"When he founded Harbor Freight Tools four decades ago, it?s unlikely Allan Smidt expected it would end like it did this spring, when his own son had an executive walk him out the door and lock him out of the building."
Thank you for the link to jobvent. I hadn't seen that site before. I spent some time looking at various companies, though, and it appears to me that most of the people who post there are the disgruntled ones. In other words, if you have no "axe to grind", why would you go to "job vent"? The name alone suggests that it's a place to say BAD things, not good things. I wonder how long that site has been there and what the trend of comments has been over the last 5 years or so.
It appears to me that life is getting tougher in this country, so I am not surprised that more people are looking for someplace to vent.
Many of the comments talk about having to be the "boss's favorite", and brown nosing, etc.. I wonder what that really means. The opposites of those comments might be: "the employee that the boss dislikes the most" or "the employee who never does what he or she is told to do". Bosses are only human. What is wrong with doing what they want done? What is wrong with training bosses from below?
I know times are tough, and getting tougher, but maybe it IS time to learn the dynamics of how management is done and how to be the last one out the door (if you want to).
This is but one of the ways that a family-owned business can hit the rocks when control passes from generation to generation. Just because Mom or Dad or Uncle or Aunt has business skills doesn't mean that Son, Daughter, Niece or Nephew does.
Do you have a clue as to what you are talking about?
Transferring money to anyone (such as heir) as a gift, while alive, subjects them to gift tax, which is very similar (and is designed to supplant) estate tax.
Getting money from daddy when daddy is alive, is generally taxed the same way as when daddy is dead.
Um, if I remember right, you do not have enough assets as to pay estate tax, right? Why are you including yourself into "the rest of us"?
If, indeed, your assets do not exceed estate tax deduction, they you or your heirs would not be "paying".
Only one death out of 200, creates a situation where estate taxes would be payable (per Warren Buffett, I am sure that he is right).
This is an empty argument. Any kind of economic activity has this nature.
I could hire people to build 20 statues of me. But, while they are employed to build statues, they would not be doing something more useful. Or my money could be taxed, and spent by the government to build 20 missiles, that would be fired at the current enemy of free world. It is similar in nature also. Just to give you two examples.
I do not believe that resources are allocated correctly, if dynasties of do-nothings maintain full control of assets that they never worked to create. I would be OK with replacing "full" with "partial", which is what estate tax accomplishes. It whittles down those dynasties over the years.
The plus of being able to pass estate to heirs is that it makes people work harder and to save more.
The minus of this is that resources are given to people based on something other than merit.
Let's suppose that we are in the business of making widgets. Say, you are really good at making them, so you make a fortune in widgets. I am bad at making widgets, lose out in competition to you, and stay poor. That's merit based. No complaints here.
Now, if your heir gets a lot of money and is a bum, that's not really a great allocation of resources.
Estate tax is an attempt to balance the pluses with minuses. Some amout being taxed, still keeps people interested in becoming wealthy, but curtails to some extent this resource misallocation.
Ignoramus18915 fired this volley in news:crmdnX7peKx1g87RnZ2dnUVZ email@example.com:
Ig, the estate tax might have some small effect like that, but that's hardly its purpose. I would love it if that were actually the case, but that's a utopian's view.
The real reason for the tax is simply that the government saw a nice, fat pot to skim from, and decided to take a piece. They new darned well if they took it from the average working stiff who's widow needs the whole estate just to buy groceries, they'd have a rebellion.
There were no reasons of societal altruism in establishing the estate tax. It's just another pork pot. Would that it were as you say.
Remember too the reason the tax was removed. Real estate values grow over time until a family farmer working his inherited section of land would live hand to mouth and die a millionaire due to land value. Family farms were going out of the family just to pay the taxes.
In terms of why such taxes were enacted, you're quite right. As for why they have stuck (on and off since 1797 in the US, and much longer in some European countries), it's been a common sentiment that heirs have no natural right to a person's wealth after their death, and that society as a whole has a stronger claim. In other words, like sin taxes, it's been widely accepted because most people have agreed that it's fair.
That's been the source of the arguments about it, and other types of transfer taxes, for hundreds of years. As always with taxes that are not issued strictly per-capita, a nation's tax structure tends to reflect what the majority thinks is right and wrong. In a democratic society, going against that popular opinion can result in one losing the next election.
Now it's a highly contested issue, so it's become one more divisive political point.
This talk about "family farms" creates a warm fuzzy image in my mind, of a little farming family with chickens in the barn, growing turnips, about to lose the barn and chickens, but that is not what is typically taxed.
Rex, check this out (somewhat dated).
``These 440 taxable estates are those for which farm or business assets made up at least half the total value of the estate. They represent only 2 percent of all 18,800 taxable estates in 2004.''
``Worth noting is that family-owned farms and closely held businesses already receive special treatment under current law. '' (I am not sure if this is true any more)
Feel free to find other numbers, maybe my source is dated.
On Fri, 30 Jul 2010 13:21:35 -0500, Ignoramus18915 wrote the following:
Ig, the gov't wouldn't build missiles with it, it would be sucked into a payout to a fraudulent contractor somewhere in the particular CONgresscritter's district who would kick back 20% of it to the CON. The project would be a highway to nowhere, a bridge to nowhere, a military dock on a closed base in Hawaii, or other somesuch bullshit thing. Sure a few guys would be working, but it would involve fewer of them than possible because it's a gov't job and unions are involved, ensuring the highest possible wages to the worst possible workers for the grimiest of builders...
The CONgresscritter's portion would then to go Columbia to support some drug dealer there while supporting the CON's coke habit, to brothels, to subverted aides and pages (of both sexes), and to the Mafia, who helps enforce the CON's will in his district.
Just so you know, that's what's happened to the American Way. :(
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