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How to Destroy a Nation in 2 Generations

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Inheritance 2

QUESTION: I believe you analyzed inheritance and how altering it had contributed to society’s decline. Politicians here in Australia are talking about when you die; everything should go to the state because it is not fair that one person inherits more than another.

I would greatly appreciate any comments you might have historically on that subject.


Inheritance Tax

REPLY: Yes, I forgot when I did that analysis. It was a long time ago. Inheritance Taxes are Marxist and highly destructive economically. Suppose you have a company worth $100 million; your children must pay 40% taxes. They have to fire people and sell assets to cover the tax. This has been HIGHLY destructive in farming. Heirs have been forced to sell off farmland to pay the tax. This is how large farming companies and Bill Gates have accumulated farmland. This exploitation of the heir reduces productivity and thus reduces GDP and employment.

Before Marxism, inheritance became the primary reason the first son inherited everything during the Middle Ages, and the second son was donated to the church to become a priest, whether he liked it or not. In ancient times, if you had many children and evenly divided an estate among them, you effectively destroyed society’s productive capacity.

Charlemagne 11There had previously been two types of marriage in France, temporary and permanent, until the Catholic Church insisted on only permanent marriages. Charlemagne married all his daughters in only a “temporary” marriage, meaning that they possessed no legal right to the throne or property. That was the distinction between the two types. The question of inheritance was a major issue historically.

The ancients knew the consequences of dividing estates (partibility) among heirs. Sparta in Greece rewarded fathers based on the number of children. Sparta wanted soldiers, so the more children, the better. But Sparta undermined its own economy in the process. Production of children was rewarded in Sparta, and the fathers of three or four sons were exempted from military service and other economic burdens. Aristotle is sharply critical of this practice and wrote:

“It is obvious that, if there were many children, the land being distributed as it is, many of them must necessarily fall into poverty.”

If you create a major company like Ford Motors and you die, then the government is only interested in grabbing taxes. They think nothing about the jobs this company creates. The ancients realized that even dividing it up equally among the heirs destroys the productive capacity of the entity. This is why they evolved into the first son who inherited everything to preserve the estate rather than destroy it.

Jefferson Greatest Threat

After 2032, we MUST prohibit any such idea of direct taxation (income/inheritance) as the Founding Fathers of the US Constitution intended. They understood this lesson from the past – Marx was a hateful, jealous person, only concerned with not having as much as his neighbor. This is what has brought us to the brink of disaster. Our government has followed Marx rather than those who created the Constitution out of experience.

Paine on Govt

Thomas Paine was famous for saying: Give me liberty or death. But he also made it very clear why history repeats fro the people refuse to ever learn:

“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worse state, an intolerable one.”