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Another Way the Rich Get Richer: Their Parents Give Them Obscene Amounts of Money Nearly Tax-Free



For more detailed information, I recommend Piketty's [damn you autocorrect-now stay this time] Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It goes into detail on how this intergenerational accumulation of wealth steals from society at large--at least until the guillotines are sharpened.


When you remove the labels and the titles of nobility used throughout history, this self same process of passing on most of the wealth to a select few to inherit is what became known to us as feudalism. For them it was land (and the serfs that came bound to it) while for us it is capital and a paid (such as it is) labor force that comes with it but nevertheless it was all inherited wealth eventually.

Imagine say 10 billion dollars of wealth passed on into perpetuity generating more wealth and then that is then added in to the total continuously. Eventually virtually all the wealth is concentrated into the hands of a few and the scramble for sheer survival at the bottom forces even free men to sign themselves into serfdom merely to guarantee that they have shelter and food (such as it was).

The names may change but the process is virtually much the same. BTW in most eras the nobility paid little or no taxes but yes the serfs always did whether in labor or produce.

All I know is that I ain't saying Sire or M'Lord to nobody. (Well maybe just once to my wife's divorce lawyer but it didn't work anyway!)


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Wooo boy! $65K for 10 minutes at a podium, and momma gets $275K for say 50 minutes at a podium - talk about money for nothin!

The amazing thing is that as a munchkin-level federal government employee, I am prohibited from receiving money or getting paid by anyone where there would be any appearance of a conflict of interest - even just a lunch while at a site I'm inspecting in many cases. Also, I an limited as to where I can work (projects/employers) if I leave federal employment for the private sector.

How do these politicians - who are on the federal payroll too, do it?


Consider where much of this inherited wealth originated - the slave trade. And no, I'm not talking about Southern plantation owners, I'm talking about the Northern families whose wealth originates in the slave trade. Much of that wealth was then rolled over in the opium trade.

Consider the Forbes family's wealth. Ralph Bennet Forbes married Margaret Perkins, sister of the three slave trading brothers James, Thomas Handasyd and Samuel Perkins. Thomas' wealth alone surpassed $3 million at the time of his death in 1854 (approximately 1/1116 of US GNP - thus approximately equal to $15 billion today). All three of Ralph Bennet Forbes' & Margaret Perkins' sons engaged in the Perkins families' Turkey to China opium trade, second only to the British East India Company in volume. And that's where the Forbes (and Perkins) family's wealth originates.

How many other "respectable" Northern families accumulated vast fortunes in the slave trade?

So, for instance, when reparations for African slave labor in the Americas is discussed, I advocate the families (and their heirs) who profitted from that labor should bear the cost of those reparations, not the rest of us.


It may come as a shock to many that Medicare for all and free college educations are a big component of what reparations are about achieving parity for those who ancestors were slaves. I don't know why it is okay to claim all whites should pay reparations because my ancestors were uneducated and starving peasants who were little better than serfs in Europe and had never had anything to do with slavery including their own.

Nevertheless it amazes me that the reparations meme was trotted out to hurt Bernie who was advocating helping the minority poor the most of any candidate and yet it was never pursued after it damaged Bernie's rep with the black community. He marched alongside MLK in civil rights marches yet Hillary's background shows her sitting on the board of Walmart for five years and her and her husband creating the crime bill and the crack/coke discrepancy prison time, three strikes etc prison industrial complex system.

I think some people were played by the manipulations of a status quo who knew how to press the right buttons and were cynical enough to do so. In short I think black people's were betrayed by their leaders and the status quo Dems into supporting the candidate who didn't advocate free college (imagine the benefits to poor black families a free college education would mean to future generations? Amazing that it was discarded for what reason? We are never told that reason. And who says the minimum wage should be kept lower. Is this for real?

Some people who helped keep Bernie from getting the support a civil rights activist should have earned in the black community should remind themselves of the harm they have done to their fellows and the poor. Being able to afford a college education is very much a big part of what keeps poor people poor over generations. Some people should be ashamed that they have sided with the oligarchy instead of those who fought for the poor regardless of race and did for the sake of justice.


"FUN FACT: The wealthiest ten percent of Americans takes home about half of all income. The richest 0.1 percent holds 22 percent of the country’s wealth."

Another fun fact: The wealthiest ten percent of Americans pay about 78% of all federal income taxes. The richest 0.1% pay 17% of all federal income taxes. The bottom 80% paid about 10% of all fed income taxes.

Don't everyone love statistics?


Your stats confirm just how wide the US income /wealth gap is, lamonte 7.

The percentage of one's income paid in tax is more germane to the issue than the amounts. For example, in 1970 corporations paid more than 30% of all US income taxes. In recent years, with corporate profits at all time record highs, they pay 6 to 7%. With incomes for so many Murkins in a downward spiral for the past 40 years, of course they are paying smaller amounts of taxes.

The $5.43 million cap on tax free inheritance Van Buren is focused on is a relatively minor factor in tax avoidance opportunities for the 1% when you consider how the IRS treats capital gains on inherited assets.

Capital gains for heirs are based on the difference between the asset value on the date of the parent's death and the date the asset is sold by the heir.

A real life example: In 1974 I bought a rental house for $15,000 that I sold for $92,000 in 2002.
My taxable capital gain: $77,000. My friend's parents bought a rental house for $19.000 in 1972 that he inherited in 2000 when it was valued at $142,000. He sold it in 2002 for $145,000. His taxable capital gain: $3,000. Had I put my property into my dad's name when I bought it in 1974 and inherited from him when he died in 1998, I would have been taxed on a few thousand dollars capital gain instead of $77,000.

Anti-estate tax forces serially call it the "death tax" and claim that it represents double taxation. Based on the example I presented, the capital gains treatment of inherited assets proves that many inherited assets are NEVER taxed.

The most glaring example of double taxation IS Social Security where the payroll withholds are after tax and most of the benefits are fully taxable. We pay income tax when they withhold, and again if and when we collect benefits.


Good points all, especially the disconnect between the black community and Sanders. I only wish the point had been hammered home louder: "All ships rising means ALL ships rising." Corporate Dems have treated African Americans as a separate interest group, since the day the Civil Rights Act was signed - not as simply part of the vast American family - thus in fact perpetuating segregation. Racial quotas built into Affirmative Action have done the same. Say "civil rights" to most Americans and the first thing that comes to mind is the Civil RIghts Movement for African American Rights, rights granted a "special interest group". How many of us think of ALL Americans (or earthlings?) when we hear the phrase "civil rights"?

My point is that African Americans are still thought of as a separate group - and this is especially true in both the media's and the campaign's analysis of electoral politics.

Bernie's campaign's mistake? Not thinking of African Americans as a separate group to appeal to, instead implicitly including them in the whole population, just like the rest of us.

As for universal free education through university and free universal health care (as in paid for by OUR government) - yes, those are reparations due ALL of us (red or yellow black or white or any mix thereof!).


I think that you are right about the separate but looks like equal Dems visa a vis the black community. They favor a few individuals who run point for them and pull in votes but otherwise ignore meaningful change for the whole. Did the mainstream Dems all come out and say yeah great idea free colleges like it used to be years ago. Young people don't realize that community colleges and many state colleges were free for the longest time. Republicans pulled that back and the Dems let them. It is the same old story of the Dems being less horrendous than the Repubs but not very much better either.

I feel bad for the poor communities who once again will think that they have been cheated of the things that would help them out of poverty like a college education for their kids. What a tremendous loss for people that really is.


The cost of celebrity? where be it sports figures or politicians or just plain rich people. How are those norms driven up? Hillary the money maker and former president money making capabilities are getting too decadent. Drives up the cost of college and student debt.


Sure would like to know the answer to your question. Obama in campaign was going to put a stop to the revolving door.


Need we mention the resentment in lower income white communities (and some not so lower income) spawned and perpetuated by the perception (and realities) of African Americans being accorded special status? Once again, divide and conquer. D's appeal to the African American demographic, R's to the pissed off white demographic. LBJ signs the Civil Rights Act. Reagan kicks off his presidential campaign in Philadelphia Mississippi. A coup for the Status Quo. Keep us at each others' throats while they make off with the loot.

I'm pretty sure MLK's message was that all ships must rise. That's what the Poor Peoples March was to have been all about.

Every time the phrase "and blacks are disproportionately affected" is used, look at who the others are - whites and Hispanics incarcerated for very similar reasons: poverty, drug addiction, homelessness, mental health issues. Again - all those underlying issues must be addressed .. as much as the racism.

Gotta go plant my garden !!!


Yes, it would be nice if 80% of Americans wages had not stagnated the three decades because of policies and loopholes in our tax code and other regulations which benefited these people and they became decadently wealthy. If our wages and salaries had increased had the same level there would of not been these outrageous profits for them and we would be paying more in taxes.

Stats work both way. Another reason programs are going broke. These people took there profits and ran with them legally while forcing wages down across the world.

So glad you are part of the top tier that can write your own laws in your favor.


I don't know where you are taking this but my point was that free college and Medicare for all is much more important for low income Blacks and all low income people especially. Free college lifts the future generations out of poverty like nothing else does. Say what you want about affirmative action but it helped an underprivileged generation become a generation whose kids now get college educations at the same rate as do anyone else in the same income bracket. That made a positive difference which carries on through the generations. I can't imagine the kids from a minimum wage earning family (even with two jobs ) being able to afford college. When the college is free then a whole lot of those very poor kids will get out from being poor someday because they will have a college degree. I feel so bad for them because they are being made sacrifices to the self interest of the status quo elites who probably benefited from affirmative action back in the day but now make good money and no longer relate to min wage needs.


According to the Dept. of Labor 37% of federal tax revenue derives from payroll taxes. I don't know about loving statistics but I sure hate statistics that are wrong. You need to double check your sources.


I'm certain Affirmative Action helped a lot of empoverished blacks who otherwise woul not have had a chance at a college education otherwise. My point is that universal college education open to all who qualify, with remedial courses available, would have accomplished the same thing without assigning racial quotas thus perpetuating conceptual segregation with all its ills. It's that simple.

It would also have lifted the boats in ALL empoverished neighborhoods. And STILL could!


$65,000 for an apprentice level celebrity speech is about on par with Chelsea getting $200k salary in her first job out of college, cookies. If I were a Missouri taxpayer I would be jumping all over this example of UMKC's squandering of public funds.

I am a Murkin and Murkin is nothing more than the phonetic pronunciation Dubya applies to the word. Its use is no different than British calling us Yanks or Yankees, or me calling them limeys, or Latin Murkins calling us Gringos.


Yes well there were free colleges then by the way but ivy leagues and name universities were recognizing that the admissions standards were biased. You see a lot of black doctors and lawyers and what have you now and their kids are just as stupid as anyone else's kids but like those other stupid kids their stupid kids go to the same colleges and famous schools etc. (Yes I am the parent of stupid kids...lol shh! Don't let on I said that because they'll beat the crap out of me and tha's embarrassing when a daughter ...um...never mind!) :nerd: Just kidding btw.

Teach a person to read and his kid will love books. Send a book lover to college and his kid will graduate from Harvard.