The idea of common wealth goes back to the very beginning of civilization, when humans first realized that a community could accomplish for the individual what no individual could do on their own. Over the course of millennia, religious and political leaders from Jesus of Nazareth and Mohammed to Thomas Hobbes and Franklin Roosevelt have suggested that humans bound together could fill the gaps of society.
The United States and Virginia governments have pursued such a philosophy for hundreds of years. Military defense, education, and social services for children and the elderly ensure the ideals of equality, general welfare, and prosperity laid out by our founding fathers. In 2010, Virginia’s Governor proposed that no bit of our common wealth is sacred, and today we face the very real possibility that government spending, or lack thereof, will exacerbate the gaps in our society that we as a species have tried for so many generations to eradicate.