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. #61
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    It's the unfortunate reality. I am reluctant to take the notion that some of us are gifted and others aren't, because that argument was used against me and the people I knew frequently, but I can't altogether dismiss it. Until that problem is solved, I couldn't begin to deal with the other issues. Further, some of us are more motivated than others, and I wouldn't want to neutralize that potential ambition and reward cycle because of the reality that because where some of us came from others have a better shot at "making it." Could you imagine a world in which the norm was an unexcited bore, floating through life with the expectation that regardless of what one does with their time we would be given the same?
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

  2. #62
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    It's the unfortunate reality. I am reluctant to take the notion that some of us are gifted and others aren't, because that argument was used against me and the people I knew frequently, but I can't altogether dismiss it. Until that problem is solved, I couldn't begin to deal with the other issues. Further, some of us are more motivated than others, and I wouldn't want to neutralize that potential ambition and reward cycle because of the reality that because where some of us came from others have a better shot at "making it." Could you imagine a world in which the norm was an unexcited bore, floating through life with the expectation that regardless of what one does with their time we would be given the same?
    Wow Fiddytree, its hard to understand what you're even talking about.

    Who was talking about equality of outcome? That seems to be what your are talking about.

    Also since when did this thread have anything to do with talents and natural gifts?

    Just asking .. trying to make a connection to what the posts have been, what the OP was and what your response is ... could you help me out a little?

  3. #63
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Equal opportunity in this country is impossible to achieve. It would require that all children have the exact same education, the exact same level of support from their parents and community, and the exact same job opportunities available when they finish school to allow their natural qualities to shine forth, and even then it would be partial because there are no controls for stuff like luck. This would infuriate pretty much every citizen in the US, as it would likely require all children be taken from their parents.

    Given that, I don't think its valid to ask the question because no society in the world is a true meritocracy.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 01-26-12 at 07:54 PM.

  4. #64
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Equal opportunity in this country is impossible to achieve. It would require that all children have the exact same education, the exact same level of support from their parents and community, and the exact same job opportunities available when they finish school to allow their natural qualities to shine forth, and even then it would be partial because there are no controls for stuff like luck. This would infuriate pretty much every citizen in the US, as it would likely require all children be taken from their parents.

    Given that, I don't think its valid to ask the question because no society in the world is a true meritocracy.
    Education is not given, it is taken. A vast array of information is presented, what an individual does with it is where freedom of choice factors in. The opportunity to choose from all the knowledge available should be there for the taking. The talent to make use of it is one of those variables that we just have to deal with. Some of us gots talent, some of us doesn't...
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    Education is not given, it is taken. A vast array of information is presented, what an individual does with it is where freedom of choice factors in. The opportunity to choose from all the knowledge available should be there for the taking. The talent to make use of it is one of those variables that we just have to deal with. Some of us gots talent, some of us doesn't...
    I know. My point was that due to individual circumstance never being the same among individuals, the concept of equal opportunity is invalid, because in order to make it happen, life would have to be extremely regimented until the point of a child becoming an adult, so that they can go out and make their own way and see what they can make of themselves and differentiate themselves through their personal qualities.

    However, we also know the legacy and caste systems are also bad for society, we need to structure public policy to enforce some churn in individual wealth so that the best talent has at least some opportunity to rise to the top by their own effort. Otherwise legacy systems of generational wealth will be the norm, along with ever increasing social stratification and ultimately a need to have a militarized society keep social unrest down. (starving people or people who have no hope to make a better life for themselves tend to be rather unhappy)

    So in the end, I think we need a middle road with progressive taxation, help for the less fortunate (but not our current welfare system, we should be somewhat tough on the poor to help give them the personal skills they need in an open society), etc. Ultimately, I think it is the best possible system, given human nature.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 01-26-12 at 08:11 PM.

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

    Am I missing something here or is the OP suggesting that every child born in the USA gets a check for a certain amount to start out life, no more, no less.

  7. #67
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Equal opportunity in this country is impossible to achieve.
    Not as defined in the OP it wouldn't

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    It would require that all children have the exact same education
    Actually, education should be rewarded based only on academic performance (rather than based on how much money a student can pay).

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    the exact same level of support from their parents and community,
    Financial support yes ... other kinds of support, such as moral support and so on, no

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    and the exact same job opportunities available when they finish school
    Duh! But only the same job opportunities for those who actually meet the job requirements of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    allow their natural qualities to shine forth
    Yes, this is what is desired .. do you disagree ... you do not want our natural qualities to shine forth?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    and even then it would be partial because there are no controls for stuff like luck.
    Actually, equal opportunity would just mean that everyone starts from the same starting line. If they win the lottery after that starting point, good for them. As long as there is no systematic subjugation of certain groups of people, getting lucky is great.

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    This would infuriate pretty much every citizen in the US, as it would likely require all children be taken from their parents.
    It may infuriate some of the very wealthy or the less oppressed folk, but my guess is that the majority of people living near the poverty line and struggling to pay simple bills would not be very upset. Also ... who said anything about taking children away from parents?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Given that, I don't think its valid to ask the question because no society in the world is a true meritocracy.
    You are right that no country is a true "meritocracy" and I am not proposing that that should occur ... that would be a topic for another post ... instead this post is about equal opportunity as defined in the OP.

    My question was whether or not true equal opportunity (as defined in the OP) is good for society and I think it is a completely relevant and valid question to ask. jmo

  8. #68
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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?
    What you are proposing would be unsustainable. There is not a limitless amount of land to dole out. Nor is there limitless resources. Eventually there would be no where else for the state to obtain the necessary means to provide for everyone born. People would have to move to different areas of the country to where the resources are. It would be easy for any government is such a situation to segregate for whatever reasons. In fact there are more issues that would make the utopia infeasible, and most likely make it harder for more citizens then it is now.

    The states idea of providing would be subject to politics and budget cuts. Plus the logistics would be expensive on its own. The result would be comparable to the Japanese coffin sized compartments for housing. Or everyone would live in the projects just like the Soviets built. The only end result that could become of it is state control of every human being in the country.
    Last edited by FreedomFromAll; 01-27-12 at 09:55 PM.

  9. #69
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    Am I missing something here or is the OP suggesting that every child born in the USA gets a check for a certain amount to start out life, no more, no less.
    You are somewhat correct. There of course would be appropriate social safety nets to prevent starvation and death due to exposure to elements etc. In addition to getting a check or credit (whatever would work best within that system), that person would own equal share of other tangible assets that would serve to make tangible assets completely equal when starting out in life (e.g. at like 18 years of age or 21 years ... whatever is decided upon). This is just an experimental idea; one in which the specifics have not yet been worked out. I believe that is why the post was created, so that people could start thinking about the possibilities of such a notion of true equal opportunity (as defined in the OP).

  10. #70
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    Not as defined in the OP it wouldn't



    Actually, education should be rewarded based only on academic performance (rather than based on how much money a student can pay).



    Financial support yes ... other kinds of support, such as moral support and so on, no



    Duh! But only the same job opportunities for those who actually meet the job requirements of course.



    Yes, this is what is desired .. do you disagree ... you do not want our natural qualities to shine forth?



    Actually, equal opportunity would just mean that everyone starts from the same starting line. If they win the lottery after that starting point, good for them. As long as there is no systematic subjugation of certain groups of people, getting lucky is great.



    It may infuriate some of the very wealthy or the less oppressed folk, but my guess is that the majority of people living near the poverty line and struggling to pay simple bills would not be very upset. Also ... who said anything about taking children away from parents?



    You are right that no country is a true "meritocracy" and I am not proposing that that should occur ... that would be a topic for another post ... instead this post is about equal opportunity as defined in the OP.

    My question was whether or not true equal opportunity (as defined in the OP) is good for society and I think it is a completely relevant and valid question to ask. jmo
    Well, I provide an actual definition of equal opportunity as opposed to the one in the OP (of course there are other ways to do it, depending on the scope one wishes to apply). Sorry that you don't like it.

    However, the ultimate point being that equal opportunity is never possible in reality, it is an ideal like most concepts. Certainly something to strive for, as long as we don't go too far with it.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 01-28-12 at 10:33 AM.

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