Paul L. Caron

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bird-Pollan Presents Nozick, Libertarianism, and the Estate Tax Today at Florida

Bird-PollanJennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky) presents Nozick, Libertarianism, and the Estate Tax today at the University of Florida College of Law Graduate Tax Program Tax Colloquium:

Contemporary policy discussions of taxes in general, and of the estate tax in particular, are often dominated by arguments that start from libertarian premises. However, these libertarian views are rarely fully unpacked, and, as a result, the conclusions of these arguments often extend beyond what can be justified by those libertarian premises. With regard to the estate tax, many libertarians argue that government interference with the free transfer of assets after death is an immoral violation of the property rights of the deceased. In this Article, I work through the libertarian arguments of Robert Nozick in his seminal book, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, with special attention to his views of property and inheritance rights. By demonstrating that libertarianism cannot justify property rights that extend beyond death, I show that, in fact, libertarianism is entirely consistent with a robust estate tax. While this does not mean that the libertarian views of property rights require an estate tax, those views do not, on moral grounds, preclude the imposition of the tax.

Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink


Still wouldn't address gift, GST, corporate or trust taxation. Just give it away it inter vivos and leave the rest in a FLLC or trust or other controlled entity. Easy loophole.

I don't accept the grave robbing argument either. But it could be defeated easily by other avenues available in a free society.

Posted by: nl7 | Oct 7, 2013 9:15:42 AM