Re: Down With Democracy?

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sat Oct 06 2001 - 11:20:15 MDT

Spike Jones wrote:
> Charlie Stross wrote:
> > Secondly, if that's the case, where in hell did your current government get
> > the idea of cutting inheritance tax -- which massively, disproportionately,
> > benefits the ultra-rich -- from? -- Charlie
> When making comments such as this one, keep in mind the basic
> assumptions behind it. The reason inheritance taxes were cut is
> that that weath had already been taxed. An inheritance tax is
> double taxation. The basic assumption under an inheritance
> tax is that wealth all really belongs to the government but it allows
> people to use some of it. My assumption is that all wealth belongs
> to the people but we let the government use some of it. Under that
> assumption, all inheritance tax makes no sense and should be illegal.

The other false assumption is that far more ultra-rich people benefit
than middle class people. A farmer who earns $50,000 per year to support
a family of eight may have a farm which either as a company or sold off
as assets may be worth several million dollars. While technically a
'multi-millionaire', he is living at a subsistence level and when he
dies and leaves the farm to one or more children, inheritance taxes will
require the heir to mortgage half the value of the farm to pay the death
taxes, which with interest comes out to the full value (or more) of the
farm, thus making each generation buy its own farm back from the
government and the banks.

I understand that, being an Brit, Mr. Stross is likely subject to the
general British/European meme that anyone who owns more land than their
immediate home is a member of the aristocracy, and therefore
automatically guilty of being a robber baron.

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