Monday, April 13, 2009

Tax All Inheritance 100%

This is my all-time favorite show-stopping plank. Everybody thinks of their darling orphaned children, little realizing that even in the land of Horatio Alger, it still takes on average five generations for someone who is poor to become rich or the less-desirable reverse.

American economic mobility is not what most people think. The streets of America aren't paved with gold. Indeed, they never were.

As we all, know, the United States arose because a group of wealthy bewigged landowners and businessmen was too cheap to pay taxes for the defense of their holdings from Indians. Just as they and their heirs have been to cheap to pay for slaves, indentured servants, industrial workers and everyone else who made their fortunes possible.

Why not, then, abolish all inheritance, plow it into a common pot from which the biblical widow and orphan shall be provided for generously and well? What we could fund with the fortunes of the 400 richest Americans, who had a combined net worth of $1.57 trillion in 2004 (or $3.9 billion on average)! And that's just the tippy top.

Imagine a wisely husbanded fund of several trillions devoted to care for all parentless children and all surviving companions unable to work. Imagine returning the 80 percent of all assets, owned by only 20 percent of the people, to 100 percent of the people. Imagine sharing.
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