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I can’t believe it has been 4 days since I posted last…

July 13, 2010

I just couldn’t let all the nice weather go to waste. Now I am back and ready to post and there is just too much stuff 😦

How do I become part of the aristocracy? I would look stunning in a tiara.

AMERICANS have always assumed that wealth comes and goes. A poor person can work hard, become rich and pass his money on to his children and grandchildren. But then, if those descendants do not manage it wisely, they may lose it. “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations,” the saying goes, and it conforms to our preference for meritocracy over aristocracy.

This assumption is now being undermined, however, through the increasing use of so-called dynasty trusts. These estate-planning instruments enable affluent people to provide their heirs with money and property largely free from taxes and immune to the claims of creditors. And rather than benefit only children and grandchildren, dynasty trusts provide for generations in perpetuity — truly creating an American aristocracy.

In general I am distrustful of anything like this. I believe in paying your own way in the world and this type of situation doesn’t qualify in my opinion. There is also the simple fairness issue, in general life isn’t fair, but this is so obviously weighed towards a certain class of people it makes me want to grab pitchforks and torches and start a revolution. I don’t agree with estate taxes – specifically I don’t think the estate itself should be taxed, but the beneficiaries of the estate should have the income or capital gains taxed just like us working folks.

The Northwest Northeast Three (Brown, Snowe, Collins) have joined in supporting Financial Regulatory Reform. I wish I could tell you that this bill was going to have a positive effect, but I am just not sure. I do support the derivatives regulation that it puts in place.

Confidence in Obama is down to 50% approval in a Washington Post/ABC poll with only 43% having faith that he can make the right decisions for the country’s future. The plus is that 43% apparently believes there will still be a country when Obama is done.

Rasmussen reports that Reid is now within 3% of Sharon Angle. I am almost convinced that Reid is going to win in November. On the plus side Whitman and Fiorina are leading in CA.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. xbradtc permalink
    July 13, 2010 12:38 pm

    1. I think you mean the NorthEAST three.

    2. Dynasty trusts are… problematical. And a lot of places prohibit them. Many jurisdictions only allow you to name an existing beneficiary. That is, you cannot name a bene who hasn’t been born yet, except as a remainderman.

    For instance, you might leave your estate to your kids and grandkids, with a provision that the remainder of your trust goes to your grandkids heirs upon your grandkids death. But you generally cannot set that portion to remain in trust. It instead would be an outright distribution. Of course, anyone who has a significant estate should have their own trust, which generally addresses these concerns.

  2. jenn1964 permalink*
    July 13, 2010 1:38 pm

    Corrected the NW vs. NE thing. I will have to take your word on the trusts. I don’t know enough about them.

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