The salient fact in the NPR interview with author Robert Frank is that wealthy people are planning to pass along 75% of their riches to their children. Now, what’s left is not a trivial sum, given the recent increase in Latin-American-oligarch-style wealth in this country; but if three-quarters of everything is going to the kids that puts paid to our sector’s hopeful notion that a huge intergenerational transfer of wealth would produce a tidal wave of charity. After all, the parent-legators we’re talking about are people who were themselves beneficiaries of such a transfer, and still their major goal as a group appears to be making money.
"The next generation" is a funny phrase because it means both "my children" and "the future of the earth." "Stewardship" is likewise a funny word because it means both preserving wealth (the topic, believe it or not, of a camp for heirs-apparent whose purpose seems to be to teach them how not to spill a drop) and preserving other things by expenditures, that is, reductions of wealth. In each case, I wish the second meaning were as popular as the first.
Maybe we should start a camp.