The idea about the 100% inheritance tax is heavily attacked by its critics for being unfair. They maintain that it distorts the will of the parents to give all their resources to their closest relatives after they themselves have passed away. It is said to negate people’s efforts to earn and save money for posterity. But this describes a world where death is final, but what if instead reincarnation were true?
These views reflect quite a finite, materialistic mindset. They present life as a finite process with a definitive ending. If death is indeed the end, those views are understandable – after all the only thing that remains after one’s death are one’s children. Children are one’s extension, one’s way to survive death. So by caring after their offspring and securing them a good financial position in society, people look after the success of their own genes. If children are viewed as the extension of one’s physical body, then inheritance appears to be an attempt to provide for one’s bodily needs even after death.
Everything would change if tomorrow reincarnation was proven beyond any doubt to be a scientific fact.
Reincarnation means that all people are infinitely old, though playing a different role in that particular incarnation – a mother, father, child, sibling. It means that our children are not at all our extensions, but independent beings, as old, spiritually, as we are. It is quite possible that we were their children in a previous incarnation just a couple of decades ago. If it was for sure that we would live after death, then the need to pass on inheritance to the next generation no longer has any meaning. We would look for a new life soon after our death and we would not hope to live our lives through our kids.
In our new lives we would want the best opportunities possible in order to achieve the most. Since reincarnation is more or less a random process, we would want equal opportunities, dispersed across the board. We would not worry about our children’s well-being in a world with equal opportunities. However in the present system there is a very real chance of us being born in a poverty stricken ghetto or a desolate orphanage in a third-world country. As you cannot know where you would be reborn, we could not send money there beforehand. We can of course gamble and send money to random, upstart young families, hoping that they may be our new mummy and daddy, but the chances are so meagre that it would not be worth trying. What will maximise our chances of living a meaningful life is to cover all the options. To make the possibility of getting the most optimal start in life 100%. This will be achieved only through a 100% tax imposed upon the assets of the deceased. It will then be distributed to every newborn person in the way of State funding of education and infrastructure. In this way it would be irrelevant where anyone is reborn, the start would be more or less the same. Under such circumstances, bequeathing assets would not be at all economically efficient.
The losses of choosing to live in a society that allows inheritance could be tremendously greater than those in a society with 100% inheritance tax. In the first case, people choose to play the lottery. But this is a lottery with a lot at stake. A wealthy man can wake up in a new body in a poor family and not be able to achieve even a scintilla of his previous wealth due to the unfavourable circumstances of his birth. Yes, the people who he loved in his previous life would be better off, but the people who he would love in his current life would be miserable. A poor man could of course get reborn into a wealthy family, but let’s look at it realistically – we live under a plutocracy, run by the 1%. What are the chances of one of the 99% of being reborn among the 1%? It is 1%.
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Even the oligarchs should support the 100% inheritance tax because their chances of living a lower standard of life are 99%. It is almost certain when we include reincarnation.
In a nation where the inheritance tax is implemented, everybody would know that after their death, they would have exactly the same chances as everybody else. People won’t worry about their children, since they know that they will rise or fall only due to their own particular talents and merits.
In a universe with reincarnation, everybody has a unique consciousness-center, called the monad by Leibniz. Everybody ultimately looks after themselves. This, paradoxically leads to a more fair society, due to the random nature of the process of reincarnation. By looking after their own happiness throughout a number of incarnations, people ensure that society is run according to the principle of equal social opportunities for everyone.
Simon Vlahov writing for the Apollo Institute of Reason AIR Review©