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. #101
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    neither is desirable, as trying to create either would have net negative unintended consequences.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    neither is desirable, as trying to create either would have net negative unintended consequences.
    Can you explain that statement?
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    This is the important stuff. We canít get lost in discrimination. We canít get lost in B.S. We canít get lost tearing each other down. I want to make a point here that no matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship, who you love, how you identify, and yeah, how you run, that if you have good public policy ideas, if you are well qualified for office, bring those ideas to the table, because this is your America, too. This is our commonwealth of Virginia, too.
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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.
    No. If we were more equal circumstances, that would be the case. Equal opportunity and equal circumstances are distinctly different. Equal opportunity does not equate to ability.
    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: ďLove your neighbor as yourself.Ē

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    Can you explain that statement?
    To have Equal Opportunity For All requires an equal starting point. A child today raised by both parents in a household where at least one parent works full time and the house has books has an enormous advantage over a child that lacks all of these things. You cannot equalize familial differentials, and so the only way to have an Equal Opportunity For All is to reduce all children to the lowest common denominator, have them stripped from their parents, and raised by the state mass-line-assembly-style, with all the attendant social failures and reduction in net achievement for the children involved.

    Trying to have Equal Outcome, I think, is something that you would agree with me is disastrous, as it turns the vast majority of social interactions into issues of the commons where the incentive is for each man or woman to try to screw over their neighbor as much as possible.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RDS View Post
    Came across this article which substantiates my point.

    Breaking the Cycle of Childhood Poverty



    Rep. Chris Van Hollen: Breaking the Cycle of Childhood Poverty
    but it is worse than that. some international studies have also shown that childhood disadvantage (not just abuse and neglect) can have long term implications on adult mental health, and of course you get the whole problem of intergenerational disadvantage - which can compound in each subsequent generation.
    Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.

  6. #106
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    I agree, we cannot account for natural (aka, non-artificial or non-monetary) inheritances, such as intelligence, charisma, skill level and non-monetary parenting.
    Being a good parent isn't a matter of money. It doesn't require money to make sure your kids do their homework every night. The best things in life are free.

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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?
    Yes. Like people who blame murderers and drug dealers on the fact that they came from a bad neighborhood. Well, plenty of people came from that same neighborhood without killing anybody, so what is their excuse now?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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.
    We don't need affirmative action, all we need is to lessen the financial burden for those with low income to be able to pay for their education/jobs training. Its still on them to produce, but at least they have the means to excel up to their ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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.
    That is an absolutely horrible idea for two reasons. One, it encourages low income families to have even more kids, because they would have greater financial incentive to do so. Two, you're taking away a major incentive for people to work, which is to provide for their kids.

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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.
    Competition is based on skills..... But theres a funny thing about meritocracy. People, even those who are middle class, who generally do not have the merits for anything except for a McJob generally end up poor. Then they generally end up having poor kids who probably inherited most of the traits that would correlate with success from their parents, but now suddenly their kids lack of success is blamed on a lack of opportunity..... Bullllllllsheeeeeetttttttt
    We have plenty of programs (and money) in place for catapulting poor students who do well in school up the ladder. I've met plenty of people who grew up dirt poor who end up getting Ph.D's and working respectable jobs. But I also believe much of that has to do with talent, and much of that talent is inheritable. So.... if those who are not very talented end up poor in a meritocracy, and their kids inherit their general talent levels.... generally speaking those who grow up poor aren't going to have the talent to stop being poor. That's just the way it goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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.
    Yeah no. Redistribution of wealth in any form doesn't fly here. I already addressed this further up.

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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.
    There is plenty there to go wrong. Like encouraging the poor to have more kids to get a bigger slice of this inheritance pie... for example. The idea is to create a competition for skills, not to have babies. Besides, I think a top notch education system levels the playing field enough without the need for redistribution of wealth. After all, money can't buy intelligence.

  7. #107
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Being a good parent isn't a matter of money. It doesn't require money to make sure your kids do their homework every night. The best things in life are free.
    I absolutely agree... good parenting has nothing to do with money, so parents who would give large inheritances wouldn't miss it if it were redistributed. In my opinion monetary inheritances are in a different category. While they aren't pure parenting, they certainly help children get their feet on the ground, so to speak.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Yes. Like people who blame murderers and drug dealers on the fact that they came from a bad neighborhood. Well, plenty of people came from that same neighborhood without killing anybody, so what is their excuse now?
    It sounds like there is some anger or strong feelings around this subject for you... I could be wrong though... ? ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    We don't need affirmative action, all we need is to lessen the financial burden for those with low income to be able to pay for their education/jobs training. Its still on them to produce, but at least they have the means to excel up to their ability.
    Yes, I agree with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    That is an absolutely horrible idea for two reasons. One, it encourages low income families to have even more kids, because they would have greater financial incentive to do so. Two, you're taking away a major incentive for people to work, which is to provide for their kids.
    I wonder what would happen if redistributed inheritances were allowed to be given only if there were a cap on the amount of children they were allowed to have under the program? For example, maybe only a few would be allowed to be given the inheritance... any children they had after that would not be covered. Or, they would have to to get some kind of semi-Permian birth control in order to receive the inheritance . Those are just ideas off the top of my head... what do you think? I think it is important to note that this inheritance could only be used for the child only. And perhaps only once they got to a certain age. Or something like that, I'm sure there would have to be some policy that would account for the problem you mentioned... what are your thoughts on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Competition is based on skills..... But theres a funny thing about meritocracy. People, even those who are middle class, who generally do not have the merits for anything except for a McJob generally end up poor. Then they generally end up having poor kids who probably inherited most of the traits that would correlate with success from their parents, but now suddenly their kids lack of success is blamed on a lack of opportunity..... Bullllllllsheeeeeetttttttt
    It would be interesting to see some statistics on this showing how many middle class individuals end up in poverty or with their children in poverty. Also some data on exactly what landed them there. If there were any pattern that were found, somehow I am not convinced that that would completely biologically based. I'm sure it would have something to do with culture too.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    We have plenty of programs (and money) in place for catapulting poor students who do well in school up the ladder. I've met plenty of people who grew up dirt poor who end up getting Ph.D's and working respectable jobs.
    Again, I'd like to see some statistics regarding what percentage of people make it out of poverty or even above lower-middle class. There are definitely programs that can help, however, sometimes I wonder if not having an inheritance/hope to look forward to effects these children. Through biological and psychological studies, we know that individuals usually try to pick a path that they feel would have the most success for them in any given environment. Specifically, the path that would lead to have the most well adjusted (to their environment) offspring.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    But I also believe much of that has to do with talent, and much of that talent is inheritable. So.... if those who are not very talented end up poor in a meritocracy, and their kids inherit their general talent levels...
    Yes, I believe at least 50% of how individuals preform is based on biological talent. As I mentioned above, there is a gene-environment interaction that occurs wherein the organism assesses its environment and adjusts their strategy based on what seems to working for others and based on what known resources are available. As far as a meritocracy is concerned, I agree with you. It is likely that those with inherited talents that aren't quite up to par, would likely end up poor. However, with the program I am proposing, at least there wouldn't be the artificially enhanced wealth differences that we see today. Sure there would be differences and they would be significant, but no were near as severe as the kinds differences we see today.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    ...generally speaking those who grow up poor aren't going to have the talent to stop being poor. That's just the way it goes.
    I would like to see some data showing the significant talent/skill differences between the poor and the rich. If I remember correctly, there isn't that much difference in IQ etc. I think the major difference here is the environment that people grow up in, combined the comparably low lack of opportunity.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    There is plenty there to go wrong. Like encouraging the poor to have more kids to get a bigger slice of this inheritance pie... for example. The idea is to create a competition for skills, not to have babies.
    Right, I offered some solutions to this possible problem above. It would also be interesting to note that as education levels and income levels increase, the total children born automatically decreases... so that's something to keep in mind too...

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Besides, I think a top notch education system levels the playing field enough without the need for redistribution of wealth. After all, money can't buy intelligence.
    Oh, I agree that education is paramount. And... you are exactly right... money can't buy intelligence... but it usually takes money to make money .... lets just cut to the chase... you and I both know that helping your child get on their feet, so long as they are earning the help, does wonders

  8. #108
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    To have Equal Opportunity For All requires an equal starting point. A child today raised by both parents in a household where at least one parent works full time and the house has books has an enormous advantage over a child that lacks all of these things....
    I agree, those things mentioned are highly helpful... just remember that no one is proposing that a completely equal starting point is possible... we've already discussed how all that would be made equal would be the child's monetary inheritances

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    .... You cannot equalize familial differentials, and so the only way to have an Equal Opportunity For All is to reduce all children to the lowest common denominator, have them stripped from their parents, and raised by the state mass-line-assembly-style, with all the attendant social failures and reduction in net achievement for the children involved.
    No there are certainly familial differentials that cannot be equalized, and as mentioned above, the goal would not be to have such types of inheritances equalized... therefore, your solution of ripping kids out of homes isn't exactly the solution I am proposing

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Trying to have Equal Outcome, I think, is something that you would agree with me is disastrous, as it turns the vast majority of social interactions into issues of the commons where the incentive is for each man or woman to try to screw over their neighbor as much as possible.
    Interesting... I haven't heard this argument before... tell me more about it... why do you think that this would happen?

  9. #109
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by marywollstonecraft View Post
    but it is worse than that. some international studies have also shown that childhood disadvantage (not just abuse and neglect) can have long term implications on adult mental health, and of course you get the whole problem of intergenerational disadvantage - which can compound in each subsequent generation.
    Yes... I agree this this is a multifaceted problem and there is a huge history (an ugly one I might add) that has contributed to it. What are some of your ideas on the solution(s) to these problems? I certainly think mental health services, social work and education all do wonders, but that there isn't enough funding, nor enough other types of support to efficiently get the job done with that alone. This is why I am thinking of other, additional solutions. Specifically, what do you think of leveling the playing field by redistributing monetary inheritances for each new generation? The aim would be to allow all individuals merit to shine through without the tampering of monetary head starts.

  10. #110
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    I agree, those things mentioned are highly helpful... just remember that no one is proposing that a completely equal starting point is possible... we've already discussed how all that would be made equal would be the child's monetary inheritances
    there is functionally little difference. If I give my child an inheritance in the form of a $400,000 schooling, or if I give my child $400,000 cash, it is far more likely that the first will end up being a greater advantage to him v his peers than the second. If I use the fact that my income is high enough to support a family in comfort to let my wife stop working when the kids are young and focus on raising them, teaching them to read early, etc.; then that sets up my children with a significant advantage v those who do not. You are attempting to pick up a single form in which parents seek to do the best that they can for their children, and separate it from the rest in a fashion that reality will not support.

    No there are certainly familial differentials that cannot be equalized, and as mentioned above, the goal would not be to have such types of inheritances equalized... therefore, your solution of ripping kids out of homes isn't exactly the solution I am proposing
    then your "solution" is merely to create a massively intrusive police state in a vain attempt to circumvent peoples' natural inclinations. You cannot stop decently loving parents from trying to set up their children for success.



    If you want to put everyone on a more equal footing at the starting line, you're going to have to tear them down to the lowest common denominator.

    Interesting... I haven't heard this argument before... tell me more about it... why do you think that this would happen?
    Because everyone's results are already guaranteed to be equal, thus each individual has very little incentive to increase net production (as all their work will see infinitesimal return at best), and lots of incentive to reduce their own effort. For every additional hour they take in labor, they increase their income perhaps a seconds' worth of labor. But for every hour they take in leisure, they increase their leisure by the full hour. Everyone thus has an incentive to do as little as possible, and instead live off of their neighbors efforts. If your response to that is "but their neighbors are all doing the same thing!" then all I can say is "now you know why people in communist countries starved to death in the tens of millions."
    Last edited by cpwill; 07-22-13 at 09:37 AM.

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