Speaking of which, f**k the small businessman.Okay, so that little snippet (which I've cleaned up for family viewing) isn't the entire text of his post, but the rest is hardly more cogent. Yglesias essentially argues that someone who inherits a business should pay income tax on the value of that business, because, hey, that's just what you do when you inherit a business:
I might be an earnest, hardworking dude who works in the store. And somebody might die and give the store to me. The store may be worth millions and millions of dollars. If so, I ought to pay tax on it. Why? Because I've just inherited millions and millions of dollars, that's why.On the basis of the above rhetoric, Yglesias is ready to become a father. When his future kids ask why they can't do something, he'll be able to tell them, "Because I said so, that's why."
The irredeemably curious among us, however, are still wondering why the government should tax the same money once when someone earns it, and then once again when he gives it to his children. "You took your bite out of my earnings, Uncle Sam," I'm inclined to think, "and now the rest of it is mine to do with as I please." For many people, that includes giving it to their children.
To say that such money is now "new" income to the child, not the same "old" income earned by the parent, is not only to engage in semantics, it is to say, ultimately, that no one ever really owns anything outright. Letting the taxman hover inside the family home, ready to seize his share of any lucre that changes hands, undermines the property rights that form the framework of our society.