Endless Curiosity

October 10, 2009

Backlash against inherited wealth

Filed under: Economics, Politics, Republicans — Alec @ 7:30 am

With unemployment so high and the dreams of many people crushed, I wonder if there will ever be a populist backlash against inherited wealth.

After all, people who inherit money and stop working tend to vote Republican. Taxes become their big focus. Don’t let the government take my money, forgetting that it’s not really their money – they were given it.

On the one hand we have people whose lives and families are being devastated by the loss of income, health insurance, and homes. On the other hand we have people who may be worrying about their portfolios, but who have no worries about security, health, or homes, and who probably vote for the party that causes the devastation to the first group.

There are no signs of a backlash now, but who knows what will happen if unemployment and uncertainty continue for years. Which puts the Republicans in an interesting place:  support Obama’s job recovery policies, thus helping the Democrats electorally, or work to defeat Obama and help the Republicans electorally, and at the same time prevent a job recovery.

Note for those who believe that if parents want to leave their hard-earned (or inherited) money to their children, they should be allowed to. After all, if you earned your money, you should be allowed to spend it as you like, including leaving it to your children. Well, not exactly. Society has decided that you should not be allowed to spend your hard-earned money on things that harm society. Thus you can’t spend your money on slaves, on child pornography, on prostitutes (in most states), on heroin, or on Stinger missiles, to name but a few things. Society could easily decide that inheriting money hurts society because the Devil makes work for idle hands.

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