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Conservative Arguments for Inheritance Reform

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While Republicans are generally staunch defenders of inheritance, a consistent and principled conservative would want to reform the legal aspects of inheritance—perhaps even radically. While this might seem an absurd claim, bear with me as I advance the arguments. These arguments are based on professed conservative principles regarding what I will broadly call welfare—support provided by the state in the form of such things as unemployment, food stamps and so on. The use of the term “welfare” is something of a sloppy, but necessary shorthand. There is no official government program called “welfare.” Rather, it is a vague term used to collect a wide range of programs and policies. However, they do all have in common that people are provided with resources from the public. Now on to the conservative arguments against inheritance. In April, 2020 Senator Lindsey Graham argued that public financial relief for the coronavirus would incentivize workers to leave their jobs.  While making this sort of argument during a pandemic was a new twist, it is a stock argument advanced against welfare. Rod Blum, a Republican representative from Iowa, said “Sometimes we need to force people to go to work. There will be no excuses for anyone who can work to sit at home and not work.” Donald Trump, whose fortune was built on inheritance, has said that “The person who is not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better than the person that’s working his and her ass off.” While this might sound like description of Trump, it is apparently his criticism of welfare. In general terms, the conservative argument is that if a person receives welfare, then they would not have an incentive to work. Since this is bad, welfare should be restricted or perhaps even eliminated. Conservatives also advance similar utilitarian arguments against welfare, arguing that it is bad because of the harms. In addition to allegedly destroying the incentive to work, it. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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