I recently shared this meme on my FB wall:
This is what happened next:
“No two people are the same.“”That’s why I prefer equal opportunities instead of equality.”
“No two opportunities are the same. What you might consider an opportunity I might pass up. It’s a very diverse world we live in, a wide one in which hopefully everyone can be accommodated.”
‘Can be’ or ‘will be’?
And who is the real looser here?
Let’s see what the broad picture looks like:
“The world’s super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.”
And what’s wrong with that?!?
Everyone has the right to do what ever he wants with his money and why should anyone expect to be educated for free?!?
OK, let me put it differently.
Every society is like a big community, even if its members do not share an intimate knowledge of each-other.
At least theoretically an overwhelming majority of any nation share the same set of values and the same goal – the long term survival of both the population and the afore mentioned set of values.
Now please consider which society would be better at the game of survival:
One which would make it easier for as many of its members to develop as much of their individual potential as possible or one that would make it easier for a small number of its members to spirit away so much wealth that the rest would remain crippled?
One which would use the very concept of a ‘free market’ as broadly as possible – make sure that as many as possible of its members enjoy the widest possible autonomy – or one that would allow the ‘never as free as advertised’ market to degenerate into the ‘winner takes it all‘ situation we are bound to reach if we continue on our present course?
How could enough people afford to ‘wander around’ for long enough to find the opportunities that would fit them if they are saddled at birth with a huge burden – the ever burgeoning national debt?
Would enough people risk to take on any additional debt (in order to prepare themselves to make better use of the opportunities they might find) if too many of those opportunities, even if met diligently, do not pay enough to ‘eat’ AND pay back the debt?
How is a society going to survive, let alone thrive, if a lot of ‘opportunities’ (social needs) end up being ‘plugged’ by unfitting/under-skilled/’less than enthusiastic’ individuals? Or not at all?
On the ‘supply side’, what do you think of those who choose to dodge paying taxes?
On the ‘demand side’, what do you think of those who squander public money as if there is no tomorrow?
So what should we be talking about? Equality or Equal Breadth of Opportunity?
About the Bed of Procrustes or about a ‘Free Market’ where all participants are simultaneously autonomous and fully aware of their responsibility for their children’s future?