Bailouts and Esau

Genesis 25.29–34 relates:

Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Now in a modern society, how do we encourage people not to sell their birthrights and punish other people for stealing their blessings? What is fraud, and what is not an information asymmetry but an irrational choice for which the loser must take responsibility?

How does this relate to our current economic woes?

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