View Poll Results: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

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  • There should be no inheritance tax of any amount of money or assets.

    84 54.90%
  • The first 5 million dollars should be exempt. After that the tax rate should be 35%.

    21 13.73%
  • The first 5 million dollars should be exempt. After that the tax rate should be 50%.

    12 7.84%
  • The first 1 million should be exempt. After that the rate should be 50%.

    19 12.42%
  • No exempt amount. Tax at 35% from the get-go.

    9 5.88%
  • No exempt amount. Tax at 50% from the get-go.

    1 0.65%
  • Abolish all inheritance. In other words, tax 100%.

    7 4.58%
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Thread: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

  1. #1331
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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    I'm sorry, maybe I am mistaken. Is Ayn Rand not a fair representation? I've read both Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
    Over the past ten years, I have frequented several sites like this and have debated hundreds of libertarians of all stripes and variations. There is no one stereotype. Having said that, there are three authors that keep coming up again and again with many libertarians and one cannot help but make the conclusion that they are significant to many of their beliefs. Those three authors are Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein, and Freidrich von Hayek.
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  2. #1332
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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    I agree with you that it's a problem not limited to government. But Centinel is right that in this case the US government has the legal right to kidnap you off the street and hold you indefinitely, while denying you legal defense. It happened hundreds of times. Thank the Patriot Act.

    Unlike Centinel, who probably says it's a problem with government in general, I say it's a problem with a defunct republic which doesn't respect its republican standards anymore, and whose checks and balances no longer work properly.
    And that law exists because the American People were too stupid (actually, they were too scared!) to stop it from being passed and are still too scared to get rid of it. I don't like it, have never liked it, but my voice and the others who disagreed with it were silenced by the vast majority of Americans who were scared, literally out of their mind as far as I'm concerned, by 9/11. We should be ashamed of ourselves and one day we probably will be.

    Any government can get out of hand regardless of what size it's supposed to be, regardless of what job it's supposed to be doing. The people that make up government, in the US that's every American able to vote, are responsible for making sure government doesn't get out of hand. Unfortunately, The People have been asleep at the wheel far too long. We should have known things were going off the deep end when McCarthy started his crap clear back in the 50's (McCarran Act), yet we did nothing - fear again raising it's ugly head. Government isn't something you set and forget, it takes some time and effort by everybody to function properly. I might be able to forgive the generation that fought WWII. After all, those men and women had spent years trusting that Command knew what it was doing. Since then, though, we have just let it slide - mostly downhill.

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Over the past ten years, I have frequented several sites like this and have debated hundreds of libertarians of all stripes and variations. There is no one stereotype. Having said that, there are three authors that keep coming up again and again with many libertarians and one cannot help but make the conclusion that they are significant to many of their beliefs. Those three authors are Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein, and Freidrich von Hayek.
    I've read Ayn Rand as noted and I'm a long-time fan of Heinlein. Which books of his are referenced? I probably already know them. I'd guess his very late works starting with The Cat Who Walks Through Walls? Those novels are OK but I prefer his earlier books - much more entertaining.

    Edit:
    I've also read The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith (it's around here, somewhere). Another idealized Libertarian universe. I've been reading sci-fi since 1970, Have Space Suit Will Travel was my first novel.

    Don't know Freidrich von Hayek, guess I'll have to look that one up.
    Ed - Do you mean Friedrich (August) Hayek?
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 02-18-12 at 11:18 AM.
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  3. #1333
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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    And that law exists because the American People were too stupid (actually, they were too scared!) to stop it from being passed and are still too scared to get rid of it. I don't like it, have never liked it, but my voice and the others who disagreed with it were silenced by the vast majority of Americans who were scared, literally out of their mind as far as I'm concerned, by 9/11. We should be ashamed of ourselves and one day we probably will be.

    Any government can get out of hand regardless of what size it's supposed to be, regardless of what job it's supposed to be doing. The people that make up government, in the US that's every voting American, are responsible for making sure government doesn't get out of hand. Unfortunately, The People have been asleep at the wheel far too long. We should have known things were going off the deep end when McCarthy started his crap clear back in the 50's (McCarran Act), yet we did nothing - fear again raising it's ugly head. Government isn't something you set and forget, it takes some time and effort by everybody to function properly. I might be able to forgive the generation that fought WWII. After all, those men and women had spent years trusting that Command knew what it was doing. Since then, though, we have just let it slide - mostly downhill.
    I want to be careful now, because I was accused of hating America or being insensitive, as I am not American. That's why I want to add that this scare of terrorism was not limited to America. Here in Germany too, many laws were passed and the people did not check the government sufficiently. Also, the German government supports the American government with many of these policies in question.

    I think it's a matter that concerns all of us in the West, no matter if we are American, German, French or British. We all should take care that the government doesn't get power it can easily abuse, and which if very difficult to remove again.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

  4. #1334
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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    Those are all worthy goals. People should pursue them with whatever non-violent means they choose.
    That is exactly what we are doing.

    It's not that those ends are wrong, it's the means by which many people attempt to accomplish them that are wrong. You can't use the law of the jungle when it suits your ends.
    No one is using the law of the jungle, we are using the rule of law in this country.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    It's true that society cannot afford social programs when its financial situation doesn't allow it.

    But it's a matter of priorities. The money is there, it's just the question how to spend it. Without burning 1.3 trillion in the sands of Iraq, there would have been no American debt or budget crisis.

    It's an irritating double standard I often noticed: Many people are against big government. But when they face big government in its purest form -- a bloated army and military spending -- they suddenly don't care. Apparently, only money spent by the government to help people is "big government", but the same money spent for killing people is not.


    Amen, this gets to the heart of the whole budget deficit discussion! Excellent post!!!
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  6. #1336
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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    I want to be careful now, because I was accused of hating America or being insensitive, as I am not American. That's why I want to add that this scare of terrorism was not limited to America. Here in Germany too, many laws were passed and the people did not check the government sufficiently. Also, the German government supports the American government with many of these policies in question.

    I think it's a matter that concerns all of us in the West, no matter if we are American, German, French or British. We all should take care that the government doesn't get power it can easily abuse, and which if very difficult to remove again.
    I didn't know you weren't American* and in my view it doesn't matter. Opinions are opinions and stand or fall on their own merit. Frankly, I promote an outside view on occasion because just as we can never truly see ourselves, so no one country's people can ever truly see their country. I read and often go looking for UK news sources just to keep the American press spin somewhat in check.

    The only good news about laws like this is that they can be undone - it just takes the social and political will to do it.


    (*Americans, just like Europeans, could be living anywhere doing their job. Just because you're in Berlin doesn't mean you weren't born in Chicago.)
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  7. #1337
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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    Money is power, are you going to eliminate money as well? If not, what will you do to stop the accumulation of power/money? You can't take it from them and I'm sure they won't be giving it all away, either, so it WILL accumulate. You think their own altruistic world view will stop them from using that power? All I need do is look at Enron and any of several corporations from the Great Recession to see that they won't control themselves. Ever hear the phrase "power corrupts"? Do you think that's some kind of urban myth? In your idealistic world if Bill Gates wanted you dead, who do you think would outspend the other? Do you think your common rent-a-cops could defeat his well-funded hit squad? Get real.
    I think that if Bill Gates was a criminal and wanted me dead, there's pretty much nothing even the government cops could do to anticipate and stop him.

    The world isn't balanced and people aren't equal. The best government would allow everyone an equal opportunity to float to their own level but those levels won't be the same. Some will have power over others and only collectively can those with power be kept in check.
    I am all for people collectively acting to keep criminals in check.

  8. #1338
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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    from Centinel



    Equality in what way?

    Are you referring to equality before the law? Are you referring to having equal rights?
    I am talking about having equals rights to their life, liberty, and property.

    In point of fact, people are not equal in reality. Never have been. Probably never will be. People differ in size, strength, health, intelligence, quickness, talent, skill, and all sorts of things which makes them unequal.
    Of course.


    Your bit about sounds nice and all in a rather naive and idealistic sort of way but it is a denial of the way the world has always worked since man came out of the cave and brushed shoulders with others.
    Yes, I admit that it is rather idealistic to advocate that people treat each other with respect and refrain from attacking their neighbors. I wonder whether those who thought slaver was an unjust institution were laughed at as naive?

    We the people have created government and have empowered government with the ability to make laws and enforce those laws with the use of force if necessary to preserve the peace and the greater good. We certainly do give the moral authority to others to do this unless you believe that there is no moral authority in our Constitution and the government it creates.
    For you to be able give authority to the government, I would assume that you must posses this authority in the first place. Tell me, how did you acquire authority over your neighbors?

    Lincoln talked about this moral authority in his famous phrase "a government of the people, by the people and for the people".
    Any group of people may unanimously choose to govern themselves according to their own rules. I've got no problem with that. It's when they decide their rules apply to third parties that they begin to act unethically. Nobody likes to be conquered by others.

  9. #1339
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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    But that's the job of government: Government has to provide it for everybody equally, rich as well as poor.

    Because if hiring people to protect you was a private matter, those who are rich could hire the larger private army to force down those who are poor, who cannot afford paying a large private army or any army at all.

    That's the idea behind the monopoly of force of government. But you are right, of course, that government can be corrupt. That doesn't mean, though, that privatizing security would be better. It would be "the law of the jungle" you mentioned.
    I disagree that people voluntarily arranging among themselves to provide mutual self-defense is in any way similar to the law of the jungle. Self-defense is not aggression against one's fellow man.

    And if a group of people decided to become criminals and begin attacking their neighbors, I fail to see how the majority of people would simply stand by and allow that to happen without organizing to defend themselves.

  10. #1340
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    Re: which best describes your view of the inheritance tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    Those are all worthy goals. People should pursue them with whatever non-violent means they choose.
    That is exactly what we are doing.
    I disagree. They are using force to take the property of others in order to accomplish their ends.

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    It's not that those ends are wrong, it's the means by which many people attempt to accomplish them that are wrong. You can't use the law of the jungle when it suits your ends.
    No one is using the law of the jungle, we are using the rule of law in this country.
    Perhaps we have different notions about what is meant by the law of the jungle. To me, it means might makes right, the strong subjugating the weak, the many dominating the few. When you organize yourself so that you can take the property of others in order to accomplish ends you believe are worthy, you are acting as a predator and carrying out the law of the jungle.

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