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An inheritance tax?



i can't quite tell if this comment is assuming that everyone would agree that inheritance taxes are bad. i certainly would disagree with that assumption. i think inheritance taxes, if implemented properly, could be a great thing, both in terms of providing government revenue and in terms of creating a level playing field for society.

i don't think that a person should be able to give things, after their death, tax free, to their children, with no limitations. i don't think the right to give gifts as you please trumps the right of newborns to a fairer playing field. i think both rights deserve consideration, but i don't think the former is anywhere near absolute. kids should have to earn a living, and shouldn't get huge financial advantages solely because of who they're born to.

besides, if you transfer gifts while you're alive, you're not subject to such high taxes, right? and only gifts over a certain threshold from person to person get taxed anyway, right? if you don't trust your kids to not take the money and run while you're alive, maybe they don't deserve it. i don't think society gets to let you have your cake and eat it too, in terms of both passing on wealth through your bloodline and staying secure yourself. i understand that sort of lineage building is a pretty basic human desire, but there are lots of basic human desires that society doesn't indulge, let alone bankroll.

also, it's not like steep inheritance taxes kick in unless the inheritance is of a decent size.

in the spirit of full disclosure, i don't expect to get any sort of appreciable inheritance, so i'm biased by not having anything to lose here. but this is a thing that seems quite obvious to me, and has seemed obvious for a long time now.


The interesting thing is that countries that lean more to the left/socialism, don't have inheritance taxes. Australia, Canada, Israel, Sweden, New Zealand, Norway all have no inheritance tax.[1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inheritance_tax


that is interesting. i'm not sure what to make of that. i have half-formed ideas about why that might be, or why that might be ok (or not ok), and whether that sort of solution is better in principle than an inheritance tax, if one had to choose. but none of those ideas are fully baked enough to mention.

do you happen to know why that's the case? for example, that wiki entry says sweden abolished the inheritance tax in 2005 (retroactive to 2004). was the motivation that it was unnecessary? did constituents complain about its existence?




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