Reverse Inheritances? Brilliant!!!

Sat, 14 Feb 2009 20:04:00 +0000

A (doubly) modest proposal from Jeff Johnson, in a New York Times op-ed yesterday:

HERE’S my magic bullet to save our tanking economy: Reverse Inheritance.

Allow me to explain. Many Americans have children. Most of these children will one day command a decent salary. So let’s permit parents to pre-emptively tap into those future earnings in the form of loans payable now. These loans can then be spent on perms, basketball sneakers and American-made vehicles; and they’ll provide much-needed capital for small businesses like laundromats and hoagie shops.

How would this work, exactly? Well, I have a 4-year-old. An expert from a federal Department of Reverse Inheritance Policy, or D.R.I.P., would subject my son to a series of physical and standardized tests and determine that there will be, say, a five-year period in my son’s adulthood when he’ll earn $100,000 a year.

I, as the boy’s parent, would then be entitled to a Reverse Inheritance loan of $50,000 (or 10 percent of the earnings from the aforementioned five-year period). And my child will simply earn $10,000 less per year (plus interest) over that same period, which is thankfully much, much, much farther down the road. (If he has children by then, he’ll qualify for a Reverse Inheritance loan, of course, and his wallet won’t feel a thing.)

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.