Isn’t it my choice to determine how I dispose of my assets?
1,100 billionaires have double the assets of the world’s poorest 2.5 billion people. The vast majority of people have little to no assets to pass on to their children. If you want fairness and justice in society it is essential that there be a measure in place to prevent excessive wealth accumulation. If you want to help your children and your children’s children, the best thing you can do for them is to make sure that they are not the losers in a rigged system where the privileged are guaranteed success. In a society with such vast inequality, the right to choose where your assets are disposed of lies in the hands of the government who act solely in the interest of the general will. The Millionaire Inheritance Tax and 100% Inheritance Tax are the legal and economic enforcement of equal opportunities.
If my inheritors don’t deserve the inheritance, then why should anyone else (society, government)?
Meritocracy is about what you can do, not what people can do for you. Society deserves your inheritance because every unborn deserves equal opportunity to become all they can be. We want a society of smart, ambitious and autonomous individuals whose talents and strengths have been maximized. In a society of privilege only a handful of people have the resources to achieve this. Inheritance Tax is the single most important tax in human history, the tax upon which the fate of humanity, and human freedom itself, rests. It is essential we use it to serve the People.
“The question whether one generation of men has a right to bind another, seems never to have been started either on this or our side of the water. Yet it is a question of such consequences as not only to merit decision, but place also, among the fundamental principles of every government. The course of reflection in which we are immersed here on the elementary principles of society has presented this question to my mind; and that no such obligation can be so transmitted I think very capable of proof. – I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, ‘that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living’: that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. The portion occupied by an individual ceases to be his when himself ceases to be, and reverts to the society. If the society has formed no rules for the appropriation of its lands in severality, it will be taken by the first occupants. These will generally be the wife and children of the decedent. If they have formed rules of appropriation, those rules may give it to the wife and children, or to some one of them, or to the legatee of the deceased. So they may give it to his creditor. But the child, the legatee, or creditor takes it, not by any natural right, but by a law of the society of which they are members, and to which they are subject. Then no man can, by natural right, oblige the lands he occupied, or the persons who succeed him in that occupation, to the payment of debts contracted by him. For if he could, he might, during his own life, eat up the usufruct of the lands for several generations to come, and then the lands would belong to the dead, and not to the living, which would be the reverse of our principle.”—Thomas Jefferson
Isn’t government corrupt, inept, and inefficient, and would it not therefore fail to put my hard-earned assets to good use?
One must remember that the Millionaire Death Tax and 100% Inheritance Tax are not stand-alone facets of Meritocracy, but together form one of its pillars. For a Meritocracy to function properly, the voting system will also need to be changed, where only experts and individuals with proven knowledge (by degree or state issued tests) will be allowed to vote within a specific field. If an elected official from any field fails to deliver, the public may issue a legal objection and have such an official removed immediately. The public objection can then be reviewed by a court of law and a panel of experts within the field, whence a full public disclosure pertaining to the actions and reasons for the actions of the official under investigation can follow. Because there will be no political parties or agendas, government officials can be individually removed without tearing down the entire structure. Such a dismissal could be treated as a fair court case and will follow a certain protocol. If the official is guilty of corruption or fraud, s/he will face conviction. If the official turns out to be inept or negligent, s/he will be relieved of duty and will need to find a new job. Many governments have very efficient systems in place, such as Switzerland and Singapore. Meritocracy will synthesise various effective procedures from around the world to provide the most efficient, transparent and responsible government humanly possible.
Doesn’t inheritance tax act as a tax on already taxed goods?
This shows a gross misunderstanding of the tax system.
The price of an estate on death is usually vastly more than when the house was first bought. The value, due to inflation, gained over a long period was tax-free. So the majority of the estate is actually taxed only once, upon death, when the person no longer has need of it. Also, it is only about 7% of the population who have the capital to be affected by inheritance tax.
(Some content paraphrased from http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2006/07/31/lets-be-clear-inheritance-tax-is-not-doube-taxation/ .)
Why is it so wrong that I want to take care of my family?
The best thing you can do for your family, and for the future generations, is to support the Millionaire Inheritance Tax. The situation in which we currently live is one where a handful of families reap vastly disproportionate advantages over the majority. Education is the bedrock of a meritocratic society. We want to ensure that the education that is usually reserved for the elite is afforded to every child regardless of which family they’re born into. If you were somehow to lose the means to look after your family through injury or sudden death, your children are guaranteed the best possible outcome in life. Inheritance Tax doesn’t mean it is wrong to want to take care of your family; in fact it means that every family deserves the right to be safe in the knowledge that their children are going to have an equal opportunity towards making a better future for themselves.
Isn’t it a parent’s responsibility and natural instinct to leave as much wealth and possessions to their children as they can?
“[If you are asking this question,] then you are plainly not a meritocrat. The Society of Privilege is one where rich families pass on overwhelming financial advantage to their children, at the expense of all other children. You say that it is a natural instinct for parents to want to give as much as they can to their children. Well, parents who can offer no financial advantages to their children should therefore be as determined as possible to prevent any other parents from doing so. Only a complete fool takes part in a game he can never win. The UK is a two-tier society. 7% of the population are privately educated and they secure seventy percent of the best jobs in the country. The 93% who are state-educated have to fight for the remaining 30% of good jobs. Anyone who subscribes to a system in which they are a second-class citizen is stupid. Any parent who cares for his children should wish to ensure above all else that they have a fair chance in life and are not second-class citizens. Any parent who allows his children to be denied the opportunities that are afforded to the children of rich parents is unfit to be a parent. Any good parent must demand 100% inheritance tax in order to ensure an unrigged system, fair to all, where the rich can’t buy success. Only in this way can all poor parents hand on as “much as they can” to their children. They are defending their children’s interests by ensuring that they have a level playing field. If they can’t pass on assets they can at least pass on fairness, justice, and equal opportunities.”—From an anoymous contributor under the alias “220″ (—284)
Why should I have to pay for the kids of failed parents?
In a community based on equal opportunities, no family would show disrespect to other families by trying to commandeer excessive resources for themselves at the expense of everyone else. Parents of one family would be as interested in the success of the children from other families around them. Failed families lead to crime and poverty, but with just a small amount of investment in those failed families, the people would become productive and healthy, and contribute to the well-being of everyone. Society should not be a zero-sum game. Everyone benefits when everyone benefits. Today’s society is one which constantly promotes the acquisition of commodities as the sign of success and status, and simultaneously denies enormous numbers from having any realistic chance of acquiring happiness. This creates a social structure which drives some people towards crime as the only means by which they can achieve the status society trumpets as the greatest good. A meritocratic society ensures that the pecking order will be abolished, and that everyone, with no exceptions, will benefit from the fruits of civilization. Your family will no longer have to worry about losing status or losing position in the pecking order, because every family will be well-off, fulfilled and happy, have access to all the necessities of life, and have the opportunity for self-actualization.
I can’t trust the government to use the money properly.
The government is run by the super-rich for the super-rich. When the government is reformed and recreated meritocratically, it will not use the money poorly but will instead, on the guidance of meritorious experts, use the money in the most intelligent way that human society currently knows. Instead of a government acting only for the benefit of the super-rich, the government will act for the benefit of everyone, and won’t waste money on wars or pork barrel programs.
My grandfather passed down his farm to us; are you saying 100% inheritance tax would take this away from our family?
Did your grandfather own 100% of the farm? What about your grandmother? What about your grandfather’s employees who worked that farm? If your kids work on the farm, they deserve an economic stake in the farm. Centering the question around grandfathers and family farms and family businesses fails to address the authoritarian undercurrents in these families. How is it right that, in a family business, the entire family contributes to the business but only a single “grandfather” gets to own the business? That makes no sense. If you want to have a family farm, every member should have ownership; and if every member has ownership, the farm will not be subject to inheritance tax unless every member dies.
Our tax system encourages a more co-operative approach to business. It is in the interest of the owner to share his/her economic stake in the farm to ensure the longevity of his/her business without state ownership. When the state does acquire part ownership of the farm the other parties will be given the opportunity to buy back the shares at a fair price, although there will be many advantages to having the state as joint owners. Meritocracy recognizes the wealth of expertise within farming families which simply goes to waste due to the outlandish demands of major retailers. We want an agricultural industry in which animal welfare is respected. We want to see passionate farmers producing high quality food on their own terms without the constant interference from the private sector. It is in the interests of both the state and the farmers to ensure the longevity of the lands for future generations to come. We want to give the farming experts the power to make the right decisions for our agricultural future. Joint state ownership ensures the right of the people to get heard. Farmers must not be ignored by the market anymore. The bad practices which lead to outbreaks (such as the foot-and-mouth disease), are due to farmers having to cut costs to meet uncompromising demands from the private sector. The risk to the population is too great to let this type of practice carry on any longer. A meritocratic government wants to use the wealth of experience gained through generations, and to create the world’s most shining example of agriculture. We want to invest in the future with regard to the young, aspiring farmers. We want what is best for the people: working together against the tyranny of the market.
What about when a spouse dies? Are you going to kick the family out of the house?
Is this another one of those situations where the husband owns 100% of the family’s property and the wife owns nothing? Why is it considered a good thing that a single spouse own everything? In the typical nuclear family with two parents and two kids, the mother and father should each own a portion of the family assets, and the kids will have their portions held in a legal trust that guarantees their opportunity along with every other kid. If the father owns 50% of the house, then the other 50% will belong to the mother, and that half will not be subject to inheritance tax. Current property law successfully handles situations like this.
Isn’t this just totalitarianism? 100% Inheritance tax infringes on my freedom.
When it comes to freedom and liberty there are two versions. There is on the one hand negative liberty and on the other hand positive liberty. Negative liberty means having freedom from something or someone, e.g., government interference. This is the type of freedom that is emphasised all throughout our societies. Nobody wants anyone else to poke their nose in their business, and especially not the State. This works both ways. Not having government care about you means that when push comes to shove the only help you’ll receive is from your friends and family. Maybe this is enough for you. For a great majority of people it isn’t, and often this is a major reason for the number of criminals, drug addicts and homeless people on our streets.
Positive liberty entails the opposite. It means possessing freedom for something. It means having the power and resources to fulfill your potential. Meritocratic Government cares about you. They’re individuals, too, serving in a hyperstructure that’s in charge of making sure we have potable water and that the streets are safe at night. Imagine having a structure of this magnitude suited to offer you help, support and advice in your quest to live a purposeful life.
Policies such as the Millionaire Death Tax and 100% Inheritance Tax, coupled with Meritocratic Democracy, empower the State and subsequently the Government to render the best and most aid to everyone. It delivers to them the power to effect real change and implement the best programs they can develop to help citizens maximise their potential.
The Soviet Union tried this, and it didn’t work.
The Soviets tried something completely different that has no relation to 100% inheritance tax. 100% inheritance tax is not a planned economy; it is a method of guaranteeing equal opportunity to every child.
100% inheritance tax will never happen; no one would ever support it.
Thousands of people already do, and soon there will be millions. When the public realizes that 100% inheritance tax can solve so many of the big social problems, and only the billionaires are against it, they will support it, and it will happen.
Redistributing wealth to the poor will just perpetuate their poor use of resources.
Maybe this would be true if we just gave poor and uneducated people blank checks to buy whatever they want; but the 100% Inheritance Tax will go only toward proven social programs that lift the poor out of poverty, such as nutrition and education.
What if the government just wastes all the revenue from inheritance tax on pointless wars?
Do you really think meritocrats would have started the Iraq War? Almost every single independent expert denounced the Iraq War before it started. There were only two educated groups who wanted it: war profiteers and the Israel lobby. Every other informed or educated group was against the war. This war could never happen in a meritocracy. It would be unthinkable. It would never be on the table. In our democracy, all the experts were ignored while the war profiteers shouted deceptive slogans. Meritocracy would put the ignored experts in the Whitehouse, and put war profiteer Dick Cheney behind bars. Join the Meritocracy Party and make sure that war profiteers will never again send your kids to die for Halliburton.
Won’t preventing inheritance undermine people’s work ethic when parents are no longer able to save up for their kids?
The threat of your kids being disadvantaged might motivate you to work, but this kind of destructive interfamilial competition keeps us all focused on accumulating when we’d rather focus on excelling at our passions. Most of us want to be autonomous, creative, inspired, engaged and competent; we feel our greatest joy when we’re contributing to both our families and our communities. Instead of creating an interfamilial threat to motivate work, meritocracy unlocks a far more powerful energy source: passion for excellence.
Instead of funnelling wealth to your kids as protection against economic exploitation, why not give them a better world? Why not give them a world where no family ever worries about hunger or homelessness? Meritocracy ends the threat of aristocratic dynasties. Meritocracy puts everyone on equal footing. With meritocracy, everyone will have a chance to make a dent in the world, and this leads to fiery motivation.
Can’t unscrupulous parents just give wealth to their kids before death, avoiding the inheritance tax? How will meritocracy handle legal loopholes?
Loopholes can be closed. It should be a crime for one family to accumulate dangerous sums of power and wealth, because those hoards are used as weapons, and they threaten the freedom and prosperity of everyone else. Meritocracy will have laws, task forces, and regulatory bodies to deal with loopholes. These technical policy issues are solvable challenges. Today’s super-rich find it easy to evade taxes precisely because democracy is working for them—not us. It is democracy that has allowed these loopholes to gape open. Meritocracy will close any loopholes that allow for the creation of dynasties. Laws will be passed to set limits on the amount of property that is transferable to children. Meritorious people will be elected who will sniff out shell companies and expose corrupt families that want to establish dynastic wealth. Loopholes are well-worn problems, with a variety of established solutions. Meritocracy’s competent leaders will be capable and motivated to close tax evasion loopholes.
Doesn’t a millionaire inheritance tax infringe on the freedom of millionaires to do what they please with their wealth?
Real freedom is the opportunity for every child to develop his or her talents; when every sick person has access to healthcare, and every family has a roof over their heads. Do you honestly think that the most important freedom right now is the freedom for millionaires to throw their weight around? Just how concerned should we be with the freedom of millionaires to abuse employees and bribe politicians? Having freedom to stomp on innocent people may be one kind of perverse freedom, but what about the freedom of the underclass? What about the freedom of the poor kids born in American ghettos, or the freedom of the laid-off worker replaced by Chinese slaves (or the freedom of the slaves)? Rigging markets, buying slave labor, selling snake oil, getting away with murder—these aren’t legitimate freedoms! Freedom doesn’t mean simply letting millionaires do whatever!
Shouting “More Freedom for Millionaires!” while children are literally dying of malnutrition is completely immoral. Worry about Donald Trump’s quality of life when New York’s mentally ill are not living on the streets. How can anyone concern themselves with the refined liberties of Goldman Sachs executives, when their millionaire’s liberty was used to cause a famine in the 1990s by gambling with food prices? What kind of a moral universe must someone live in for the key freedom in question to be the freedom of Goldman Sachs executives to starve people? What kind of person focuses on millionaires’ freedom while treating the loss of freedom felt by the dead and hungry as irrelevant? How can millionaires’ freedom ever be a relevant issue? Whatever policies our society implements to solve social problems, we must consider everyone’s welfare as equally important. Since millionaires have no financial problems to the extent that it threatens their livelihood, their welfare is not on the agenda.