On the right or wrong of inheritance

 Inherited wealth should be taxed, as should capital generally, when the amount reaches a level that is harmful to society. Capital grows faster than wages so wealth concentrates and inherited wealth concentrates without new effort by those with the inheritance.

That being said, inheritance is a good thing for the poor and middle classes that should have zero inheritance tax. Inherited intellectual capital and culture shouldn’t be easily dissipated as the inertia of intelligence, technology and capitol can be hard to achieve from the ground-up in a single generation. The imbalance in wealth distribution between the 1% and the 99% can be reduced by taxing the rich and not taxing the poor.

Concentrated wealth brings an effective end to democracy, free enterprise and ingenuity by the majority and control of the economy and politics to the tiniest minority. People need to disambiguate the relationships of democracy to wealth and power to consider if opinions of the majority can Trump the will to control the social order and kind of infrastructure and political economy a society has.

Piketty’s book ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ has an informative chapter on inherited wealth. Capital in the Twenty-First Century: Piketty, Thomas, Goldhammer, Arthur: 9780674979857: Amazon.com: Books

There is a related question concerning the contemporary practice of giving an inheritance to children before death that avoids the issue of inheritance and taxes. The rich have a zillion ways to avoid inheritance taxes.





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