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Equality is a Ratio, Not an Ideal

People aren’t perfect.  Most of us only have to look in the mirror to reinforce this sad fact of life.  People aren’t perfect as individuals and they aren’t perfect in groups. Logic dictates that what is imperfect cannot produce something that is perfect.  Thus there will never be a perfect government, in the first place because it is would be comprised of imperfect people and in the second because it would have been designed by imperfect people.

But that’s OK.   In human terms, sometimes good enough fills the bill rather nicely.  Unless, of course, you’re a liberal.  Liberals seek perfection in one particular area – equality.  In so doing, they miss the point and strive for the wrong objective.  Equality is not necessarily a good thing.

⁃    All the people buried in the cemetery are equally dead.
⁃    Rosie O’Donnel and Rosanne Barr are equally bovine.
⁃    Chris Matthews and  the rest of the liberal media were equally unhinged by Clint Eastwood’s speech at the RNC.

Equality is just a ratio – a measure of sameness.  The Left views it as a higher objective – even seeking to erase the differences between the sexes.  Guess what?  Boys and girls are different.

The Left’s fixation on absolute equality extends to all sorts of things.  They insist that all cultures are equally valid.  It would be fine if they were satisfied with holding these opinions themselves, but they are not.  YOU must hold the same opinions, and if you don’t you are an intolerant bigot.

In the Left’s view, all religions are equally valid (or invalid), none is any better than any other.  Woe to the person who holds a different opinion.

The left coined the term “life style” to describe the different choices people make in how they live their lives. That neatly eclipses value judgments like moral, immoral or amoral. In the Left’s view all life choices are equally valid. We are forbidden any kind of value judgment, regardless of empirical evidence to the contrary.  One need only look at the statistics regarding outcomes for children raised in traditional, two parent, families and those from non-traditional families.  But let us not confuse the issues with the facts.

President Obama demonstrated this liberal propensity for worshiping equality when he basically defined the concept of American Exceptionalism as team spirit at its best, and jingoism at its worst.

Equality is a ratio, not an a ideal.  In fact, equality can be a bad thing.  If equality is mandated above all else, it removes the benefits of human agency and intellect.  Rational human beings opt to exercise their brains in favor of improving their lives, in favor of inequality.  Equality is the golden ratio being touted continually by the Left.  Yet, like with so many other things, they are woefully inconsistent in this, too.  What is so fair about a system of progressive income taxes where 50% of the people in the country effectively pay no taxes, while the other half pay all the taxes?  Shouldn’t everybody be on the hook for the same percentage?  Wouldn’t that be more equal?   No, the Left has decided that that wouldn’t be “fair.”

History provides us with countless examples of people choosing inequality over equality.  Here is a more positive one than the progressive income tax.  When the Titanic sank there were not enough lifeboats.  The only truly equal option would have been for no one to use the lifeboats.  Then everyone would have had the same outcome.  They would have all have been equally drowned.  Of course this is ridiculous, in fact, the passengers on the ship  opted for the traditional – “save the women and the children.”  Obviously the men were a bunch of patriarchal sexist neanderthals.  According to the Wikipedia article:

 

The evacuation was slow and poorly managed [by the crew who were poorly trained] and many of the lifeboats left half-empty. Around 1,500 people were still aboard Titanic when she sank at 2:20 am on 15 April 1912. Around 705 people, mostly women and children, remained in the lifeboats until later that morning when they were rescued by the RMS Carpathia.

Making choices like these is what distinguishes human beings from animals.   They are not always easy and they might not always be “fair.”   However, not all things in life are zero sum, fixed games like the finite number of lifeboats on the Titanic.  Economic realities are a prime example.  The economic pie is not a fixed size.  Unlike grandma’s apple pie, we don’t need to cut it into exactly equal proportions to make sure that “fairness” is preserved.

The poor in the United States are among the most prosperous people in the world.  It may be that the gap between the so-called 1% and the rest of us is widening.  Here is a radical thought – who cares?  A rising tide floats all ships.  The prosperity that the United States has enjoyed for most of its history is a byproduct of freedom – it has nothing whatsoever to do with equality.  In America, position in life is not static. That is what  motivates countless Americans to work hard and increase their share of an ever expanding economic pie.

Yet, the Left continues to proceed from the assumption that the pie is shrinking or at best fixed.  They act as though someone’s success is predicated on someone else’s failure.  This is the core of the class warfare that Obama continues to foment.   Mitt Romney was successful, according to this narrative, only because he screwed a whole bunch of people.  This is a moronic proposition, but it panders to the suspicions of the unthinking who are delighted to have an excuse  for their own shortcomings.  Aha, it’s Mitt’s fault!  If it weren’t for him and people like him, everything would be wine and cheese (instead of whine and sleaze).

But that is not the way the world works.  Don’t believe in an ever-widening economic pie?  Think about farming.  A farmer can turn a sack of seeds and plot of ground into a harvest where none existed before.  Or how about an entrepreneur like Steve Jobs?  Ten years ago there was no such thing as an iPad.  In 1997 Apple was in danger of disappearing.  To stave off government anti-trust claims, Microsoft invested 50 million dollars to keep Apple afloat.  Now Apple rivals EXXON in value  (and surpasses Microsoft).  In order for companies like Apple to be successful –  people must choose to buy their products – a lot of people.  A cheap price tag is not one of the many fine attributes of Apple products.  Can everyone afford an iPad, a MacBook, an iPhone or an iMac?  No.  Is that “fair?”  Yes!  It’s not as if there aren’t other, cheaper options out there.  The point is that there is a place in an economy for luxury goods.  Apple’s signature high-quality, beautiful devices command premium prices and people are willing to pay for them, choosing to allocate their income as they see fit.  The Apple purchaser knows he can buy a  PC for a fraction of the price, leaving him with more money for other things.  Yet he chooses to buy the Apple.  Is it a good choice?  He thinks so. Other people make different choices, opting for Android tablets, Microsoft tablets, or no tablets.  No one can argue that such products are “equal” – like people, they have their pros and cons, some are better and some are worse.  Whether it is fair or not is  irrelevant.  Being “free to choose” is what makes the economic pie keep growing.

The Left is fixated on “fair,” but only under their narrow definition as it relates to their ideal – equality.  They pay lip-service to concepts like equal pay for equal work, but that is not actually what they want.  What they really want is pay for no work.  One has only to look at the concerted effort to increase food-stamp rolls – documented here and here – to see that what Obama and his minions are touting to the rank and file doesn’t jive with their actions.  Why would they remove the work requirement for welfare?  (HINT: Rather than grow the economy and benefit everyone, they want to grow their constituency – more people on the dole equals more Democrat votes.)  But let’s not digress.  The real point here is that what the Left is interested in is equality of outcome, not effort.  They ignore the work, the sacrifice, and risk taken by the successful – instead they look at the rewards earned by those who have succeeded and chant stupidly that it’s not fair.

There are plenty of things in life that aren’t fair, but inequality is not one of them – viva la difference.

3 comments

1 Jeff { 09.06.12 at 4:50 pm }

I think income tax should be fair – and everyone should pay the same amount. Forget the percentages, since we all should get the same value from the government. Just because I make more money than the average person does not mean I use more government resources or get more government benefits. (The opposite actually.) So take the budget (assuming we ever get one), divide by the population, and there’s your fair share. Could you imagine if the retail market worked like taxes? Romney’s BigMac would be $1000, mine would be $7, the average guy would pay the normal $3, and all the people on welfare get it free, with cash back!

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Martin Reply:

Jeff, I think you’re right. The Left is only interested in “fair” as they define it. What’s more, the Kennedys, Kerrys, Gores, and their ilk are as hypocritical as they are sanctimonious.

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2 Michael E. Newton { 09.07.12 at 7:51 am }

“The finest opportunity ever given to the world was thrown away because the passion of equality made vain the hope for freedom.” ~ Lord Acton

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