I have a proposal. Since we as a society permit children to inherit the accumulated wealth of their parents (unless you are “too” wealthy, then we take half of it!) then isn’t it reasonable that children should also inherit the liabilities as well as the assets of their parents? Currently if assets exceed liabilities then there is a positive inheritance. If liabilities exceed assets then there is nothing to inherit and the creditors and thus society end up paying (by passing those losses onto everyone else). Surely the children should be the ones to carry the burden of those liabilities since they must have benefited to some degree while under their parents’ guardianship. After all the parents made a life long investment in their children, so it’s only fair that that investment pay off. It would not have to be overly burdensome; it could be paid back over decades. And if those children happen to pass on then they would simply pass those debts onto their children, and so on until eventually all debts are repaid.
Anybody think this is a reasonable and sound idea? I’m hoping not. I’m hoping everyone views it as completely unreasonable, unfair and immoral. For a child to be born into this world saddled with the obligation of repaying debt that they had no part in incurring is the a most insidious kind of indentured servitude.
So if we all (I hope) agree this is unreasonable, then why is it considered reasonable when a group of individuals (society) through their proxy (government) borrows and thus incurs liabilities that are then simply passed on to their collective progeny in perpetuity? We frequently hear about how terrible it is that we are passing onto our children our debts of today. Well, we’ve been doing this for a long time, and as one of those children from 40 years ago, I have to say I really don’t appreciate being asked to pay higher taxes now to pay off the debts incurred by our government during the Nixon – Reagan administrations. As a child I had no vote, I could not give consent either legally or mentally, and yet I and everyone else my age are now asked to pony up a whole lot more in taxes. The left pontificates that that is the “responsible” thing to do. Hogwash. I have no moral obligation in repaying debts that I did not even have a voice in. The “responsible” thing to do is to simply cut spending in non-critical areas. Surely EVERYTHING government does can’t be critical.
If something is morally wrong at the individual level then simple logic dictates that it is still wrong when a group of individuals does the same thing. Right now we have a nearly $15 trillion IOU that will have to be repaid at some point, but not by those that enjoyed the benefits of those debts, but rather by those that will have to greatly sacrifice their present benefits (lower standard of living) in order to repay that debt. That is simply another form of slavery: economic slavery. It must be abolished.