Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Growing Dislike of the Super Rich and Possible Solutions

The following is from John Thornhill, How super-rich can avoid lynching, FT.com, Feb. 22, 2008:

We have, it seems, reached that point in the economic cycle when resentment is rising against the rich.***

That sentiment has marked the US presidential election campaign as fears of recession grip the country.***

While wealth creation and distribution should remain free, Carnegie supported high inheritance taxes. “Of all forms of taxes this seems the wisest,” he wrote. “By taxing estates heavily at death the state marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire’s unworthy life.”

Much has changed since Carnegie’s day. Great fortunes are made in ways that Carnegie would have probably considered unworthy.*** Pro-business politicians now denounce “death taxes”. But Carnegie’s conclusion still provokes thought and should inspire action: “The man who dies rich dies disgraced.”

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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