Saturday, January 16, 2010

Equality, Part II

With freedom naturally comes equality. When I say equality, I’m not talking about everybody having the same everything. I’m talking about equality of personal worth. All human beings have equal worth in the eyes of their Maker. As a person, I am worth neither more nor less than the President of the United States. While he certainly is worth more in relation to position and responsibility, he is a person, just like me. Thus, his personal worth is no greater or less than mine.

However, most people get this sort of equality mixed up with another sort. To use Jacksonian terms, there is equality of opportunity, and there is equality of result. Too often people equate the two things, which are in fact far from the same. Equality of opportunity guarantees the same opportunities to everyone. It does not, however, guarantee that everyone will take advantage of those opportunities equally. Equality of result guarantees that everyone will get exactly the same thing out of their opportunities. Thus, it necessarily offers varying levels of opportunity to different people.

For example: a rich kid from Malibu will be able to make his way in the world easily enough; thus, he doesn’t need help. In fact, he needs to be repressed so he won’t upset the balance of “equality.” On the other hand, a poor kid from Watts won’t have an easy time of it. Thus, he needs a lot of help so he can rise to the level of the rich kid. Further, since the rich kid has so much extra cash, most of it should be taken away from him and given to the poor kid—once the government skims its bit off the top.

Obviously, it’s true that the kid from Malibu will have a much easier time than will the kid from Watts. But does that mean that the government should work to make life easier for the kid from Watts and harder for the kid from Malibu? No. That is the job of kind, caring individuals, not the government. Once the government starts forcing very different (diverse, if you like) people to have the same results, no matter what their opportunities, no one is equal anymore.

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