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

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  • Yes

    37 75.51%
  • No

    12 24.49%
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Thread: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

  1. #111
    marywollstonecraft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    08-14-13 @ 08:38 AM

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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.
    we all assume we don't have the money to address these issues - but in actual fact the COSTS to society of not addressing these issues is far more than the costs of addressing them!

    quite a few years ago I was involved in a program to get disadvantaged mothers of young (preschool) children into some of socially positive activities and engaging in education. We also did life skills training, including parenting skills. By the time the children started school they did significantly better, on average, than other children from similar backgrounds for at least the first few years (and from what I heard later this was sustained over a longer period). for the women, it improved self esteem, mental health outcomes, and self reliance, as well as engagement in education, training and employment.

    I believe there has been research into the effectiveness of this kind of approach in the US as well.

    I think a more equal distribution of resources is a good thing (and we see an increasing disparity in income now - especially in the US - which is a bad thing) but I think that by INVESTING in education, training, opportunities for social participation (eg enabling children from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate fully in activities which usually they can not afford), supporting parents to develop their own resilience and skills, and ensuring that families have adequate housing, health care etc, is important ... and I think affordable higher education opportunities are important in increasing social mobility as well
    Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.

  2. #112
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    01-22-17 @ 08:27 AM
    Slightly Conservative

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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.

    It sounds like there is some anger or strong feelings around this subject for you... I could be wrong though... ? ?

    Yes, I agree with this.

    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?

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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...

    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
    Your mostly saying the same thing here so I'll just address it all at once.

    1. There might not be a single middle class person who ends up poor today, but that doesn't mean my statement is incorrect. The point being, is that if people have already been segregated on the basis of intelligence, and people were exactly as intelligence as their parents, then theoretically there would be zero income mobility. That isn't 100% the case, considering people can be born more or less intelligent then their parents, and personal choices also play a role. So you do see mobility, my point is that generally speaking there is a huge correlation between biological ability and socioeconomic status.

    2. If money can't buy intelligence, what is the point of redistributing money to the less intelligent so they have an "equal" start? We already have programs in place to make sure kids are fed, clothed, housed, have healthcare, can afford education, etc. etc. So beyond that, what's the point of redistributing wealth even further if it isn't going to have an impact on one's ability to succeed? All you're doing is taking away incentives for succeeding without giving those at the bottom of the distribution curve any additional ability. Not to mention, when you take away inheritance, people do something funny. They don't save money. If I can't give the rest of my family my inheritance, why not just spend that money for myself instead? That is going to reduce the savings rate which is going to lead to lower capital investment and slower economic growth. Unintended consequences.

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