Firstly, I do not think a law blocking property sales because of your age would be constitutional or even legal - it would be discriminatory. I do not see any such law as surviving the first round of legal challenges, much less passing the supreme court "hurdle".
Say there was a rise of a social democratic group inside the US Democratic party in 1990' that would in a matter of 5 years convince over 70 % of Americans that we should cancel inheritance
Canceling inheritance tax would not be a social democratic idea. It is, however, a Republican party wet dream.
Less than 70% of Americans own their own home (even with a mortgage) and less than half of those own it clear of a mortgage (and most of those would be older people).
, so that everyone has the same opportunity. They would pass a law that restricted you to sell a house or a car if you're over 50
This in no way has a connection with inheritance tax. Inheritance tax is supposed to affect the person inheriting, not the person who owned the property before they died. This idea doesn't make a lick of sense.
"Everyone" ? Everyone does not have the option of selling their property at all as about one third of Americans do not own a home. And of those that have property to sell, many people find themselves trapped in properties that they would loose money on if they had to sell.
This issue really only affects the upper middle class and the wealthy.
As most people still owe money on their properties ( in the form of mortgages ) when they're fifty years old, I'd anticipate a great deal of property being rented out. As anyone nearing 50 would have an incentive to sell up and shift their money into other investments, this would artificially alter the amount of money directly invested in stocks and/or the growth of REITs ( Real Estate Investment Trusts ).
However it's not desirable to force a huge section of the population to become renters. Renting is a very bad idea as you get no capital return for your money. The effect of increasing the number of older people who have to rent would be drastic as they would be reliant on less stable investments (stocks, etc.) for income to pay their rent. Experience has shown that this is not a good idea. In addition it makes people who are older even more vulnerable to becoming homeless.
It would be a social disaster, in fact.
People whose health would, as a matter of natural fact, be declining are now obliged to depend on the vagaries of the investment market to finance their old age. If they become ill, or unemployed before natural retirement age then they will suffer even more.
Of course they could try not selling before 50, but this is very risky. If they have a downturn in their lives after 50 they can't sell up their one asset.
It's also very unfair on couples who have different ages. So I'm Bob and I'm 53 and I'm married to Mary who is 49. I can't sell my "part" of the mutually mortgaged house we have, but Mary can ???
And what about the bank who holds the mortgage ? Does the bank's "age" matter ? Maybe my bank manager's age or the bank president's age ? If businesses can hold property regardless of age, then why can't we all set up companies to own our properties and rent them directly (REITs) ?
Let's say Mary dies in a car crash one day. I'm now stuck with a property I may not be able to afford to pay for on my own, but can't sell. I also can't move (e.g. because it depresses me to be in the house we used to share or to be closer to our kids in another State). I'm trapped by a stupid law that will inevitably mean I end up loosing the property to the bank when they foreclose because I can't pay the mortgage on my own. But it's OK - I can become a pauper and a financial burden to my kids when I have to move in with them - if they'll let me or can do it at all.
So it's a dumb idea. It's probably not legally doable and it's going to cause misery for practically everyone.
Can I take it the Republican's are to blame as usual for a law that only benefits the rich ? :-)
As for getting around this law. Which half of the population will "get around it" ? Well I think it's a safe bet the ones who are better off. They'll be able to access the lawyers and accountants and investment groups who avoid these laws. Poorer people typically will not be able to access these "services".
So the poorer people will get totally screwed by this law and the well off will be inconvenienced.
Yes, that sounds like America to me. :-)
So net result : lots of emigration to Canada. :-)