Is inheritance of wealth ethical?

Yes, that's because inheritance underwrites certain virtues and social goods--for example, (1) it stimulates productivity among those who create wealth, (2) it provides financial security, (3) it binds families together, (4) it produces general social stability.

But note that it's also the case that it's ethically sound to limit inheritance and to tax inheritance. That's because doing so mitigates the vices of inheritance and produces vitrues of its own. Among the vices of inheritance are (1) the cementing and even magnifying of social inequalities of power and priviledge, (2) intensifying class-based prejudice and hostility, and (3) dulling incentives to create wealth among inheritors. Among the goods that limiting and taxing inheritance produces are (1) a stronger democracy through greater equality of social goods and social power and (2) improved general welfare through the gathering of revenue to underwrite goods provided by government such as educatiion, healthcare, national defense, healthcare, and scientific inquiry.

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