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. #41
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Equity cannot be achieved unless equity of parents or caregivers can be provided. In other words in cannot work. I live in the Czech Republic where the largest non-white minorities are Roma (gypsies) and Vietnamese. The contrast could not be greater. The Vietnamese come to CZ unable to speak Czech but work hard and send their children to local schools where they invariably excel. At a very early age they are taught to study hard and that ethic is enforced throughout their childhood. The Roma by contrast, start the first grade without command of the ABCs, numbers and other basic taught by most parents to their pre-school children. As a result they are sent to special schools because they cannot manage elementary school cirricula. Most stay at best semi-literate throughout their lives.

    I don't doubt that much of the income inequality in the US is for this very reason. In fact, I'm quite sure of it.

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

    There is no such thing as equal opportunity. Some are born into wealth and some into poverty just as some are born intelligent and others not so much. Some are beautiful, others are deformed, some are healthy others are sickly, on and on and on. In a free society like the USA you can rise to your own level or sink to your own level, that's freedom and that's why many old people in Russia can't adjust, along with freedom comes personal responsibility and the state is not there to babysit you.

  3. #43
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    Yes, equal opportunity, meaning equality to the law,
    Yes law needs to be applied equally, but it goes beyond that, jmo

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    not equal talents
    Completely agree with this; making everyone have equal talents is impossible anyway

  4. #44
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    Legacy is what gets people like McCain, Gore, Bush, into Harvard, Yale, etc.
    Right I understand what legacy means .. we are on the same page here

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    Entitlement, the negative aspect of it, is when some of us demand results without effort, a degree without education, a high paying job without matching performance.
    Yes, I totally agree with this

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    I have worked for some good people over the years, and some idiots who got promoted far beyond their level of competence.
    Yeah, unfortunately, I think some people don't higher more intelligent people due to a lack of their own insecurities; they may feel intimidated by a smart, competent person, jmo

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    That's the way it is, I guess....
    Yeah and I don't think there's much that can be done about that .. what do you think?

  5. #45
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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?
    Equal opportunity to me means that every American child has access to a public education system that adequately addresses their needs. Note that this does not mean that everyone has the same public school system since every area has different needs. For example, poor kids would likely need more after school programs and counseling programs in their schools.

    If that is equal opportunity, then yes, it is best for society.

  6. #46
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    Equity cannot be achieved unless...
    I have seen a lot of use of the term equity, when the OP referred to equal opportunity. Are we using the two terms synonymously? Below are the actual definitions of each:

    "Equity" defined:

    The quality of being fair and impartial

    source:

    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=equi...w=1252&bih=546

    "Equal Opportunity" defined:

    The policy of treating employees and others without discrimination, esp. on the basis of their sex, race, or age

    source:

    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=equa...w=1252&bih=546

    It should be noted that for the purposes of this thread, I originally modified the definition of equal opportunity to the following definition (see below); also, in terms of looking at the phrase "equal opportunity", someone who does not know the actual definition may believe that the following definition would be the literal translation of the phrase; thus I will continue to refer to equal opportunity as is roughly defined below:

    Modified definition of "Equal Opportunity":

    Equality of assets (e.g. property and goods) at birth, i.e. for each new generation; the idea is that everyone starts the race (life) on the same starting line; we of course cannot account for intangible advantages such as quality of parenting, genetic differences etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    Equity cannot be achieved unless equity of parents or caregivers can be provided. In other words in cannot work.
    If your definition of equal opportunity (I assume by equity you mean the definition of "equal opportunity" that was referred to in the OP and was restated above) includes trying to account for equality of parenting, then, you are right; it is hard to imagine how equality of parenting could be achieved and seems quite impossible (parenting of course not referring to financial support, but only to the actual act of parenting, e.g. setting boundaries, gentle guidance etc.).

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    I live in the Czech Republic where the largest non-white minorities are Roma (gypsies) and Vietnamese. The contrast could not be greater. The Vietnamese come to CZ unable to speak Czech but work hard and send their children to local schools where they invariably excel. At a very early age they are taught to study hard and that ethic is enforced throughout their childhood. The Roma by contrast, start the first grade without command of the ABCs, numbers and other basic taught by most parents to their pre-school children. As a result they are sent to special schools because they cannot manage elementary school cirricula. Most stay at best semi-literate throughout their lives.
    Yes, we cannot account for poor values, as those values are the right of the parents to pass on (or at least that is my opinion). However, as you mentioned, it is good to have school programs that attempt to hedge for poor parenting, just as you mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    I don't doubt that much of the income inequality in the US is for this very reason. In fact, I'm quite sure of it.
    I do not doubt that many of the problems in the US are related to poor parenting practices. However, there are many poor families in the US who are suburb parents and do well at parenting. However, parenting will only take an individual so far. If other individuals (other competition) start their lives off with more tangible assets, they have a clear financial advantage. This inequality of tangible assets when starting out in life, is the main problem I am talking about and possibly the only problem that can actually be addressed. Many of the wealthy have inherited their wealth and this money often stays in the family for years and years. This is clearly an unfair advantage for those born into wealth. As I've mentioned before, I am not proposing equal outcome, only equal opportunity or equality of starting points for all. Does that make sense, i.e. am I clearly articulating my point?

  7. #47
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    There is no such thing as equal opportunity. Some are born into wealth and some into poverty...
    This is true, some are born into wealth and some into poverty. That is the way it is right now and thus you are right, there is no equal opportunity. This does not mean there should not be when we are referring to equality of tangible assets when individuals start out in life. There is nothing wrong with allowing all individuals to start the race of life on the same starting line.

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    Some are born into wealth and some into poverty just as some are born intelligent and others not so much. Some are beautiful, others are deformed, some are healthy others are sickly, on and on and on.
    Unfortunately, being born into wealth or poverty is not analogous to being born beautiful, deformed, healthy or sick. Something can be done to even the playing field (see previous posts) when it comes to wealth, while it appears that nothing can be done about genetic and or parental advantages. Thus, this point is not applicable.

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    In a free society like the USA you can rise to your own level or sink to your own level, that's freedom and that's why many old people in Russia can't adjust, along with freedom comes personal responsibility and the state is not there to babysit you.
    Unfortunately, if you enjoy the freedom of oppression, i.e. the ability of the vast majority of the wealthy to stay wealthy and insure that their children stay wealthy, then that is your choice. However, I believe most people would enjoy the freedom to start the race of life on the same foot, i.e. on the same starting line (with equal levels of tangible assets when starting out in life). This would be true equal opportunity. I am asking debaters on debate politics whether or not they believe this kind of equal opportunity would be best for society.

  8. #48
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    However, parenting will only take an individual so far. If other individuals (other competition) start their lives off with more tangible assets, they have a clear financial advantage. This inequality of tangible assets when starting out in life, is the main problem I am talking about and possibly the only problem that can actually be addressed. Many of the wealthy have inherited their wealth and this money often stays in the family for years and years. This is clearly an unfair advantage for those born into wealth. As I've mentioned before, I am not proposing equal outcome, only equal opportunity or equality of starting points for all. Does that make sense, i.e. am I clearly articulating my point?
    I see your points but in part I don't agree. As I mentioned earlier, the Vietnamese here come piss poor. They come with a work ethic and stress education for their children. The role parents play is the single-most important factor in the success of their children. This invariably has a knock-on effect on subsequent generations. Until this can be addressed, you cannot even begin to level the playing field. The sad fact of the matter is that all children will never have equal opportunity because their parents are not equal, whether rich or poor. Regardless of this fact, I will do my utmost to ensure my son's success, equality be damned.
    Last edited by Meathead; 01-26-12 at 01:12 PM.

  9. #49
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    Equal opportunity to me means that every American child has access to a public education system that adequately addresses their needs. Note that this does not mean that everyone has the same public school system since every area has different needs. For example, poor kids would likely need more after school programs and counseling programs in their schools.
    I agree that equality of education, esp. according to students needs, is important.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    If that is equal opportunity, then yes, it is best for society.
    However, for the purposes of this thread, equal opportunity was essentially defined as:

    "the freedom to start the race of life on the same foot, i.e. on the same starting line (with equal levels of tangible assets when starting out in life)" please remember that this does not mean equality of outcome - I am very against equality of outcome as this would eliminate competition and competition is needed for a healthy society (at least that is my opinion).

    Therefore, equal opportunity (as defined in the OP) goes beyond education and I am asking whether or not equal opportunity (as defined above and in the OP) is best for society.

  10. #50
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    I see your points but in part I don't agree. As I mentioned earlier, the Vietnamese here come piss poor. They come with a work ethic and stress education for their children. Life is never fair and we are only born equal in the eyes of our creator. The role parents play is the single-most important factor in the success of their children.
    I understand that your opinion is that parenting is the only factor, however I can tell that you are a reasonable person and know that inherited wealth is also very important... as a wise person once said "it takes money to make money"

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    This invariably has a knock-on effect on subsequent generations. Until this can be addressed, you cannot even begin to level the playing field.
    I do not wish to see the playing field leveled. I only wish to see everyone start from the same starting line, in so far as inherited tangible assets are concerned. This is a very doable proposition. It only takes a majority to agree upon such a proposition to see it realized.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    The sad fact of the matter is that all children will never have equal opportunity because their parents are not equal, whether rich or poor. Regardless of this fact, I will do my utmost to ensure my son's success, equality be damned.
    There will only never be equal opportunity in so far as equality of starting points of inheritance is concerned, if everyone agrees that it would be a good thing for society. We must not settle ourselves into feeling hopeless on the matter; if we do, we have already lost the battle.

    I completely agree with you as far as parenting is concerned - good parenting, while not the only factor, is a huge factor and I will do my utmost to ensure my children's sucess as well. I think all loving parents wish this for their children.

    Still, we must not surrender ourselves hopeless on the equal opportunity front. Society can do what it wants if everyone bands together

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