"Zero-balancers" were a distinct group in the second colonial wave that settled on the planet Manticore after the Great Plague in the second half of the 15th Century PD.

Those colonists who completely exhausted their credit to buy the passage to Manticore were known as "zero-balance" immigrants and did not become full citizens until they had become well-enough established to pay taxes for five consecutive Manticoran years (8.7 T-years).

While all Manticoran citizens were equal before the law, whether enfranchised to vote or not, there were distinct social differences between shareholdersYeoman and zero-balancers.[1]. During the centuries, there was always greater prestige in claiming a yeoman as a first ancestor than a zero-balancer. Of course direct descent from a full shareholder was the most prestigious of all three. (UHH, "House of Steel")


  1. The social system of early Manticore somewhat resembles the headright system of 17th Century CE colonial America.