Monday, June 21, 2010
Conchita's Millions--the Material World
Gail's only son, Steve Carr, is challenging the will under he inherited $1 million dollars and Conchita takes the cake, so to speak. The story is at the Miami Herald and is a great meditation on wealth and the material world.
I know people with a lot, with many material blessings and I know many remarkable people who earned every dime. While I know many lawyers and businessmen and women who inherited "opportunites" in government, law or industry--I've not known many beneficiaries of purely inherited wealth like Gail Posner. Like you I read about great fortunes and maybe like you, I doubt that such wealth is terribly marvelous for the beneficiaries, maybe I'm wrong--but, I suspect that there is great suffering. This appears to have been the case for Gail Posner.
reported on the glitch in the Federal Estate Tax law that is allowing a multibillion dollar fortune of Dan L. Duncan (pic, right) to pass to Duncan's descendants untaxed by the federal government which will lose billions of dollars on the wealth transfer from the guy that earned it to those who share his DNA. What in our national character tolerates this massive wealth transfer from one generation to the next without insisting on substantial taxation for the common benefit? While I understand the idea that a capitalist who amasses a great fortune should be able to do what they wish to do with their money while living, explain to me why these fortunes should pass undisturbed to subsequent generations? What benefit is conferred on those who do not earn wealth, on others? Great fortunes do not arise from air, they are derived from the social and commercial opportunites created by societies and economies--why shouldn't a substantial portion of these fortunes revert to those societies and economies for the benefit of all?
We occupy a material world, where fabulously wealthy people wallow in ridiculous objects of desire while fantastically impoverished people barely eke out life on the barren and polluted leftover remaining to them. Consider the absurdity, and marvel.