Children should not be allowed to inherit vast wealth as this damages them and society.
Rich kids have nothing to do but wander the world taking drugs and feeling useless. Everything is done for them, they have no drive to get out and change themselves, their lives or the world. They should be denied their inheritance and made to work for everything they get.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Inherited wealth demotivates the recipients so that they put less effort into training, education and social skills.
Motivation is created by not having enough wealth, and wishing to get it by improving skills, using talents or studying hard. The prospect of inherited wealth destroys this motivation, so society gets less positive input and the recipients May not actualise their potential.
There is no evidence that those that start off welathy in life are 'demotivated'. It is, in fact, reasonable to predict that those who have inherited wealth will strive to work very hard to prove that they are worthy of their wealth and position.
Social justice and equality demands that children start on an equal footing.
It is unfair that one person should start life with many more privileges for no reason other than birth.
A counter argument is that non privileged children are rich in social and personal skills. However, this is not always the case.
As shown after the main point, a lack of inherited wealth can force a person to develop more skills in order to survive, and so become a richer personality, despite the poor bank balance. Therefore there is a balance, and a kind of equality in the sense that some get wealth and some learn more in order to survive.
Inherited wealth can advance rich children in some professions and this can exclude poorer children.
Many professions suffer from social inequality because inherited wealth running through the generations can provide education, training and 'image' for some that meritorious poorer candidates cannot afford.
A counter argument is that merit succeeds regardless of wealth, using some state assistance in regard to education.
Merit succeeds in spite of obstacles; there are many rags to riches stories.
An excess of wealth prevents spiritual growth
Material wealth, especially when it is promised at a young age, distracts people from focusing on their own spiritual and mental development. It reduces the world to mere economics.
People wish to enrich themselves, mainly, and that is their motivation for wealth creation.
Society might be lass damaged if people were not obsessed with wealth and looked for more spiritual values, in any case.
Society would be damaged if people could not satisfy the procreative urge by enriching their children, as this would demotivate them.
Society benefits from people creating new ideas, motivated by rewards, which they want to pass on to their children.
People should not be free to pass wealth on to who they choose, as they owe obligations to society.
Society can never ensure that all children start on an 'equal footing' and why would it want to?
It is impossible for everyone to start on a ‘equal footing’. Society can never be truly meritocratic, and to prevent someone from starting off in a financially secure position in life simply because there are others who can’t is callous and unjust. What people choose to do with the money they have earned is their right, and should be respected if they wish to pass this on.
We try to encourage equality in all other areas; education, health care etc. Why shouldn't this principle apply to other opportunities?
Who decides how much is too much, and on what basis?
How could a governing body ensure that the cut off point for inherited wealth was too much, and how could they ensure that this is fair? It is unreasonable to argue that NO ONE should inherit ANY money from family, but it would be difficult, if not impossible to justly choose who should and who should not inherit.
There is already a system of inheritance tax to penalise those who inherit vast sums, so clearly the government has no problem in interfering with this. Perhaps they could simply extend this system in order to limit the sums that it was possible to inherit.
World economics would suffer
If inheritance was stopped, then there would then come the question of where this new wealth should be placed. If the government confiscates it, then the economic infrastructure would be badly damaged as many millions of people would be prevented from spending this newly acquired dispensable income.
This money could be used to help those who really need it, given back to communities so that everyone can benefit from it.
Surely when you move into these realms you are in fact telling people what they can and can’t do with their own money. If someone works for their money they should have the right to do whatever they like with it.
This could be criticised on the basis that people cannot use their money to harm others in accordance with J.S Mill’s Harm Principle which is the base of most egalitarian law. Yet here, Mill himself was criticised on how to distinguish harm and therefore focused more on physical harm – so basically, inheritance could not be classed as a form of harming the individual.
Our money is clearly not exactly our own; we are obliged to pay taxes on everything we earn. What is being proposed here is basically just an extreme form of inheritance tax, so where is the problem?
Upbringing is the key
Regardless of the size of inheritance these children are entitled to, upbringing and parental guidance are the deciding factors.
To simply putting the blame on wealth and family backgrounds is to neglect the duties of the parents and society as a whole.
A large sum of money (or the equivalent of it) is a bonus. It may help to open more doors for the children. However, it can only do so if the children know how to make good use of their inheritance.
What determines if they are able to spend their inheritance intelligently? Family upbringing.
One may come from a less well-off family, and yet still be a source of anti-social behaviours.
What do you think?