Estate tax

From Wealth and Our Commonwealth, Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes by William H. Gates, Sr. and Chuck Collins published in 2002. Andrew Carnegie was the wealthiest American of his era until he was supplanted by John D. Rockefeller.

“On the matter of estate taxes, Carnegie said,

‘Of all forms of taxation this seems the wisest. Men who continue hoarding great sums all their lives, the proper use of which  for public ends would work good to the community from which it chiefly came, should be made to feel that the community, in the form of the State, cannot thus be deprived of its proper share. By taxing estates heavily at death the State marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire’s unworthy life.'”

It was Carnegie’s belief that accumulated wealth should be donated to charity during the owner’s life, not afterward.

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