Should every 18-year-old be handed €20,000? That’s what an influential German think tank believes. It may sound somewhat utopian or even outlandish, but those who call for its implementation argue that such a policy would be for the benefit of society.
The German Institute for Economic Research, for example, argues that “if we really want to create prosperity for everyone in the foreseeable future, then we should reduce the high level of wealth inequality through redistribution; by giving the non-asset owning half of the population a basic inheritance.” The author of the report also states that the payment should be used to pay for “education or training, a property down-payment or for starting a business – not to be squandered.”
The proposal is called “universal inheritance,” a policy that is advocated by some political parties of the Left across Europe. This is somewhat of a far-flung aspiration at the moment, but with countries looking for ways to recover from the Covid pandemic, could the idea of giving young people a state-funded leg up on the financial ladder be a good idea?