By PDMACpayday loans
Life isn’t fair. We’ve all heard this truism, usually introduced to us by our mothers after a whiny “…but it’s not FAAAIIIRRRRRR!!!!” And by the time we’re adults, I would hope we understand and accept that life really isn’t fair. Since “fair” is a human concept, a projection of human behavior onto the natural world, chance, divine will, what have you…the concept really doesn’t apply to “life”. But “life isn’t fair” is much easier to say than “life does not adhere to the human concept of fairness”.
But once it’s re-branded, understanding of this self-evident truth disappears.
The childhood cry of “it’s not fair” has become the more adult-sounding “it’s an injustice that this perceived inequality exists”. “Equality” is the new brand name.
Now I’m not saying that equality is bad. Equal treatment under the law, equal pay for equal work, and so forth, are all good things. I fully support such equality.
Equality does not exist in all things, nor can we force it to exist. Not without changing humanity…replace the human race entirely, no men or women or children with different experiences, but 100% asexual clones (with absolutely no genetic drift) raised in the exact same environment, experiencing the exact same things, living the exact same lives. Barring that mechanized, drone-like life, there are going to be differences between people. Differences that will be reflected in the choices we make in similar situations, and differences in the situations that arise for each individual.
Take, for example, opportunity. One great thing about the US is that this is the land of opportunity. For all the belly-aching done by some people, anyone can become a millionaire here, even without playing the Lottery. 1st generation immigrants start their own businesses and, through hard work and much sacrifice, succeed. They expand and open a second location, and then a third. What opportunity existed was seized, taken advantage of, and success was achieved.
But that’s not good enough for some. The fact that the opportunity exists isn’t enough. The amount of opportunity must be equal for equality to exist (in their minds). White suburbanites have more opportunity than inner-city blacks, therefore it is an inequality that must be combated. The children of the ultra-rich are “given” more opportunities than others, and it’s unjust. So goes the logic. But when really examined, it boils down to “it’s not FAAAAIIIIRRRR!!!!”
There is nothing we can do to eliminate the inequality of opportunity that exists as a result of chance of birth. Some people are genetically better athletes, some people are born into wealthy families, some people get the shaft. That’s life.
Now that I’ve pointed out and accepted the fact that life isn’t fair, and that there will naturally be an inequality between individuals due to chance of birth, where do we go? We can be jerks about it and ignore those who got a horrible hand dealt to them. We can be reasonable about it and try to help those who got life’s junk hand. Or we can be jerks about it and blame the rich for their chance of birth.
That third option is what I’ve been seeing promoted lately. It’s there in every argument to eat the rich. It’s there in every argument that those born rich (Paris Hilton, for example) got an unfair share of life’s opportunities. It’s there in every argument that rich suburbanites (relatively speaking) must pay for poorer inner city extra-curricular programs. In every argument that some people earn “too much” and should have the excess stripped away from them and given to someone in need.
I disagree with such sentiments. While the objective of helping those in need is indeed laudable, the means to the end is unjustifiable. I much prefer private donation over public programs funded by high taxes. Many (if not most) of the so-called rich are very generous, and really do support programs that give additional opportunities to others. And I believe there is a moral obligation for them to give such support.
But the support shouldn’t be at gunpoint.
That’s just not fair.
(This post inspired by various discussions surrounding this article)