Over the weekend, I came up with a new rule for Monopoly:

Each game starts where the last left off. 

If your opponent had all the money and all the hotels at the end of the last game, he or she starts with all the money and all the hotels at the start of the next game.

That, in a nutshell, is how opponents of the estate tax think a civilized society should be organized.

Others of us — while not favoring the Monopoly model, where all your property gets thrown back into the pot — think a middle ground makes sense:

Lots of incentive to get rich, lots of incentive to give to charity, lots of room to give your kids and grandkids a giant leg up as a reward for your efforts . . . but, along with all that, a chunk of your wealth when you die.

None of your first $10 million, say . . . but then perhaps half?   And three-quarters above $1 billion?

Currently, loopholes allow the rich to avoid estate taxes.

Should the rules of the game be righted?

No one likes paying taxes; but to me it seems the least painful time to pay them is after you’re dead.



One reason this should be on our minds is the need to pay for at least some* of the infrastructure revitalization now being debated.  Which, it should be noted — though large — may not be large enough.  (See, from MIT: The $1 trillion infrastructure bill is a baby step toward the US grid we need.)



Have a great week!

 


*It’s okay to borrow to fund projects that will last 50 or 100 years, just as it’s okay to borrow to buy a house; but down payments are a good idea, too.

 

 

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