I am sorry about your sensitivities. Yes, you are right. Introducing any tax alters people's behaviour. It all depends on the rate. A 10 per cent tax on giving is not going to have all that much effect, is it? What kind of amounts are you thinking in terms of heirs receiving? How much do you think they should each receive tax free - or after tax? Do you think that there is no limit to howo much it is good for someone to inherit? Do you think is is good for others to inherit nothing? Yes, the revenue might be affected on first introduction in the USA. But bear in mind that in the UK we already have to pay 40 per cent on anything above £300,000 (say $600,000) including the value of our houses, but excluding a vast array of exempt business assets and lifetime gifts the wealthy can afford to give away during their lifetime.
Moral degradation is a choice made by those who choose to evade the legal taxes of the country they love.
As for young people, they are going to have to scrimp and save a great deal more than £9,000 ($18,000) if they are going to buy a house. Yes, of course some will take out a loan on the guaranteed receipt at 25 and live it up - hardly like a king on that much. At least they will have experienced having a bit of capital rather than none, and will be the keener to build it up again if they have gone through the lot. Others will use it better. You are generalising rather widely on the worst assumptions.
The fundamentals are very unfamiliar to me. They seem to require a mental contortion in order to explain the normal human morality of a social species. It is odd to my mind to call unselfishness immoral. We will have to agree to disagree on the fundamentals. Perhaps you should steer clear of the Dissent Forum if you find dissent so upsetting.
I am sorry that you deserted the idea of civility and resorted to an insult at the end of your post- often a sign of a weak argument, but I can see from your second post that you have a lot on your mind.
Obviously I would disagree with your idea that I do not have any handle on how real people behave and what their motivation is. I think people are all very different. I am very sorry about your health problem and trust that you are being pessimistic. I am 69 and give thought to these questions also, having three children. I have to say that I have always have had little regard for people who leave their country for tax reasons, so I hope that you would not do that. I well remember, when working for a French bank, meeting a British aristocrat living in Paris for tax reasons and him being a completely miserable exile. However, if USA Universal Inheritance is introduced, which does not seem exactly an imminent event, I hope you enjoy wherever you would rush off to. Personally I will stay in my own country and put up with the taxes that everyone else has to pay. And I will be a great deal happier about paying taxes on transferring assets to my children if I know that the proceeds are going to give a little capital to those who would otherwise inherit little or nothing, rather than getting swallowed up in annual govenment expenditure.
It puzzles me that Objectivists seem to be immune, with their philosophy and definition of what is immoral or moral, to thoughts of how it would be to inherit nothing, when they are so keen - as am I - that their and my children should inherit something.