Exponential Growth – Thomas Malthus

Thomas Malthus wrote a book in 1798, the book explained how if humans had an unlimited amount of resources their population would continue to grow exponentially. But, as their resources decrease, so does their population. As shown below in the graphs, with unlimited resources a “J-shaped” graph is created where the population continues to grow over time. Then, when there is limited amount of resources a “S-shaped” graph is created where the population continues to grow but not as fast as before, then when the population reaches its cap, or runs out of resources for the “new people”, the population starts to level off or plateau.

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-biology/chapter/environmental-limits-to-population-growth/

Last Will and Testament

Whats a Last Will and Testament and why do i have to make one?

The Last Will and testament, commonly know as a Will, is a very important piece of documentation that everyone should complete. Passing away Intestate is unfortunate for the family but great for the government. When¬†someone passes that doesn’t have a Will, all their assets that would normally be inherited by friends and family will be sold at an auction and the proceeds given to the local government.

The process of planing your will can be fairly complicated and in some cases require a lawyer but the results are highly beneficial. This process can also be fairly expensive, ranging from 300 to 1200.  When planning your estate you must appoint many different people.

  • beneficiaries
  • executors
  • back up people just in case

These people will then be in charge of all your belongings when you become unfit to handle them yourself. This is why its very important to create a Last will and testament.

 

https://www.seniorliving.com/article/importance-last-will-and-testament

What if there are no heirs.

In a case where the person has no immediate family member such as a spouse, children, cousins, parents, or siblings any inheritance will go to distant relatives like second cousins. If there is a stepchild but the person that died had no will then distant relatives will have the majority of the inherence. This is true in most states. If there aren’t any family members to leave the inherence to then the government will simply take the money and distribute the money to several government programs and departments.

Image result for how many people die without heirs

An example of this happened to a 97 year old man who died in 2013 with no heirs. He left about $40 million dollars worth of real estate. Now all of that money went to the state of New York. In 2017 around $227 million dollars was left to the government in Europe alone.

Inheritance Denial

Oftentimes, we assume inheritances as sums of money that, while taxed, are smoothly transferred from one party to another. In truth, this is not always the case. As years go on, a growing issue in America is what is sometimes called “inheritance denial.” This is the practice of one’s inheritance being held away from them or not transferred properly. This can lead to a lessened sum inheritance, or a total lack of reception from the inheriting party.

To put it simply, this is seriously wrong. Most inheritances are a result of a family loss, and to deny the wishes of those past is morally abhorrent. Inheritance taxes are already very high, and to add insult to injury by adding unnecessary barriers to reception is just not right. An inheritance is not something that should have to be fought for or denied.

However, it is very difficult to devise a functional solution to this problem. I would like to believe that it can be fixed eventually, as inheritances should never be denied to their rightful recipients, but, unfortunately, I am not hopeful. Maybe someday we can act in a moral manner rather than one determined by greed.

Estate and Inheritance Taxes around the World

For a country that is so focused on making money, this seems to be something that the US isn’t paying close enough attention to. From the article, it seems as though the estate and inheritance tax in the US, is the fourth highest in the world, but is only bringing in less than 1% of the federal revenue. At one point, the US even eliminated it for an entire year, but brought it back for whatever reason.

I am uncertain of the technicalities of the way the tax works, but I would be willing to wager that they are meant to help the rich and not help the middle or lower classes. I could be wrong, but history isn’t in the governments favor on this.

However, from the research done for this article, there is evidence that eliminating the tax altogether could even help the economy. While I am not sure exactly how that would work, it does seem like something that the government should spend a few minutes looking into.

Table 3. The Effect of Estate Tax Elimination
Economic and Revenue Change Estimates for Estate Tax Elimination vs. Current Law Projection (Billions of 2015 Dollars)
Change in Level of GDP 0.8%
GDP Change in Terms of Today’s Economy $137
Change in Private Business GDP 0.8%
Change in Private Business Stocks (Machines, Equipment, Structures, etc.) 2.2%
Change in Wage Rate 0.7%
Change in Private Business Hours of Work 0.1%
Full-time Equivalent Jobs (in Thousands) 139
Annual Static Federal Revenue Estimate in Steady State -$20
Annual Dynamic Federal Revenue Estimate after GDP Gain or Loss $8
Source: Tax Foundation Taxes and Growth Model.

While there are 13 countries that have repealed this law, I am not sure that the list of countries itself is necessarily one that supports the idea that we should abandon the tax ourselves. I do think that looking at the changes in economic growth or failure since the time that they repealed it, is definitely worth looking at more closely.

Table 2. Thirteen Countries or Tax Jurisdictions Have Repealed Inheritance or Estate Taxes Since 2000
Country or Jurisdiction Year of Repeal
Macau 2001
Portugal 2004
Slovak Republic 2004
Sweden 2005
Russia 2005
Hong Kong 2006
Hungary[7] 2006
Singapore 2008
Austria 2008
Liechtenstein 2011
Brunei 2013
Czech Republic 2014
Norway 2014
Source: Family Business Coalition.