Questions to tackle
Here are some of the questions we would like to reflect upon, research, analyse and ultimately come up with a set of policy proposals aiming for a more liberal and just approach to inheritance than we have right now.
- Can it be right that some people are born (or equipped during the course of their life) with substantial ‘unearned’ wealth while others don’t?
- Are meritocracy and inheritance mutually exclusive? You can’t have both?
- In the inheritance debate, does the perspective (giving vs. receiving party) matter?
- Should not the perspective of the receiving party be the most determining?
- Can a dead person still have rights (e.g. over their property and what is to be done with it)?
- What is the economics around inheritance?
- Are people only working hard and saving to inherit and would stop without inheritance?
- Would reduced working and saving be a good or bad thing in a 21st century, degrowth-informed society?
- What about family businesses: Wouldn’t long tax deferrals allow family businesses to be taken over by a family member despite 100% inheritance tax? Effectually: buying back the business from the state, as anyone else could?
- Is offspring of family business owners usually the best available candidate for taking over the business?
- Is there a qualitative difference between “grandma’s small apartment” and a billionaires estate that is inherited which could justify why certain wealth may be passed on from one to another generation?
- If so, where is the boundary or what are the exceptions, and why?
- Lastly: What are the politics, public opinion, media, taboos and other systemic aspects around inheritance?