Long-time Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has died at the age of 80. Megan McArdle points out the shrewdness of The Boss’s demise: by dying in 2010 he spared his family paying estate taxes. She adds,
There’s actually a pretty solid body of evidence that the estate tax can affect the timing of deaths. Right before it goes up, wealthy people have a tendency to die early; right before it goes down, they live longer than expected.
The Yankees, purchased in 1973 for $10 million, are now worth some $1.6 billion. Think of how much this untimely death is costing the government!
But do not fear. Under the never-to-be-insufficiently-prayed-for Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care system, the wealthy will die at exactly the right time for their value to be maximized for the benefit of the Treasury coffers. The health care panels will see to that.