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. #71
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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).
    equal asset allocation? people like me would be buying those assets from people like my brother....
    and in one generation, the smart among us would be wealthy, and the notsosmart would be poor again...
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  2. #72
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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?
    again, there is no need to be born into millions of dollars, why not just get by like the rest of us and be thankful for the little things not your bank account.

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

    Fundamentally, and I've said it before, your parents are about 90% of your chances of success in life.

    First, there is the matter of genetics. I doubt that anyone can deny that parents with favorable genes (intellect, physical attraction and ability and so on) bequeath these to their offspring with complete disregard for equality.

    Second, more responsible parents tend to limit the number of offspring to that which they can give financial and the social upbringing needed for success.

    Third, the personal conduct of the parents sets a tremendous example and has a profound effect in the formation of offspring.

    Fourth, the parents' expectation of their children usually propels them to achieve accordingly.

    Trying to superficially even the playing field is a non-starter because from the very get-go children are not born equal. As long as parents are the primary care givers, the family units' influence will always be unequal. Most of those who sink to the bottom rungs of society are more than likely raised in unstable and often inappropriate environments. Parents who cannot or don't want to instill work ethics or otherwise lay foundations for their children's success will, in most cases, raise children who are very unlikely to become prosperous.

    The determent to equality lies in in the four points above. They are usually inseparable. The station of one's birth usually dictates the station of one's life which is invariably good for some and bad for others. Thus, poverty and wealth perpetuate themselves through generations and in truth, there is jack-**** anyone can do about it. It is truly a fool's errand.

  4. #74
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    Fundamentally, and I've said it before, your parents are about 90% of your chances of success in life.

    First, there is the matter of genetics. I doubt that anyone can deny that parents with favorable genes (intellect, physical attraction and ability and so on) bequeath these to their offspring with complete disregard for equality.

    Second, more responsible parents tend to limit the number of offspring to that which they can give financial and the social upbringing needed for success.

    Third, the personal conduct of the parents sets a tremendous example and has a profound effect in the formation of offspring.

    Fourth, the parents' expectation of their children usually propels them to achieve accordingly.

    Trying to superficially even the playing field is a non-starter because from the very get-go children are not born equal. As long as parents are the primary care givers, the family units' influence will always be unequal. Most of those who sink to the bottom rungs of society are more than likely raised in unstable and often inappropriate environments. Parents who cannot or don't want to instill work ethics or otherwise lay foundations for their children's success will, in most cases, raise children who are very unlikely to become prosperous.

    The determent to equality lies in in the four points above. They are usually inseparable. The station of one's birth usually dictates the station of one's life which is invariably good for some and bad for others. Thus, poverty and wealth perpetuate themselves through generations and in truth, there is jack-**** anyone can do about it. It is truly a fool's errand.
    no sane person expects equal results, but a level playing field is feasible. The rich shouldn't be allowed to clutter the field with their few "slow" kids if there are poor but smart kids being excluded.
    Oracle of Utah
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  5. #75
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    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.
    OK, so it looks like we are on the same page (sort of?). Right .. no ideal will ever be fully met, however, we can do a whole lot more than we are doing now and I propose we start with starting everyone off on the same financial starting line.

  6. #76
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    equal asset allocation? people like me would be buying those assets from people like my brother....
    and in one generation, the smart among us would be wealthy, and the notsosmart would be poor again...
    You have everything right except the "again" piece. This assumes that everyone that is rich are brilliant and everyone that is struggling financial are unintelligent etc.

    You are right that each generation would work out a hierarchy ... however, you would likely be surprised to find that people that would have had less success, suddenly had much more success ... a wise man once said "it takes money to make money"

    Then, the next generation would start the hierarchy race all over again from the same starting line, making it a fair race for every new generation ... sounds like the kind of equal opportunity I would support

  7. #77
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by iacardsfan View Post
    again, there is no need to be born into millions of dollars, why not just get by like the rest of us and be thankful for the little things not your bank account.
    um... because people are dying from starvation and exposure in the US! Here's what you said sounds like ... I'll set up a little scenario for you ... :

    A rich individual who had inherited his/her wealth says to a starving individual ... "be happy for the little things"

    The starving individual replies "OK, that sound great" ... looks at the sunset and dies

    What have we learned from this?

    Cute little sentiments like "just be happy for the little things" do not save lives, nor do they remove the chains of oppression of the rich on the poor

    I say ... be thankful for everything that is good in your life and stand up and fight for what is right ... never be too scared or naive to avoid thinking about changing social systems ... jmo

  8. #78
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    Fundamentally, and I've said it before, your parents are about 90% of your chances of success in life.
    Modern psychology would disagree as what a person becomes, psychologically speaking, is drawn from about 50% genetics and 50% environmental influences

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    First, there is the matter of genetics. I doubt that anyone can deny that parents with favorable genes (intellect, physical attraction and ability and so on) bequeath these to their offspring with complete disregard for equality.
    As I mentioned, genetics only influences about 50% of who a person is, psychologically speaking - however, in theory, two individuals of equal psychological value, would fair differently were they to be born with different levels of tangible assets - I think everyone can agree that this would be true (remember we are talking theoretically ... and remember, theories are often used to find solutions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    Second, more responsible parents tend to limit the number of offspring to that which they can give financial and the social upbringing needed for success.
    Actually ... this statement is a little misguided. There is evidence that (unconsciously) under situations of poverty, women have more children in order to increase odds of successful future propagation of genes. Thus, the worse off the conditions are, usually, the more children are born to one mother. The idea is that there is a better chance of producing an offspring that will be genetically superior if more offspring are birthed ... think if a parent looking to have a genius child

    On the other hand, those in wealth can invest much time and money into parenting their children and thus do not see the genetic advantage of the "quantity strategy" and thus stick to the "quality strategy".

    Still, regardless of why this happens, the fact remains that those any child born into poverty will have a disadvantage, monetarily speaking, when compared to their wealthy counterparts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    Third, the personal conduct of the parents sets a tremendous example and has a profound effect in the formation of offspring.
    No doubt that this is true ... still, the fact remains that those any child born into poverty will have a disadvantage, monetarily speaking, when compared to their wealthy counterparts.

    Let us also keep in mind that humans are adaptable. Thus, whatever environment we are born in, we adapt to it in order to achieve maximum genetic propagation. In situations where the chance of rising out of poverty is low, many strategies resort to other ways of attracting mates. This is just the way things work. We forget that humans who supposedly are not behaving "properly" (specifically those in doing so who are born into poverty) are simply trying to find a way to adapt to the poor conditions they are born into. The most important factor here is whether or not that strategy passes on their genetics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    Fourth, the parents' expectation of their children usually propels them to achieve accordingly.
    Not necessarily - but there is some truth to this statement

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    Trying to superficially even the playing field is a non-starter because from the very get-go children are not born equal.
    Remember starting them out on the same financial footing from the "get-go" is just one way equal opportunity can be realized financially speaking - remember, we are not looking for equal outcome ... only equal opportunity

    The fact that children are not born equal is the exact reason why this would be a good idea ... because it would allow the "natural" talent to shine brighter

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    As long as parents are the primary care givers, the family units' influence will always be unequal. Most of those who sink to the bottom rungs of society are more than likely raised in unstable and often inappropriate environments. Parents who cannot or don't want to instill work ethics or otherwise lay foundations for their children's success will, in most cases, raise children who are very unlikely to become prosperous.
    This is true and this is why we should focus on education and providing counseling for children that are struggling ... still, this does not negate the fact that allowing all to start form the same starting line financially speaking, would slowly begin to help the situation

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    The determent to equality lies in in the four points above.
    Except you missed the financial determinant - remember, finances affects many of the points you mentioned, for example, if parents had more money, they may be more inclined to spend more quality time with their children - they may get more money if they had a chance to start the race on equal footing

    Quote Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
    They are usually inseparable. The station of one's birth usually dictates the station of one's life which is invariably good for some and bad for others. Thus, poverty and wealth perpetuate themselves through generations and in truth, there is jack-**** anyone can do about it. It is truly a fool's errand.
    And this is where pessimists make their mistakes. Social policies can and have enhanced peoples lives. If we understand the problem, we can work out a solution

  9. #79
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    my parents were democrats, they wanted all their kids to have the same LACK of opportunity....2 of us had the smarts to go to college, but without Pell grants and student loan programs, and permission to live at home while going to college, that was not in the cards. Mom wanted "room and board", and I can tell you that she wanted way too much considering the quality offered.
    She was a terrible cook, for starters...
    So my only good choice was to join the Navy...

    I am talking about the early 60's, before the govt made it easy to finance an education. Good thing I got some good tech training in the Navy, otherwise I might be poor like most of my siblings.
    Oracle of Utah
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    my parents were democrats, they wanted all their kids to have the same LACK of opportunity....2 of us had the smarts to go to college, but without Pell grants and student loan programs, and permission to live at home while going to college, that was not in the cards. Mom wanted "room and board", and I can tell you that she wanted way too much considering the quality offered.
    She was a terrible cook, for starters...
    So my only good choice was to join the Navy...

    I am talking about the early 60's, before the govt made it easy to finance an education. Good thing I got some good tech training in the Navy, otherwise I might be poor like most of my siblings.
    So what do you think about how that worked out? I.E. Do you think that individuals without money should have to do things like join the military (i.e. risk your life) in order to acquire wealth, while your wealthy counterparts are going to high end schools and or reinvesting their inheritances?

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