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Humans back to and including the Cro-Magnons seem to have had clearly defined rulers and status hierarchies. Digs in Russia at the Sungir Archaeological Site have revealed elaborate funeral clothing on a man and a pair of children buried there approximately 28,000 years ago. This indicates a considerable accumulation of wealth by some individuals or families. The high artisan skill also suggest the capacity to direct specialized labor to tasks that are not of any obvious utility to the group's survival.
If an investor puts $500,000 into a candy store with the agreement that the owners would pay the investor a percentage of earnings, that would be considered passive income as long as the investor does not participate in the operation of the business in any meaningful way other than placing the investment. The IRS states, however, that if the investor did help manage the company with the owners, the investor's income could be seen as active since the investor provided "material participation."