It seems that Yoseph completely changed the system of government from one where citizens had land rights and minimal taxes to one where the right to property was taken away and 20% tax.

He basically enslaved the entire population of Egypt.

He also forcefully relocated every single family in the entire country, something that would be extremely demoralizing and traumatic, specifically to stress the point that they had no property rights.

According to the Gemarah in Chullin brought by Rashi, he relocated the entire country to prevent his brothers from feeling bad and this is considered a "good" thing that he did.

Why is that praiseworthy? It seems almost evil that he would place the feelings of his family over the traumatization of an entire populace.

  • Just considering the language from the parsha, these actions were done at the express order of Pharoah. Both in Bereshit 45:17-19 and 47:5-6. On a deeper level, the language זאת עשו has a connotation of being connected to the redemption. That the usage of the word זאת is a sign of the special covenant G-d has with mankind. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone today that we are witnessing the same process taking place all over the world. Namely, the great consolidation of wealth in the hands of the very few. This appears to be part of the process of redemption just as it was in Egypt. – Yaacov Deane Dec 27 '20 at 13:56
  • One additional thought concerning your observation about not owning property points back to the first Rashi in Bereshit. Rashi emphasizes that the whole world actually belongs to G-d. He allows his servants to live where He chooses. And just to point out, this was also the understanding of the native Americans prior to the arrival of the Europeans. They did not comprehend the concept of owning the land itself. – Yaacov Deane Dec 27 '20 at 14:37
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    The practical consequence of Yosef’s innovations was that no one starved or died from thirst during the terrible famine. Everyone within the society had a job and a place to live. If you consider how the remaining 80% of GDP was to be divided, men, women and children along with a reinvestment in the business received equal portions. That means no discrimination by sex and children are provided for generously. – Yaacov Deane Dec 27 '20 at 14:47
  • Good points but do not really address the question. Making everyone become a slave to Pharoah, Lose their land, and be forced to move did not help with the famine. At least according to Rashi and the Gemarah in Chullin, moving everyone was for sure Yosephs idea and was only to prevent shame for his brothers. – Yitzchok Ginzberg Dec 28 '20 at 14:18
  • You should probably make a link in your question to the specific page in Chullin and to the particular Rashi you are quoting to make it easier for others to follow. – Yaacov Deane Dec 28 '20 at 15:39

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