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Born Old And Rich
by [?]

But suppose a limit to be agreed on, and the rich old man and the rich old woman (never now too old to marry) to start on their career towards youth and poverty. The imagination kindles at the idea. The money would hold out just as long as life lasted, and though it would all be going downhill, as it were, what a charming descent, without struggle, and with only the lessening infirmities that belong to decreasing age! There would be no second childhood, only the innocence and elasticity of the first. It all seems very fair, but we must not forget that this is a mortal world, and that it is liable to various accidents. Who, for instance, could be sure that he would grow young gracefully? There would be the constant need of fighting the hot tempers and impulses of youth, growing more and more instead of less and less unreasonable. And then, how many would reach youth? More than half, of course, would be cut off in their prime, and be more and more liable to go as they fell back into the pitfalls and errors of childhood. Would people grow young together even as harmoniously as they grow old together? It would be a pretty sight, that of the few who descended into the cradle together, but this inversion of life would not escape the woes of mortality. And there are other considerations, unless it should turn out that a universal tax on land should absolutely change human nature. There are some who would be as idle and spendthrift going towards youth as they now are going away from it, and perhaps more, so that half the race on coming to immaturity would be in child asylums. And then others who would be stingy and greedy and avaricious, and not properly spend their allotted fortune. And we should have the anomaly, which is so distasteful to the reformer now, of rich babies. A few babies inordinately rich, and the rest in asylums.

Still, the plan has more to recommend it than most others for removing poverty and equalizing conditions. We should all start rich, and the dying off of those who would never attain youth would amply provide fortunes for those born old. Crime would be less also; for while there would, doubtless, be some old sinners, the criminal class, which is very largely under thirty, would be much smaller than it is now. Juvenile depravity would proportionally disappear, as not more people would reach non-age than now reach over-age. And the great advantage of the scheme, one that would indeed transform the world, is that women would always be growing younger.