Steve’s family operated 100 hardware stores in the Midwest and had to sell their business to a private equity firm in the third generation of the family business. The family had endured two generations of paying the estate tax and realized they could not survive another.

After the sale, the private equity firm, which bought the business and is not subject to the estate tax, laid off employees, reduced wages and benefits, and changed the culture of the business from one that served the community to one that serves investors.