Dustin W. Hodges// Contributing Writer
Thomas Jefferson was one of America’s brightest and most influential founding fathers. It was this intelligence that afforded him the ability to see beyond his years and realize it is wrong to set laws for a future world he knew nothing about.
It was this forethought that led him to the belief in generational sovereignty, the belief that no laws or debts should be passed down beyond the generation to which they apply.
In current American society, at least part of Jefferson’s belief still exists, no one is saddled with debt from a previous generation, except the debt of the federal government, which is continually kicked down the road.
The other half of Jefferson’s belief that laws should not be in effect once the generation who levied them is no longer living, does not apply today.
Beginning with the New Deal in the 30’s, through the Great Society in the 60’s, and continuing today with the Affordable Health Care Act, the American government has continued to enact policies and laws that may, or may not, help the generations they are created under, however over time do not evolve to fit societies evolving needs.
These programs were all designed with the best intentions to help the American people in a time of need, however with any government program they are altered and changed over time and usually in the wrong direction.
Social Security was designed as a safety net to keep citizens from starving and keep a roof over their heads. In today’s society it is viewed as a complete retirement program that should provide anyone and everyone a beach house in Florida. This is a key reason social security is not a long term solution for any country, under its current format.
These type of social programs create an unwanted obligation to the next generation to pay for something they did not have any say in enacting.
In theory, any generation has the power to enact its own laws and policies through government legislation. However, in practice when policies are enacted creating a welfare society, any legislator viewed as a threat to those programs is met with resistance from a society that has become accustomed to government handouts.
Thus the government continues to create new legislation for each and every generation that continues to saddle the next with debt.
Jefferson’s belief in generational sovereignty would have been the second greatest gift our founding fathers could have left for future generations, the first being the greatest country in the world. Yet instead, generation after generation are tied down by generational anchors.