Death and Taxes
Death and Taxes not only presents the economics of taxation, especially
estate taxation, but also provides the reader with intelligent advice.
When productive capital is forced to seek escape from death duties, there
are pernicious effects even before the death occurs. Capital subject to
future death duties tends to be reassigned from more productive uses to
less productive ones, or perhaps is consumed entirely. Confiscatory estate
taxation levied over half a century, according to the author, is imparting
a new mentality that prefers conspicuous consumption to labor and thrift.
The tax consumes productive capital and lowers labor productivity and
wages. Instead of reducing economic inequality, death duties tend to increase
the inequalities. This is why owners of productive wealth have a moral
obligation to plan their estates to safeguard family wealth.
Paperback (pp. 105)