View Poll Results: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

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Thread: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

  1. #91
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    It is very clear what equal opportunity means, or at least it should be…. Well, just to be clear for this post… by equal opportunity, I mean the following… do you believe that everyone should start life with the same opportunities (this = equal opportunity for the purposes of this post)? Or would this lead to a lack of adequate separation between the rich and the poor, leading to a lack of functionality. For example, if everyone were allowed the same amount of money at birth, the same amount of land, the same amount of education and so on … would this lead to an inadequate number of “worker bees” (the poor) and an overpopulation of possible business owners etc. … ? What do you think?
    Opportunity will never be strictly equal persay. And a lot of the time, "equal opportunity" is mere a push for equality of outcome in disguise. People will say "they weren't give the same opportunity!" when pushing for things such as affirmative action, welfare, lax crime standards, etc. etc.

    Truth is, unless you confiscate all the children and grow them in a government facility, there will always be children who grow up in bad homes, parents who are drug addicts, felons, apathetic, or too young to handle the pressure and responsibility of parenthood. There are also people who won't see the same opportunity to succeed because they simply aren't talented enough. The fact is we recognize talent at an earlier and earlier age and those students will have an advantage from that point forward in their education. I certainly don't think its fair or does any good to hold them back just to ensure an "equality of opportunity."

    Anyways. Its should never be the job of society to try to compensate individuals for their perceived level of hardship. The answer is creating the greatest possible opportunities for everyone through a strong public school system, a strong secondary education system (college, jobs training etc.), and a strong economy. This will foster an environment where people can create opportunity for themselves through personal responsibility, by being good parents and hard workers. It comes down to the individual, your child will have whatever opportunities you work to give or not give them.

  2. #92
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    I'd have to say all things being equal there likely would be a disproportion of workers mainly because no one would be incentivized to do anything productive.
    This is a great point. I was thinking that the equity received from equal opportunity would not last that long and they would have to do something to make a living. As an example, I did the math recently and if all the income in the US in 2012 where divided between the total population, each individual would receive around 43K. That is enough to live in most areas of the country, but its not a heaping amount of money either. Of course I am not proposing splitting of of the income this way, but using this as an example of how if each person were give equal opportunity at birth at least in the monetary way, it is likely that they would have to work to make a living.

    Still what do you think that work would look like? In other words, what would people be doing for jobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    However, you haven't added any variables in which to go by, i.e., do the people have the freedom to spend their money on anything they want? Are they free to learn anything of interest to them? Can they do anything with their land except merely live on it?
    Yes of course they could use their monetary inheritance (aka equal opportunity equity) however they wanted to. Everything about the market would be the same as it is now, the only difference being that they would have equal opportunity so far as monetary inheritance is concerned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    I'd say many people would take risks with their money and over time many would lose a significant amount of their wealth for various reasons.

    Some might make poor decisions. Some may just blow it on worthless things. Some might simple have bad luck with their investment. Some just might not be good stewards with their money or pursue the right education or put their money to good use for their benefit. All sorts of things might happen. Thing is you just don't know, but I suspect that over time a good number of people would fall out of the "wealth-class". You'd probably still have a large amount of wealthy people, but you'd never have a "balance" of rich -v- poor and it wouldn't be due to natural selection; it would be man being free to choose for himself.
    Yes, I agree, some would take risks. Some would not. Its hard to say exactly what would happen, but I think people wanting power and money would lead to risk taking and inevitably great wealth could be accumulated. On the other hand, other people's inability to manage their money would leave them poor. Of course if we were to do this we'd have the same safety nets that we have today to catch those that fall. Although, I would like for the system to include incentives for getting out of the safety net.

    I'm not sure what you mean with the natural selection comment though. I am very familiar with the term, but not sure how you are applying it here.

  3. #93
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    It is very clear what equal opportunity means, or at least it should be…. Well, just to be clear for this post… by equal opportunity, I mean the following… do you believe that everyone should start life with the same opportunities (this = equal opportunity for the purposes of this post)? Or would this lead to a lack of adequate separation between the rich and the poor, leading to a lack of functionality. For example, if everyone were allowed the same amount of money at birth, the same amount of land, the same amount of education and so on … would this lead to an inadequate number of “worker bees” (the poor) and an overpopulation of possible business owners etc. … ? What do you think?
    Equality of opportunities is an ideal that can never be achieved, but the more we try to achieve it, the better, IMO.

    But what does it mean in reality? That's probably where we're going to differ.

    One example: I don't think children should be blamed for their parents' mistakes. That means the education of children should not depend on their parents' capacity to collect money. That means that it should be impossible for children of rich children with poor grades to go to university just because their parents "donate", just like poor children with good talents should be accepted, their talents should count. Just one example, there are many more.
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Equality of opportunities is an ideal that can never be achieved, but the more we try to achieve it, the better, IMO.

    But what does it mean in reality? That's probably where we're going to differ.

    One example: I don't think children should be blamed for their parents' mistakes. That means the education of children should not depend on their parents' capacity to collect money. That means that it should be impossible for children of rich children with poor grades to go to university just because their parents "donate", just like poor children with good talents should be accepted, their talents should count. Just one example, there are many more.
    I think you are confusing circumstances with opportunity.
    You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Opportunity will never be strictly equal persay.
    I agree, we cannot account for natural (aka, non-artificial or non-monetary) inheritances, such as intelligence, charisma, skill level and non-monetary parenting.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    And a lot of the time, "equal opportunity" is mere a push for equality of outcome in disguise.
    Really? You mean people who are looking for a specific outcome and fail will blame it on a lack of equal opportunity or something like that?

    [QUOTE=ReformCollege;1062081699]People will say "they weren't give the same opportunity!" when pushing for things such as affirmative action, welfare, lax crime standards, etc. etc.

    Ah yes. I am against most affirmative action because it doesn't work that well and there are better ways, such as the way being explored in this post, to ensure true equality of opportunity, i.e allowing new generations to start off on a level playing field, at least monetarily; this is similar to the rules for racing, i.e. everyone must start from the same starting line. However, since this idea hasn't been realized and thoroughly explored yet, I suppose we will just have to focus on reforming affirmative action so that is does not become reverse discrimination.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Truth is, unless you confiscate all the children and grow them in a government facility, there will always be children who grow up in bad homes, parents who are drug addicts, felons, apathetic, or too young to handle the pressure and responsibility of parenthood.
    True, although with applying a level playing field, we could at least ensure that each individual could start off with equal monetary inheritances. Over time, with education and a lowered need for individuals to pursue illegal endeavors and to treat their psychological problems with drugs, we would likely see gradual progress away from criminality and drug use. There would always be some crime and some drug use, but at least it would be a whole lot lower. I should not that legalizing drugs and treating them as a medical issue would also help this along. But the issue of drug prohibition isn't really the topic of the OP, so I'll stop talking about it for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    There are also people who won't see the same opportunity to succeed because they simply aren't talented enough. The fact is we recognize talent at an earlier and earlier age and those students will have an advantage from that point forward in their education. I certainly don't think its fair or does any good to hold them back just to ensure an "equality of opportunity."
    Yes, I completely agree, those that aren't as talented would not make out as well and that is fine. The purpose of this corrected version of capitalism would be to increase the effects of competition based on skills, characters, etc. It is healthy to have different levels of success, otherwise we would just see equality of outcome which would be horrible for society, i.e. no competition, no motivation etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Anyways. Its should never be the job of society to try to compensate individuals for their perceived level of hardship.
    I agree. Instead, we should simply allow the artificial (monetary) inheritances to be divided among all members of the new generation so as to allow for a level playing field, thus allowing everyone to start the race at the same starting line, at least as far as monetary inheritances are concerned. In this way, there would be no unfair advantages/compensation given to those that are living in hardship.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    The answer is creating the greatest possible opportunities for everyone through a strong public school system, a strong secondary education system (college, jobs training etc.), and a strong economy. This will foster an environment where people can create opportunity for themselves through personal responsibility, by being good parents and hard workers. It comes down to the individual, your child will have whatever opportunities you work to give or not give them.
    I agree that this would be probably one of the most important pieces of allowing a level playing field for new generations. Education is where it is at. I believe schools should teach values too, jmo. In combination with the equal starting point of artificial inheritances I'm not sure we could go wrong. Of course there would need to be some tweaking.

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Equality of opportunities is an ideal that can never be achieved, but the more we try to achieve it, the better, IMO.

    But what does it mean in reality? That's probably where we're going to differ.

    One example: I don't think children should be blamed for their parents' mistakes. That means the education of children should not depend on their parents' capacity to collect money. That means that it should be impossible for children of rich children with poor grades to go to university just because their parents "donate", just like poor children with good talents should be accepted, their talents should count. Just one example, there are many more.
    Yes, I agree, true equality of opportunity will never be achievable. But we can get pretty darn close. By simply leveling the playing field so that each new generation starts out with the same amount of monetary inheritances (also known as artificial or unnatural inheritances), we would probably be as close as we could to true equality of opportunity.

    Many people like respond with the following rebuttal.... "even that wouldn't be equal opportunity because people would have differing levels of parenting and some people would be naturally more talented than others"... to which I would respond that we are not looking for equality of outcome. We are looking for equality of opportunity. Having different parenting styles is good. Having differing types of skills and personalities is good, these are all things that add variety and also that contribute to competition. There is no need to try to tamper with natural inheritances, its the artificial inheritances that need to be corrected for.

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by ksu_aviator View Post
    I think you are confusing circumstances with opportunity.
    I think he's getting at something though. He saying it isn't good for our society to allow rich students with poor grades get to go to good schools and disallow poor students with good grades to go to good schools. If there were more equal opportunity, this wouldn't be the case.

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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean with the natural selection comment though. I am very familiar with the term, but not sure how you are applying it here.
    Well, if everyone was to receive the same amount of money, have the same chances to attend school and learn, etc., etc., as your hypothesis dictates, you have to accept that not everyone will be capable of applying themselves and, thus, become part of the free market system since some would have a physical and/or mental handicap. As such, you can't expect that they'd be capable of earning a living on their own. Such people would have to be set aside and society would have to let the social safety net pick them up as very few people would care enough to see to their survival. Survival of the fittest would surely apply in this case.
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    I would say equity rather than equality is best.
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Equal opportunity tends to lead to pretty equal outcomes. Actually equal opportunity would lead us to much more equal outcomes than we have right now. Also, equal outcomes for this generation lead to equal opportunity for the next. It's really very hard to have one without the other.
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