David Thompson
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July 25, 2017

Comments

Jen

What I found most unpleasant in [Abi] Wilkinson’s article [advocating a 100% inheritance tax] is her acceptance that there could be “a small allowance for objects of sentimental value.”

"Utopian thinking"

David

“Utopian thinking”

Yes, it’s a rather dissonant definition. Though, I suppose some people really like the prospect of bureaucratic confiscation and other people’s family bonds and acts of kindness being violated by the state.

Jonathan

Scientist, author and lefty Trump-hater Richard Dawkins gets no-platformed for 'insulting islam'. Cue Alanis Morissette.

sH2

Imagine relatives being forced to beg to keep their family heirlooms.

Socialist compassion.

David

Socialist compassion.

To a degree that few on the left are willing to admit, it does, I think, boil down to disposition and whether you’re inclined to envy, resentment and petty malice.

Years ago, the Other Half and I were renting a flat, converted from the two upper floors of a large-ish house. The ground floor was a separate, smaller flat, occupied by a young woman in her early twenties, just starting out in life. One day, our downstairs neighbour called round to say goodbye as she was moving out and buying a place. A relative had died and she’d inherited a chunk of cash - not a fortune, but just about enough to cover the deposit on a mortgage. Although we were still renting at the time, and although some might see us as having been leapfrogged, we weren’t resentful of her good fortune. It didn’t feel unfair or a basis for disaffection. It seems to me this is how families are supposed to work, ideally. A benefit paid forward, hopefully by each generation.

Charlie Suet

Given that six months ago Corbyn was seen as unelectable, perhaps we're all overreacting - things could swing back again. Since the election, though, there's a real sense amongst everyone even vaguely right of centre that the Battle of Ideas (ugh) is being lost. When it came down to it, a majority of the under forties showed that they were unable to distinguish between the traditional Labour party and the hard left fringe that has its foot across its windpipe. They showed that they are happy to decorate their Facebook profiles with mottos 'supporting' the victims of terror while voting for men who slobbered over an earlier terrorist campaign.

In this context, Ben Sixsmith is surely right that we should be alarmed by attempts to move Marxist ideas into the mainstream. It's only too easy for these people to pretend that they only really want Scandinavian style democratic socialism. In practice, Sweden abolished inheritance tax and corporate tax in Scandinavia is generally lower than that in the US. But the lie is still believed and the real cynosures (by turns the USSR, East Germany, Cuba, Venezuela etc.) are ignored.

It appears to be obvious to people who bother informing themselves about politics and economics and history that the hard left is bad news (the soft left are perfectly sound on this point). Despite this, the left has been so successful in establishing the idea that it is 'nice' that even state confiscation of all assets on death barely causes a ripple.

rjmadden

A 100% inheritance tax is a great way to encourage people to live irresponsibly and die a pauper.

David

Also via Ben Sixsmith, a data-rich thread on immigration and crime in Germany.

Turk Turkleton

A writing teacher, working in a bookstore, laments the soul-crushing injustice of having to sell copies of J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy to his "liberal, well-educated and well-meaning" customers, who presumably lack the ideological immunity to such right-wing propaganda. He plaintively asks, "Are there meaningful ways to resist the continued sales of disastrous books?" The amoral capitalistic model, you see, grants far too much leeway to individuals to make such purchasing decisions themselves, without the guidance of political chaperones.

RNB

"The societal push to equalise gender distributions... can succeed only by having the perverse effect of pushing people into fields they do not prefer." I am contemplating with pleasure signing up a particularly vocal Doctor of English Lit of my acquaintance for Electrical Engineering courses.

David

Touching on similar themes to the Michael Aaron piece on students and postmodernist rhetoric, Andrew Klavan interviews Heather Mac Donald.

Joan

a small allowance for objects of sentimental value.

How kind.

Killer Marmot
How could it be possible that so many people, large cohorts of students, and indeed entire academic disciplines, are so bamboozled into believing much of postmodernist rhetoric, including that science is a symbol of the patriarchy (you’ve got to click on the link, the title is “Science: A masculine disorder?”) and that the concept of health is merely another tool of Western colonial oppression?

The far left is increasingly insisting that its adherents vow belief in things that are manifestly untrue. It's a test of faith, where you show you are willing to deny reality for the sake of your ideology.

Some of the items on their list:

- One out of four college women will get raped.
- Women make 79% of what men make for equal work.
- Gender is solely a social construct, with no basis in biology.

Apart from this, the left revels in contradictions: "Speech is violence" is a popular one. The more nonsensical it is, the more profound it is deemed to be.

This full-frontal attack on logic and evidence is reminiscent of the novel 1984, where subjugation is not just physical but psychological. The obvious parallels to this dystopia, however, do not seem to bother the far left at all.

Burnsie

The more nonsensical it is, the more profound it is deemed to be.

I blame modern liberal arts education. The students who are most rewarded are those whose logic achieves the deepest orbit around reality without becoming completely untethered.

Any thread of connection will do—and that's what passes for profundity.

Hence you get papers arguing that a powerful Beethoven motif represents the violent rape of a woman, with the thrusting of the act found in the forceful cadence of the notes.

Normal people would avert their eyes from anyone making this argument because of the obvious projection of serious emotional issues. Liberals, on the other hand, nod and say, "Yes, that's it! You're a genius!"

Ben Sixsmith

Thank you for the link David.

TDK

Some issues with Diversity Training

The Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian government has just published the results of a randomised control trial involving 21,000 employees of the Australian Public Service to see if the introduction of ‘blind recruiting’ would help promote gender equality and diversity. The employees were asked to shortlist candidates for a managerial position, with half of them being given their names and other identity markers and the other half not. If these public servants were suffering from unconscious bias, you would expect the ‘blindfolded’ group to be more likely to shortlist female and minority candidates and less likely to shortlist white men. In fact, the reverse happened.

John D

“Utopian thinking”

Two words. Laffer Curve.

David

Two words. Laffer Curve.

Even setting aside the numerous economic practicalities (which, incidentally, one Barack Obama has happy to dismiss as irrelevant), it’s interesting how scant Ms Wilkinson’s interest is in establishing whether what she wants, i.e., total confiscation by the state, is in fact morally just. She seems remarkably untroubled by a basic moral question, i.e., to how much of a person’s earnings - which is to say, their work and freedom - is the state, or a socialist, morally entitled?

David

Thank you for the link David.

Happy to.

R. Sherman

A 100% inheritance tax is a great way to encourage people to live irresponsibly and die a pauper.

As other's have noted, most of tax policy is designed to affect human behavior. Still, those who support sin taxes as a means of encouraging people to be more virtuous can't/won't make the connection that taxing human production has an adverse impact on the amount of what's being produced.

virgil xenophon

"A 100% inheritance tax is a great way to encourage people to live irresponsibly and die a pauper."

I see the Guardian must be great admirers/followers of the philosophy and lifestyle of the "great" Jean-Jacques Rousseau..

R. Sherman

In the way back, when I was studying tax law, marginal estate tax rates in the U.S. were at stratospheric levels. Still, the rich were able to preserve their wealth for their descendants. Yes, it cost money for lawyers and accountants to mumble the magic incantations, but the cost of compliance was still a lot less than the tax. And, surprise! Estate tax receipts were less than the cost of administering the tax itself. That last fact tells you everything you need to know about estate/inheritance tax policy: it's solely about envy and punishing the families of people who were successful in life. It's called class warfare.

David

And naturally Ms Wilkinson is now quite pleased with herself.

sk60

And naturally Ms Wilkinson is now quite pleased with herself.

So she doesn't understand economics *and* she doesn't know the difference between 'debating' and 'being laughed at'.

Double win.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

A 100% inheritance tax is a great way to encourage people to live irresponsibly and die a pauper.

That, or just giving away stuff before you cash in your marshmallows, or making your heirs co-owners, or selling heirs items for a token amount.

The law would be unworkable short of making the state owner of all property, which would probably be fine with this lot who, I have no doubt, are driven by the fact that they are just upset because they are not in line to inherit anything.

She is not making an argument for inheritance tax, which most of us accept should exist...

What do you mean us, kimosabe ?

Anything I might stand to inherit has already been taxed multiple times, why the hell should the government get a prize because someone died ? You leave your daughter the violin player your Stradivarius, but she can't afford to pay the tax on the appraised value, so she has to sell it, and gets taxed on that - but hey, now the government has the moola to give some GS-15 a bonus.

Maureen

Of course they never think of any counteractions that people might take. I may decide not to accumulate wealth or more likely I would accumulate wealth that is easier to transport or move. Jewellery would be a good bet 18k gold and some diamonds would be easy to move to another country.

David

Of course they never think of any counteractions that people might take.

As if people were inert, docile. Like livestock.

sH2

Of course they never think of any counteractions that people might take.

Like hanging politicians from lampposts.

David

Like hanging politicians from lampposts.

A tad harsh, I know. But let’s not rule it out.

R. Sherman

And naturally Ms Wilkinson is now quite pleased with herself.

Is there any question that she would quite gleefully rip Grandma's heirlooms out of the hands of the grandkids just for spite? Nothing like slapping a patina of morality on one's own avarice and sadism.

Steve E

To a degree that few on the left are willing to admit, it does, I think, boil down to disposition and whether you’re inclined to envy, resentment and petty malice.

Brings to mind Comrade Kaprugina in Dr. Zhivago lecturing the good doctor: "There was living space for 30 families..."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq__Z-Z_Ofs

Sporkatus

I maintain the belief that one of the chief and persistent failings of the third world is lack of ownership and the inability therein to foster responsibility. Few individual properties exist, and in a vicious cycle few individual properties are generated and little wealth. Why bother, if one can't hold onto it? Further, he who owns and preserves nothing will continue to gain nothing, and his children will have nothing. The aphorism that we only see as far as we do because we stand on the shoulders of giants applies here, as does John Adams:

The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.

Progress (of the real and not highly fictional kind) is impossible without the ability to foster gains on behalf of posterity. Modern Leftism attacks both the idea of posterity (at least, outside the state) and the ability to foster gains with any specific aim. The lack of ability to truly possess goods and property in much of the third world is organic, the punitive taxation in the first world artificial, but in both cases promises stagnation and downfall.

The accumulation of wealth is unjustly arrogated to the love of money in all cases, when it represents the fundamental means by which society can improve its pocket and typically the genuine love and wish to preserve one's own family. It is bastardry in several meanings to attempt to destroy that, and has as its only possible realistic result a tragedy of the commons in every scope of life.

In a word, it is evil.

There is nothing that modern welfare states have done more successfully than this - to eliminate generational wealth and responsibility, which has enormous and far-reaching effects.

Sporkatus
That last fact tells you everything you need to know about estate/inheritance tax policy: it's solely about envy and punishing the families of people who were successful in life. It's called class warfare.

I recall one B. H. Obama who stated - quite blatantly - that taxation of the nominally wealthy which did not bring in greater receipts should still be administered "for fairness".

Truly a puzzle why some seemed to believe he had communist leanings.

David

Obama who stated - quite blatantly - that taxation of the nominally wealthy which did not bring in greater receipts should still be administered “for fairness”.

Leftist psychology is rooted in, and utterly dependent on, vanity and spitefulness. Neither of which is in short supply.

Sort-of-Mad Max

Some months earlier:

"Your grandpa remembered you in his will, Abi!"
"Oh, great! What did he leave me??"
"A note saying that since you were such a committed Commie tartlet he wouldn't sully you with any money. Just his best wishes."

And with that, the germ of an idea for an manifesto formed.

David

a small allowance for objects of sentimental value.

Other people’s belongings seem overly fascinating to Ms Wilkinson, who believes that the expropriation of private property, and the violation of last wishes, and the punishment of success and family attachment, should be embraced as the norm. Presumably, like so many of her Guardianista peers, Ms Wilkinson would regard objections to her rapacious socialism as constituting greed. While her own fever dream of confiscating other people’s possessions, and the earnings and savings of a lifetime, somehow constitutes selflessness. Though it’s curious how such claims of selflessness and piety entail, not personal sacrifice, but forcibly taking what isn’t yours and then applauding yourself.

WTP

The accumulation of wealth is unjustly arrogated to the love of money in all cases,

I would argue that the underlying factor as to why that is, is the pervasive misconception that the amount of wealth in the world is constant and thus if someone else is accumulating wealth, there is that much less wealth for others. If you are one of the others this general idea, perpetuated through the media and much of academia, certainly gets your attention. I have argued this time and time again and I will bring it up here once more, if conservatism/libertarianism/classical liberalism are serious, if they have any hope of turning this crap around, there needs to be a concerted effort, on a broad front, to educate the masses against this nonsense.

Microbillionaire

A silver lining to the envy tax might be that it would probably result in the return of some buried treasure and pirate maps as an alternate inheritance.

Sam Duncan

“How kind.”

Ee, thank e'e, sir, for allowin' me to keep me old gran's fav'rite chair. I don't care what them neoliberal ingrates say; ye be a right gent, an' no mistakin'. I mean, ye had every right to take it all. Every right. But no, after fillin' out all them forms in triplicate, an' that court hearin' a year ago - the judge was awful unnerstandin' - ye kindly allowed me to 'ire a van an' go to the 'Ome Office warehouse to take it 'ome. An' don't worry 'bout 'er weddin' ring. 'S only gold. I'd prob'ly lose it anyhow. A proper gent.

I've been saying it for years: neo-feudalism. And they can't even see it. They think they're being “fair” and “democratic”.

“In fact, the reverse happened.”

A bit like this.

I love the way Buzzfeed desperately tries to spin it, though: “Jeremy Corbyn was the politician who received the highest amount of abusive messages on Twitter during the campaign.”, “The spike in abuse in the two days following the two terrorist attacks was far more pronounced for prominent left-leaning or liberal politicians than it was for right-wing politicians”, etc.

None of which alters the fact that, overall, male Conservative and UKIP MPs receive more abuse on Twitter than anyone else, with Labour women (and, hilariously, after all their the-other-side-is-just-as-bad protestations, SNP MPs of both sexes) down among the wines and spirits. Or that the only reason the spikes were more marked for the Left was that the general background level of abuse directed at them is much lower. The spikes only brought them up to the same level as the Tories. Siddiq Khan's feed hit 16% both times, while Jeremy Hunt hit 17% after Manchester and 16% in the wake of the London attacks. The background “noise” for the Left, on the other hand, runs at around 4%, compared with something more like 7% for the Conservatives.

Face it, guys: the poor-wymmin-of-the-Left-targetted-by-nasty-right-wing-thugs-on-Twitter thing is utter bunk.

Geezer

100% inheritance tax

All your money are belong to us.

Jeff Guinn
Presumably, like so many of her Guardianista peers, Ms Wilkinson would regard objections to her rapacious socialism as constituting greed.

Ms. Wilkinson, in her infinite genius only considered a 100% death tax from the death side, completely ignoring the quite obvious fact that for there to be anything to tax after death requires accumulating it during life.

Sure, implement confiscatory inheritance taxes. I, probably along with all the most productive members of society will then quit working the day they figure our savings will get us through.

Abi, you really, really don't want that.

R. Sherman

Th[e] commitment to D&I [Diversity and Inclusion] is all too often treated as a self-evident truth that none should be allowed to question in public discourse. But this new consensus for D&I, if left unchallenged, has an unintended consequence: unthinking intellectual rigidity, a malaise that all successful institutions must guard against.

Richard Epstein in The Diversity Fundamentalists.

David

[ Deletes duplicate comment. Resumes wiping bar, whistling absently. ]

Penseivat

In the 60's and 70's East Berlin, if the owner of a small business, and there were still a few, died, his family were given the first refusal to buy that business back from the State. Just think, and worry, if Corbyn ever became Prime Minister.

Geezer

... there needs to be a concerted effort, on a broad front, to educate the masses against this nonsense.

Blaze the trail, bro. Here in the Guild of Evil™ Lodge Hall, most of us sing in the same choir. You must preach the word among the unwashed. But you must remember this:

You can lead a nitwit to education, but you cannot make him learn.

WTP

Blaze the trail, bro. Here in the Guild of Evil™ Lodge Hall, most of us sing in the same choir.

Yeah, I been blazing the trail, given what limited resources that I have. The problem is it gets kinda lonely out here. I only preach to the choir here because...well, it needs to be a concerted effort. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.

If others who know better are not doing so, people like me are more likely to be ignored as "that guy". If just some of the money wasted on "think" tanks and position papers and other BS only read by egg heads, wonks, and other elitist wastes of oxygen were redirected to more of an education of the masses to explain the basics of economics, it would be money much better spent in my not so humble opinion. The only economist most people can name is Karl Marx. Such is the world outside the bubble and no amount of logic or right-thinking inside the bubble is going to change that. Teach people the fundamentals and they will make better decisions for themselves. I never hear people on conservative blogs discuss this. I have brought it up on several occasions on other blogs only to be snidely dismissed as patting myself on the back or other nasty retorts. There's some real nasty conservatism out there when you get in the weeds. Definitely not here, I must say.

WTP

Ah...and meant to add...
You can lead a nitwit to education, but you cannot make him learn.

But no one is trying to educate them. It's mostly derisive, dismissive attitudes like this. The thing I learn from talking to a lot of "smart" people and a few "dumb" ones is how much they have in common in not getting outside their bubbles.

Theophrastus

If you implement a 100% inheritance tax, people will simply transfer their assets to their children in their lifetimes. So the next step would be to ban lifetime gifts as well. At which point the institution of private property has all but been abolished.

Theophrastus

Killer marmot

Two other idiocies to add to your list:

Race is solely a social construct, with no basis in biology.

And:

Diversity is our strength/makes us stronger.

Geezer

Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.

I sometimes slum on the comics page, where many who covet congregate. All I try to do is leave a short thought. They lack the patience to have their covetousness challenged more than that. They think it's a virtue, rather than a sin.

Acksiom

Alas, WTP, IME internet commenters are poor candidates for activation.

Also, you're regrettably sliding towards redistributionism. "If just some of the money wasted. . .were redirected to more of an education of the masses. . . ." No, thank you. Yes, yes, I know you didn't say the State should do it, or even implied the initiation of force to cause it. But that is where the first step on that road leads. No, barmate; if you want the money redirected, you have to build a better mousetrap, or app, or otherwise innovate. You must outcompete the status quo. That is, after all, how we all got here ITFP.

"Teach people the fundamentals and they will make better decisions for themselves." Again, alas, no. Some people will, but probably not the majority. You must make the better decisions more appealing in more ways than just education.

Hippogryph

Regarding the 100% inheritance tax.

Another aspect of this is the impact on a family owned business. Even putting aside the likely limits on lifetime gifts Theophrastus mentions above (which would be inevitable), imagine if the founder of a closely held family business happens to die unexpectedly.

The ownership of that business would be part of the estate, of course, and all the founder's ownership interests would be confiscated and sold off to the highest bidder to provide cash to the government. Now, most likely, the new owners (probably some big public company specializing in buying controlling interests of such companies at auction) will bring in new management. So, not only do the children lost out on an inheritance of cash and other goods, they also end up unemployed and their careers suddenly on the rocks.

The broader result would be that many small and medium businesses could not last more than a generation.

And all of this is certainly intended.

dicentra

It's frequently the case that when the children inherit the family farm or the family business they're unable to pay the inheritance tax without liquidating the asset.

Which is then snatched up by a poor family from Vietnam, who becomes wildly successful and sends enormous remittances back home, thus propping up the economy of an entire village.

HA! You peeked! It's actually sold to a conglomerate, because they're the only ones who can offer a good price on the asset. Thereby rendering the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Sort-of-Mad Max

"It's actually sold to a conglomerate"

And the name of that conglomerate, often enough in the US, is Berkshire Hathaway; CEO being one Warren Buffett.

Yes, the kindly old granpa type revered and lauded by people like Barack Obama is a rapacious tomb raider, profiting off of other people's death and misery.

But he publicly calls for higher taxes on the rich, which makes him Saint Warren to the redistributive crowd.

It's nice work if you can get it.

David

Ms Wilkinson is currently flattering herself and blaming sexism for the blowback to her fantasies of state confiscation. It’s because she’s a “young woman daring to write this sort of thing.”

You see, if you endorse spiteful and totalitarian ideas, and then the people on whom these ideas would be inflicted say mean things to you on the internet, this is all terribly unfair, and not at all your fault for having spiteful and totalitarian inclinations and wanting to expropriate their life’s savings.

David

Or, put another way:

“Attention, comrades. I want the state, which is flawless and glorious, to confiscate your belongings and significantly degrade the life chances of your children, for whom you shouldn’t much care, compared to other, random children, because fairness.”

[ Rumbling and mockery ensues. ]

“Why are you being so mean to me? It’s because I’m a woman, isn’t it? A brave and daring woman with brilliant ideas…”

Not, I think, an entirely unfair summary.

Black Ball

Is Ms Wilkinson a Nazi? After all, they did rip gold fillings from the mouths of Jews before they were gassed. Along with the thefts of expensive art. Of course she would comply with her own thinking with her kids and granchildren around her to leave all of her things to the State. Wouldn't she?

fnord

till, those who support sin taxes as a means of encouraging people to be more virtuous can't/won't make the connection that taxing human production has an adverse impact on the amount of what's

====
Since they are Socialists they are, ipso facto, too stipid to understand this, and even if by some miracle they achieve understanding they are too dishonest to admit it.

Socialism is, at heart, the politics of envy and hatred.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Related Utopian thinking.

Of course, by "Utopian", I mean abjectly idiotically clueless and basically totalitarian, all the worse because it was written by a Danish MP.

Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better

It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us in this city. Everything you considered a product, has now become a service. We have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much...

In our city we don't pay any rent, because someone else is using our free space whenever we do not need it. My living room is used for business meetings when I am not there...

This also made the breakthrough of the circular economy easier. When products are turned into services, no one has an interest in things with a short life span...

Shopping? I can't really remember what that is. For most of us, it has been turned into choosing things to use. Sometimes I find this fun, and sometimes I just want the algorithm to do it for me...

Once in awhile I get annoyed about the fact that I have no real privacy. No where I can go and not be registered. I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of is recorded. I just hope that nobody will use it against me...

Yeah, good luck with that last one, LUH 3417.

Read the whole thing, it is gobsmackingly puerile, no where is it addressed where all the robots, AI, food, clothes, and whatnot come from. What is appalling is that so much of the left actually wants to live forever as children with some all controlling government as parents.

Liz

“Attention, comrades. I want the state, which is flawless and glorious, to confiscate your belongings and significantly degrade the life chances of your children, for whom you shouldn’t much care, compared to other, random children, because fairness.”

That.

David

That.

This homogenising fantasy, in which normative family bonds are disdained, is a recurring theme in leftist posturing, and a telling one. See the links in my earlier comments, and also this small compendium of examples:

Echoes of this attitude – that your children shouldn’t be privileged in your affections above the children of others - can be found in the pages of the left’s national newspaper. As, for instance, when Arabella Weir insisted that parents must make sacrifices - not for their own children, of course, which would be selfish and irresponsible – but of their own children. For the Greater Good. Children, see, must learn “who to be wary of, who to avoid, how to keep their heads down” by mingling conspicuously with “people of different abilities” and “local roughs,” including local roughs who see bookish children as prey. By Ms Weir’s thinking, if you had a grim and frustrating experience at a state comprehensive school, you should still want to inflict that same experience on your own offspring. Ideally, by sending them to a disreputable school with poor educational standards, demoralised teachers and lots of people for whom English is at best a second language. This, then, is what makes “a good, responsible citizen.”

And of course there’s this equally revealing item, in which Marxist philosopher Adam Swift insists that:

Parents reading their children bedtime stories… are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children.

Because caring, functional parents who make sacrifices for their children have something to atone and apologise for. Having done the best they can for their children and having given them opportunities, they have sinned against “social justice.”

T’aint just wrong. It’s pathological.

WTP

Also, you're regrettably sliding towards redistributionism. "If just some of the money wasted. . .were redirected to more of an education of the masses. . . ." No, thank you. Yes, yes, I know you didn't say the State should do it, or even implied the initiation of force to cause it. But that is where the first step on that road leads.

FFS...No. You mischaracterize what I say and then try to cover yourself by saying I you know I didn't say it but then say I was really saying what you just said I didn't really say. Or something like that. WTF. It's like lefty logic. My point is that money dumped into political campaigns and think tanks, clowns like David Kahane ,etc., with the desire to shove ideas at people would be better spent laying a foundation in which such ideas would be more readily received. Prager University seems to be moving in that direction but I haven't looked too much into it. Something I am looking to explore when I have more time.

As for Again, alas, no. Some people will, but probably not the majority. You must make the better decisions more appealing in more ways than just education. . Exactly how do you make "better decisions more appealing"? More laws, more think tanks on how to think more about thinking? Please, let me know 'cause I'm a little dense on how that happens without subsidies and other wastes of public funds. Forgive me if I mischaracterized..

WTP

A quibble but...
because they're the only ones who can offer a good price on the asset. Thereby rendering the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Well, if a good price was offered on the asset, no one is richer nor anyone else poorer. An asset was converted into cash, which is itself an asset unless it is not converted into something else before inflation eats away at it. And of course the tax, which was what forced the sale in the first place. While I do not support this sort of extreme taxation of inheritance, and it's a folly on the part of the government anyway in that as noted elsewhere the ways around it are numerous, in some cases the damage is worse when the money is left to children with massive guilt trips who go on to Hahvahd and Yale. They then turn around and use their inheritance to promote Marxism to assuage their guilt.

Also, I'm curious about these situations where the $20 million family farm must be sold to pay the taxes. Seems there should be other options in most cases like mortgaging enough to pay the tax. Something doesn't seem to add up in some of these stories. Again, not saying it's right, just questioning the problem solving skills of some people born into wealth.

R. Sherman

Well, if a good price was offered on the asset, no one is richer nor anyone else poorer.

Actually, both are richer, by definition, as each as parted with something he valued less in exchange for something he valued more.

But therein, lies the rub in the context of sales of assets because of inheritance taxes. The sales are not arms-length, voluntary transactions but rather are occasioned by distress incurred by a government policy.

Regarding the $20 million family farm situation, there are precious few of those. Twenty million is major agri-corp territory. However, going back to the '80s, pre-Reagan, there were many smaller farms, i.e. 200-600 acres which wound up being sold for taxes. Mortgages for the heirs weren't feasible because the return on the land was not sufficient to pay the debt. Remember, these were the glory days of Jimmy Carter's double-digit interest rates.

WTP

each as parted with something he valued less in exchange for something he valued more.

Yes, agree. Though assuming the selling party didn't really want to sell (as you point out also) and the possibility that one or the other party has miscalculated. Generally each side in a transaction likes to believe they are getting a "deal" of some sort that will make up for the exchange. But given that the return is in the uncertain future...and yes it is possible (probable?) that both parties could well be better off for the exchange...well, this is all again a bit of a quibble. I confess to knee-jerk overreactions to certain popular economic "truisms" regarding rich getting richer and poor getting poorer. Also, as you maybe can tell, work has slowed down for no damn good reason and I'm bored and a bit irritated...but I digress...

As for $20 mil, well I grabbed a big number out of my hat, admitting ignorance on these issues. Yes, I do recall back in the 80's that this was definitely a problem. But there were resulting changes such that a certain amount is exempt...when I wrote that I thought it was $1 million but I now just looked up and it's more like $5 million per individual today...assuming the first Google hit can be trusted. So there really shouldn't be much of an issue today except for the very high net worth estate, which can afford the lawyers to work around the problem. It's all make-work for lawyers at this point, I suppose. The bassturds.

Of course we're talking in the context of the US. I have no idea what our cousins across the pond have to deal with. Well, aside from being too close to France.

R. Sherman

@WTP,

I mentioned up thread that Reagan changed the tax code re: Estate & Gift Taxes when I was in law school. The exemptions have risen since then and the problem is much less acute now than it was thirty years ago. Until the 1985 Tax Code, the estate tax impacted virtually everyone. If I remember correctly, it started taking a cut at $60,000 and went up from there. Post Reagan and the subsequent increases in exemptions, the impact has significantly decreased. I can't remember when I last had an estate tax return with a tax due.

Sporkatus
I can't remember when I last had an estate tax return with a tax due.
The obvious explanation for this sentence is that your previous sentence of being in law school marks you as a lawyer. However, I find the other two explanations for filing multiple estate tax returns funnier:

*Have died multiple times, and risen from the grave

*Have killed off multiple relatives for the cash

I will now, using the impeccable journalistic standards of modern media, choose to believe that you are Dracula McUncledrowner.

R. Sherman

@Spork

You forgot:

*Files fake estate tax returns as a hobby.

Sporkatus

@R. Sherman Dracula McUncledrowner, Esq.

True. That merits an "Esq."

Acksiom

And my point in return is that State redistributionism by force is where "money. . .would be better spent. . . ." eventually leads. I was correctly characterizing yours; my point wouldn't exist without understanding it. For my point to make sense, I had to have done so.

Let me put it this way: whose money are you talking about? Anyone but yours? In which case, what is the advantage to these other people to let you decide where their money goes? Are you going to talk them into it? From what you yourself say about the reactions to your previous attempts, it seems less than likely.

As for Prager, I give you Brad Willcuck's http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/19/the-divorce-revolution-has-bred-an-army-of-woman-haters/ .

I can see what direction Prager University is moving in, and I want none of it. Because of increasing general wealth, men are increasingly able to demand a rise in their compensation from their communities, and just as with women, likewise passing on getting involved in them without sufficient support and rewards. It doesn't matter how good a wife and mother a 6+ woman might make if all the available communities on the other side of the marriage, or other social contracts, from both him and her, are all the equivalent of abusive, thieving, cheating, scrofulent butt-fugly triple-bagger 3s or lower.

Rather than increase their compensation to men, communities are choosing to double down on the shaming and blaming in order to make men lower their prices for their involvement, which only drives more and more men out of the system, to the point that it decreases their contribution overall. Men are increasingly able to refuse social contracts with the community equivalents of an ugly, fat, and abusive femelitists, and they're doing it.

As to how to make better decisions more appealing, again, if you want the money redirected, you have to build a better mousetrap, or app, or otherwise innovate. You must outcompete the status quo. That is, after all, how we all got here ITFP. Build better mousetraps, better apps, and so on. The increasing disintermediation of medical health analysis is one example. Blockchain currency is another. Identifying and measuring the metrics needed for men to start rating their communities on a 1-10 scale, like women, for marriage and other social contracts is a third. I just came up with that simplification of the situation a couple of days ago. I'm not saying it's The Killer App, but I hope you can agree that one usually has to try out a lot of new ideas and innovations just to find one or two that succeed well enough.

In short, just as with men and their communities, you must offer the people with the money you want redirected a better deal in exchange for it. And if that isn't your mod-op, well. . .what have you got left besides State force? Which is why calls to redirect other people's money eventually lead there.

You must outcompete the status quo to replace it. The only alternative, as far as we know, is State force.

MarinaZ

Abi's begging on the internet. Does she have to pay taxes on these "donations"?
https://www.patreon.com/AbiWilks

Geezer

The only alternative, as far as we know, is State force.

Sometimes, it is difficult to distinguish between parody and reality.

WTP

Geezer, I take it you read all of that? I only got as far as the end of the first paragraph. In the interest of human decency and compassion, since you have already subjected yourself to the sufferings (think of it like chicken pox...or small pox...well, any virus really), can you provide a brief summary? I'll toss a few farthings into David's tip box, so think of yourself doing it for the Guild if that will work for you.

Acksiom

Yes, I should have said violence in general, rather than State force in particular. On the evidence, though, WTP's snide dismissal and nasty retorts elsewhere now appear to be more about reciprocation than martyrdom.

Geezer

can you provide a brief summary?

Sorry, Brother, all I can provide is advice: Don't feed it.

Dr. Toboggan

Apparently a job in British academia ain't what it was.

(I must admit, though, I have trouble sympathising. Apparently being able to afford a mere "ex-council flat" in Edinburgh is an indignity that shouldn't be suffered by a "Doctor of Musical Arts". From Stanford, don'tcherknow.

Meanwhile, here I am, walking nine miles through the snow just to get to work.)

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Apparently a job in British academia ain't what it was.

October this year I’ll be the new Professor of Electronic Composition at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Germany.

Yes, back to academia for our poor put upon Doctor of Musicness, because I am guessing the horrid 55 hour week has much better hours, pay and perks than being an actual working musician, as I am also guessing he is not the second coming of Ellington.

David

Socialist compassion.

One of the ironies being that our Marxoid hustler, who claims to be opposed to “unearned” income, and to people leaving their loved ones parting gifts, also wants the state to confiscate even more of other people’s money, including their life’s savings, and then give it to strangers who most definitely didn’t earn it. “To each according to their need,” says she.

Theophrastus

And a further update via Guido:

https://order-order.com/2017/07/27/abi-exempts-herself-from-100-inheritance-tax/

David

‘Give me your stuff.’
‘Mine doesn’t count.’
‘It’s never my fault.’

The three pillars of leftism.

Nikw211

‘Give me your stuff.’

'How could we cope if capitalism failed?'

The answer may amuse.

Duncan Donuts

Scientist, author and lefty Trump-hater Richard Dawkins gets no-platformed for 'insulting islam'. Cue Alanis Morissette.

Huh? When has Dawkins ever called for someone to be "no-platformed"?

Dr. Toboggan

Folkwang University

Wait, did I get trolled?

R. Sherman

"The answer may amuse."

Bravely steal somebody else's shit? Or, am I being unkind?

WTP

Dr. Toboggan's academia link pretty much sums up what is wrong with our academic institutions and why it will be damn near impossible to fix them. The obtuseness is quite stunning. And there's no fixing it because attempts to do so are dismissed as ignorance. The academic world to me very much resembles the church. You can't criticize it, even for its own good. It so much reminds me of a discussion I had in my (slightly) more bellicose youth with the pastor from our church. Any attempt to get a point across causes the defense shields to go up. Accusations of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. As if the baby isn't sitting in filth and maybe someone should consider at least throwing out the bathwater. Consequently charlatans and sociopaths and child molesters and such are drawn to institutions that cannot be criticized. Nice safe haven for them to wreck havoc on the very institutions they are trying to defend.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Wait, did I get trolled?

No.

The university also has seven in-house vocal and instrumental ensembles as well as a highly professionally equipped sound studio and the cross-faculty ‘ICEM’ (Institute for Computer Music and Electronic Media).

ICEM, eh ? Now is the time on Sprockets ven ve dance.

David

The answer may amuse.

“The purest equality possible.” I’m sure the air of religious hagiography is entirely coincidental.

Darleen

Bravely steal somebody else's shit?

Not unkind, just stating the facts.

Funny how the author firmly believes the factory, equipment, chemicals, offices with furniture, etc, all was just growing in the local fields, wild-like.

And note that the 26 'workers' divvying up their chores for the day are producing nothing more complex than SOAP ... something that can be made in one's own kitchen.

. From the roof of the building, you can see the huge site owned by the parent company. It used to employ about 350 people; now the 26 men and women operate out of one small corner of the lot.

Jeremiah 5:21

bgates

I think from each according to their ability to each according to their need is a good maxim,

says Abi, though I'm sure she'd admit it's lacking a few verbs. Let's remedy that:

Take from each according to their ability; give to each according to their need

Better, but that does make it clear that we've glossed over who's doing the giving and taking. That would be the government of course; since in the Marxist view we're all the government, I'll go ahead and speak for it:

I'll take from each according to their ability; I'll give to each according to their need

That clarifies who's doing what to whom, but there's something fuzzy about all this "ability" and "need" business. Those will have to be determined for everyone, and who will do the determining - why, the government again. And since I've taken on that role already, here's the final meaning underlying Marxism's famous maxim:

I'll take whatever I choose from everyone; I'll give whatever I choose to anyone.

That's what it means. That's what it has always meant.

David

I’ll take whatever I choose from everyone;

See also the morally exalted Laurie Penny, who wishes to self-determine how much of other people’s earnings should be distributed her way.

R. Sherman

See also the morally exalted Laurie Penny. . .

Every time you self-reference, you send me down a two hour rabbit hole of comments, further links, further self-reference ad infinitum. Damn you. Damn you to hell.

David

Every time you self-reference, you send me down a two hour rabbit hole of comments, further links, further self-reference ad infinitum.

And you’re just getting this now?

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

who wishes to self-determine how much of other people’s earnings should be distributed her way.

With distribution of wealth being based on self-determined needs, people would be free to engage in whatever activities they found most fulfilling and would no longer have to engage in work for which they have neither the temperament nor the aptitude.

So - as she has neither the temperament nor aptitude for actual journalism, if this meant Miss Penny would stop writing it is a win for humanity, and as my self-determined needs are a fully restored AH-1S with all the fuel and maintenance needed so I can travel from my needed 1600 acre retreat to airshows on somebody elses' dime, by George, I am for this anarcho-communist thing.

Theophrastus

The barman should slide a small bowl of nuts down the bar to the first person to shout 'parasite' whenever Laurie Penny is mentioned.

dicentra

I'll take whatever I choose from everyone; I'll give whatever I choose to anyone.

Or in other words: Need is an asset; ability is a liability.

Makes the perverse incentives more clear.

Richard Cranium

The barman should slide a small bowl of nuts down the bar to the first person to shout 'parasite' whenever Laurie Penny is mentioned.

Parasite! (for your mention)
Parasite! (for my quote above)

PiperPaul

"...each according to...

In such a system it becomes advantageous to feign inability unless you want to be the one assigned all the work, leading to even more incompetence. Then again, widgets get designed and made much faster if you're prodded with a gun barrel. I suppose.

Theophrastus

More socialist spite from Abi Wilkinson:

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/health/2017/07/no-time-civility-towards-republicans-even-john-mccain

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

More socialist spite from Abi Wilkinson:

Trying to find a factual statement in that mess is like trying to find a yeti in the Everglades.

They consider this justifiable because it will enable them to cut taxes for the rich. This might sound like an over simplistic or hyperbolic assertion...

Well, that would be because it, and damn near everything in that boilerplate leftist rant, is, e.g., "Repeatedly, people have been forced to phone their elected representatives and beg for their lives."

It would be an easy day to fisk that mess line by line beginning with the obvious fact that health insurance does not equal health care, and no one is denied the latter, though one might just not be able to get it on someone else's dime.

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