Inheritance & Welfare

Embed from Getty Images In general, conservatives tend to oppose welfare and similar sorts of social programs. They also tend to be protective of inheritance—for example, they refer to the tax on
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Embed from Getty Images In general, conservatives tend to oppose welfare and similar sorts of social programs. They also tend to be protective of inheritance—for example, they refer to the tax on inheritance with the dysphemism “death tax” and have endeavored to battle this tax. While these positions might seem compatible, a strong case can be made that the arguments against social programs would also apply as strong criticisms of inheritance. One stock criticism of programs like welfare is that receiving something without earning it is intrinsically wrong. People should, the reasoning goes, earn what they receive. This is often the logic behind proposals to make people work to receive social support. On the face of it, inheritance would seem the same as unearned social support: a person just receives whatever is left to her. If receiving something without earning it is wrong, this would make inheritance wrong. A sensible objection is that people sometimes do earn what they. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

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