Cant help it but to comment on this one.
If the hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers are being unemployed by robots it will go wrong.
No workers mean no end consumers of most products made. No work no demand no growth.
You can be a trillionaire but it wont do you any good cause there will be no longer profit.
Sitting on money (hard or otherwise) will not extend the inevitable.
We are also deeply into diminishing returns on some of this technology. I have installed and commissioned glass decking cells that replace two workers per shift at a cost in excess of 1 million USD. I don’t know how they calculate everything but this seems like very marginal ROI to me.
There is also a severe shortage of people that can program and debug automation, driving the salaries very high.
I guess there are two types.
Inheritance tax and ongoing estate tax as a wealth tax.
From the ongoing “wealth tax” I guess the attitude is “I’ve paid for this with money that I’ve already paid taxes on, and then paid more taxes buying stuff, jeeze when will the bloody tax man finally bugger off?”
And inheritance tax. From the dying point of view, they want to preserve as much of the accumulated wealth as possible to pass on to the brats, and not see it sliced up and fed back into the black hole of government spending.
And from the brats’ point of view, they want to receive as much as possible.
I have thought this through a few times, and cannot come up with a “fair” way of dealing with it in all circumstances. For example if a dead factory owner’s estate had to pay taxes on the assets, then it is possible the factory would have to be closed. That would be bad.
But when Soros dies, I don’t have an issue if his estate is taxed 90%. It’s all non-productive paper stuff.
However I do think that assets accumulated during a lifetime should be spent to support the retirement years. I do not agree to paying taxes to allow somebody else to pass their wealth on to the brats. As, indeed, I do not agree to paying taxes so that other people can bring up brats. If you can’t afford the little bastards, you shouldn’t have them.
And I am totally against taxes on beer.
To some degree, estate tax is trying to fix a problem after the fact – ie. people being allowed to accumulate vast sums of money far greater than they could ever spend or make use of. That said, I also think everybody should stand on their own feet and not inherit their way through life.
Machiavelli on Property
Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he
does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well
being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he
abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their
women. But when it is necessary for him to proceed against the life of
someone, he must do it on proper justification and for manifest cause,
but above all things he must keep his hands off the property of others,
because men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss
of their patrimony. Besides, pretexts for taking away the property are
never wanting; for he who has once begun to live by robbery will always
find pretexts for seizing what belongs to others; but reasons for taking
life, on the contrary, are more difficult to find and sooner lapse. But
when a prince is with his army, and has under control a multitude of
soldiers, then it is quite necessary for him to disregard the reputation
of cruelty, for without it he would never hold his army united or
disposed to its duties.
Most people like to think that they will hand on something to their children who then in turn will build upon it. They want to spare their children the need to work as hard as they had to.
You may find that the results of those surveys change if a figure for the size of the estate was given.
One of the subtleties of any tax on the rich is that, if they take the money away from the rich it won’t be long until they have it back again!
I remember a long time ago the idea hit me like an epiphany — even if you give money to the poor they will still end up poor, and if you take the money form the rich they will soon get it back again.Of course people go from being poor to rich and some from rich to poor (those whom have been handed money).
The robot factories are starting to appear. I would take a guess that by 2025 factory workers will be as scarce on the ground as Dockers are today.Technology is going to change everything, Health,Manufacturing,Transport,Energy,(everything) will be taken over by machines. Eventually machines will out-think humans… then what?… my guess is that the masses will retreat into virtual worlds.
Yes, in post Soviet Russia, they gave away all the state owned stuff to the people …………. a few years later …….. 50 oligarchs owned the lot.
That is a prime example.
I have a theory that the rich are educated to be rich and the poor to be poor. Occasionally someone poor will think out of the box and become rich, but it doesn’t happen often.
Eaton college is an example of how the rich are educated to approach the world, basically they are told the world is their oyster and nothing is beyond their achievement. The poor are told they are destined to work until they retire and to accept their ‘lot’.
So what the truly rich should fear is not tax and attempts at reasonable redistribution, but a breakdown in social order and collapse. Turchin (Cliodynamics) believes that the USA is entering a period of violent political unrest.
Some interesting concepts like ‘elite over production’ ie too many well educated and not enough prospects:- can lead to problems.
However we could well be at a period akin to Europe in the late 5th Century. A period of steady decline where short sighted vested interests prevent needed change.
The rich don’t really fear anything, if society breaks down they will take over as the new leaders… self appointed of course.
The problem is the poor like to be led, they love rules, punishments and being oppressed. They are always looking up for guidance.
I don’t put much confidence in the type of prediction described by Turchin. Human systems are way too complicated to be cyclic to any reliable degree of repeatability.
Society will be forced to change in the near term future. My guess would be a decline in materialism and a rise in experience-ism. Intellectual Property will be the big thing.
Poorer people are generally pro social contract ( exception being the poor that are lead to believe that Ayn Rand & her ilk are their saviours). The rich are, for obvious reasons, less reliant on social contract.
Every work must be robotized. Then people just can do what they like to do. When everything is robotized then the products are being made automatically and everybody do not have to work anymore. They will get the products for free.
Then one does not have the need for “bosses” and “employees”. It is the natural cause of things, progress in technology will go on and on, and will give everybody more wealth.
”They will get the products for free”
I would like to think this would happen, although I doubt it as it entails humans been equal… and there is one thing about humans is that they hate to be equal.
Perhaps the masses think estate taxes are unfair because they are answering the question from their point of view – i.e. ‘are estate taxes on ME fair?’, not ‘are estate taxes as a general concept fair?’. Obviously most people will think estate taxes on THEM are unfair as their estate belongs to them. I dont think the redistribution of wealth aspect actually comes into most people’s thinking.
My guess on the estate tax resistance….it violates the territorial imperative….no one is going to give away territory (economic or otherwise) that was “hard won” and destined to be passed along familial or tribal lines.