09 August 2006

Article 11; in which inheritance should be eliminated in the name of Democracy

  • Aug 9, 2006

Article 11; in which inheritance should be eliminated in the name of Democracy

I propose a 100% inheritance tax, no exceptions.

This money will be used initially to pay down our mind-boggling debt.

After that it will be distributed equally to all American citizens.

Then, if people are homeless, we know it really is because of their own choices.

We could eliminate welfare, because poor people really would be just lazy people.

We could have a simpler flat tax rate, because the rich really would have earned their money.

We would have equality and justice.

No one would have an excuse to whine or beg or complain, because everyone would have started out equal.

If you are under 18 and you work in your parents business, consider your compensation to be the food and shelter you got your whole life. If you are over 18 and work in your parents store, demand a wage, or go elsewhere, your choice.

No one deserves something which they didn't earn.

Inheritance is no different than the class system in India.

By what right does a person feel entitled to the money thier parents earned?

Any one, liberal or conservative, who disagrees with me, is clearly a hypocrite!

Tell me why I'm wrong?

Who's with me?


  1. Wow. I just discovered your blog today, and I find it both interesting, informative, and insightful. And I hit some of the harder topics like rape, prostitution, abortion...you really have some well thought out topics.

    But you missed it on this one.

    Inheritance is based on the idea of personal property rights, and that a person cannot be deprived of that right (or have property taken from them), without due process of law. Of course I'm talking about the ideal, we know reality falls short regularly, but we must have a solid ideal to aspire to.

    Also, as you are not a parent yet, perhaps you do not feel a desire to provide good things for your children and to see them well taken care of.

    And also there is the idea of a business as a sort of "child" that is labored and birthed over time, with effort, and then raised and grown through more work and effort.

    Would you suggest that all businesses, when their founding owner dies, be dissolved and sold off as assets? That would be crazy, right? But aren't you suggesting the same thing when you suggest appropriating all inheritance for the national debt, etc?

    While I certainly agree about the problem of public debt, the problem is not based on the citizens who work and save and accumulate wealth/possessions, but by the lack of character of politicians on both sides of the aisle, who have neither the courage to take a stand to create a REAL balanced budget, or to REALLY cut expenses. You don't yell at everyone at the bar who had a round bought for them...you punish the person who bought rounds for everyone, and then didn't have the money to pay for it all. Punish the person who wrote the bad check!

    (Hmmm, maybe we could simply cut all benefits for politicians, and take all their money when they die for the programs and expenses they started but couldn't fund properly).

    I could talk about monetary policy, of the economic theory of spending out of a recession, or I could talk about how the US Dollar as the de facto reserve currency of the world allows us to print worthless money with no intrinsic value which transfers the wealth of the world first into the United States, and then second into the hands of the wealthy/elite who can manipulate markets to effect this wealth transfer. Or how this is about to suddenly (and catastrophically for most of the US) end in the dollar collapse...

    But I'll just leave it as crappy political hacks who just spend spend spend, and selfish, lazy voters who are uninformed and don't care, so long as their programs and benefits continue unimpeded, and keep sending these guys back to Washington year after year to do more of the same...

    If you take a step back and look at what you are saying, aren't you suggesting that we simply confiscate the wealth of the rich to take care of everyone's problems? I think that model of government was tried before this last century...it works, but millions of people have to die in the process. So we sort of oppose that sort of thinking.

    The intent is noble, but the ends do not justify the means.

    Keep writing my friend!


    1. Hi, and thanks for the comment.

      I agree with most of what you wrote about our monetary system and the deficit.
      But this post wasn't about that at all. I have written other things about the debt as well as politics and economics, but my point here was more about justice and fairness, having all citizens contribute to society and earn their own way.
      We find it objectionable when a person lives their entire lives off the money of others, whether its by welfare or theft, but we turn a blind eye to people who live off of inheritance.

      I am not in anyway arguing against property rights. I am pointing out that once a person dies, they no longer have any rights. Its one thing to say that the individual rights of a person outweighs the good of the collective whole of society, but to say that those rights are more important than the whole even after that person has died, well that's a level of individualism I can't get behind.

      Yes, of course I understand that people WANT to give their children everything. Just like people WANT to take things that aren't there's, want to drive 150MPH on the freeway, want to punch people that make them mad, but the simple fact that its natural to want something doesn't make it ok.
      And if those same parents were a little more thoughtful, they might realize that people are actually more successful (as well as more happy) in life when they actually earn their own way.
      For a more in depth discussion on that, you might want to read "The Millionaire Next Door."

      Check it out from your local library, and just jump to the chapter (near the end) on gifting money to your kids. It's probably only 20 pages, will take you 30-60 minutes to read it. In fact, you don't even have to check out the book then, just grab it off the shelf and read that one section and put it back.
      People are much more successful if their parents don't monetarily help them when they are struggling. (credit to ARebelSpy of MMM Forums)

      There is absolutely no reason a business would need to be dissolved. People sell business ALL THE TIME. The child of the founder could even buy it. But they would need to buy it, not just be handed it, and have all that wealth because they won the roulette wheel of birth. They would need to produce something of value of their own, to earn the right to be a business owner. Otherwise, someone else buys it, and the kid goes on to their own career.

      This also has nothing to do with "confiscate the wealth of the rich to take care of everyone's problems" - nobody is confiscating anything. The "rich" person has died. The hypothetical heir doesn't own the wealth yet. Nothing is being taken away from anyone. And if that source of revenue were available to pay for government services (roads, utility infrastructure, mosquito abatement, police, courts...) then the income and sales tax on EVERYONE could be lower, rich middle and poor.

      I have written more on these topics (and I will in the future), see: http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2012/06/poor-person-never-gave-me-job.html

      and stay tuned here for when I have more time - our concept of sacred property rights (and that the only alternative to that is communism) is my next big topic stewing in my mind


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