost almost everything because there wasn't enough available cash to pay the inheritance taxes. Her husband's estate wouldn't have been worth anything near its amount had she not worked to establish the financial condition which she and her husband enjoyed. When RR moved to have that law changed, there were all kinds of objections, but people now take that law as a given.

Warren said...

B, quite simply, you cannot fight racial discrimination by participating in it. You cannot change an assholes mind by practicing racial discrimination against him, you only add fuel to the fire.

Should Jews be given favorable status above gentiles in hiring practices and educational admittance or would that only fan the flame of anti-Semitism?

Its the same thing! You're doing no favor to black people.

In my view, its basically unfair and immoral. Every person should be judged by their own merits not by social standing, race or ethnicity.

As a Vietnam Era veteran, by law, I am entitled to "special consideration" in hiring practices. I have always refused to except such, "special consideration".

I have been discriminated against by blacks for being "white", whites for not being "white enough" and Indians for being too white or a white Indian. I know what its all about. They can except me as I am or not at all.

Discrimination by race, religion, ethnicity or sex is prohibited in education and jobs by federal law and that's enough. Special consideration, set-asides and quotas are an anathema, no matter how well intentioned. A level playing field is the only fair and moral way to achieve equal opportunity. Equal outcome is an impossibility.

B said...


Then we are going to agree on this one. I have never, ever implied that I want equality of result. To ever imply so is just wrong. I am for a level playing field, just like you. Equality of opportunity. However, when the playing field is so far from being equal, something needs to be done. Quotas are wrong, a fact which the Supreme Court agrees, but if for example, a college candidate gets extra points for having his/her parents going there, there is no reason why a candidate shouldn't get extra points for their background.

If it were up to me, I would base affirmative action on an economic based system. This would disproportionately help blacks while helping whites, hispanics, and whoever else who does not have the economic means to help themselves.

Warren said...

B, said:
[...]"but if for example, a college candidate gets extra points for having his/her parents going there, there is no reason why a candidate shouldn't get extra points for their background".

Their is no law against favoring students whose parents have attended a school. (I think that the practice is wrong and a form of elitism). But racial discrimination is specifically against federal law. Again, you cannot discriminate (for) a racial group without discriminating against another. It is a logical impossibility.

So, institutions of "higher learning" break federal anti-discrimination laws and receive a wink and nod from the supreme court. And please tell me what makes it ok now but not in 25 years?

The SCOTUS rulings do not impress me when they are quite obviously flawed and the results of personal opinion over the constitution and common logic.