The question was, "How does that system deal with the old members > new members hierarchy that would develop? I think the problem with giving a member a longer stick the longer they stay/comment is that older members are given greater leniency when they do decide to be jerks, and new members who may very well develop into excellent members are kicked aside for possibly minor errors, thus creating an unfair advantage."
That hierarchy does exist. I'm not seeking to eradicate it.
The older members tend to be the ones that have established the tone and quality. This can be used to determine the rules that are used in the early stages of membership of a site.
But generally that hierarchy refers to inner circles and cliques who are protective of what the site evolves into for them, and this isn't addressed in any way by the system to integrate new members.
Old members will eventually leave, the question is more whether the value of the community is preserved when that happens.