What’s More American Than Inheriting a Fortune?

Donald J. Trump, as he is happy to tell anyone who will listen for five seconds, is wealthy. Although he has yet to provide the tax returns that would tell us exactly how much he’s worth, he reminds voters again and again: “I’m really rich.” He said as much when he announced his campaign.

Yet unlike his father, Fred C. Trump, Donald is no self-made Horatio Alger character, who rose from modest beginnings to wealth through grit and hard work. Mr. Trump has already told us about the “small” $1 million loan he got from his father, though that was most likely the least of the familial support he received.

Those details don’t seem to matter to his supporters, who like his populist tone and his promise to make America great again. His voters — and Democratic voters too — are angry about the gulf between haves and have-nots, and their rage has a starring role in the election. Yet the estate tax, one of the most effective ways to address inequality, has gotten little mention from any candidate. Even though the American dream is pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, we’ve made ample room in it for people whose boots are handed down.

– The New York Times

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