Argument: Unfair to over-tax individuals for building nest egg
- Debate: Estate tax in the United States - con argument.
Harvard Economist Greg Mankiw. November 4th, 2003: "Consider the story of twin brothers – Spendthrift Sam and Frugal Frank. Each starts a dot-com after college and sells the business a few years later, accumulating a $10 million nest egg. Sam then lives the high life, enjoying expensive vacations and throwing lavish parties. Frank, meanwhile, lives more modestly. He keeps his fortune invested in the economy, where it finances capital accumulation, new technologies, and economic growth. He wants to leave most of his money to his children, grandchildren, nephews, and nieces. Now ask yourself: Which millionaire should pay higher taxes?... What principle of social justice says that Frank should be penalized for his frugality? None that I know of."
LaCrosse Tribune 11/26/06: "Why would a fair tax system penalize someone for self-sacrificing behavior intended to make their children and grandchildren better off? Why are we penalizing those who live frugally and through their frugal behavior are laying the seeds of economic growth for the rest of us to enjoy? Not only should we not discourage that behavior, we should probably do more to encourage it."