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. #81
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    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?
    bring back the draft.....it did more than most programs to "equalize" opportunity....especially the GI Bill part of service...
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  2. #82
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    bring back the draft.....it did more than most programs to "equalize" opportunity....especially the GI Bill part of service...
    OK, I see what you're saying - at least that way it wouldn't only be the poor that are dying for our country (and don't think for a minute that rich daddy couldn't pay to make sure his son got a cushy job in the military should he ever get drafted)

    Still, for the people still at home, unequal opportunity would still be raging

  3. #83
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    OK, wow! I found that I am not the only one who has been thinking about equal opportunity the way I have been in this post. It turns out there is a conception of equal opportunity know as "Level Playing Field. Below are some examples of what this means:

    From wikipedia:

    The idea is that initial "unchosen inequalities"––prior circumstances over which an individual had no control but which impact his or her success in a given competition for a particular post––these unchosen inequalities should be eliminated as much as possible, according to this conception. According to Roemer, society should "do what it can to level the playing field so that all those with relevant potential will eventually be admissible to pools of candidates competing for positions.[32] Afterwards, when an individual competes for a specific post, he or she might make specific choices which cause future inequalities––and these inequalities are deemed acceptable because of the previous presumption of fairness.
    Equal opportunity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    From stanford.edu:

    The equality-of-opportunity distributive justice theorist answers that the distribution is just only if it satisfies the norm of equality of opportunity, which requires that unchosen inequalities should be eliminated and that inequalities that arise from the choices of individuals given equal initial conditions and a fair framework for interaction should not be eliminated or reduced ...........

    People’s initial circumstances should be made equal. But once individuals make choices to lead their lives in one or another way starting from initial equality, justice does not demand further compensation if risks taken happen to turn out badly and in fact justice demands that further compensation should not occur.
    Equality of Opportunity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    So the basic idea is that ideally, aside from unalterable inequalities, such as genetic ones, everyone starts from the same starting line creating a level playing field for competition. Addressing complicated issues such as quality of parenting may not be appropriate in applying these principles. However, monetary and or tangible assets can be leveled when an individual is starting out, as can access to education (based on academic performance of course) would all be possible and would certainly begin to bring us closer the the ideal of a "level playing field".

    What would be the best way for this ideal to be realized?

    I.E. Should all individuals receive equal amounts of assets at adulthood (disallowing significant parental financial backing and inheritance)
    How much should be allocated to individuals who are just starting out in life?
    Would this make it so that within each generation, there would not be enough worker bees to do the typically lower paying jobs?
    Would the less desirable jobs all of a sudden become better paying jobs?
    Would there still be economic stability with so many people having a larger stake in companies?

    So what do you all think?

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

    you can offer up a level playing field, but not all players will be equal....in my family, only 2 of us had the internal drive to pursue more education and a better life, 2 more were disadvantaged in the smarts department, and the other 2 were just plain lazy.
    If you GIVE money, or assets, to people who are lazy, they will piss it away. If you GIVE to the slow of mind, someone will find a way to legally take those assets from them.
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Starting life with equal opportunities is out of the question. Instead there should be a level playing field and no student should be deprived of education and health care just cuz he or she is poor.

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

    Came across this article which substantiates my point.

    Breaking the Cycle of Childhood Poverty

    America stands as a beacon of hope and the possibility of a better life -- but it is also a nation where nearly 1 in 4 children live in poverty. Some of these children don't have permanent places to call home, others go to bed hungry and don't have access to proper medical care, and often their schools are underfunded and understaffed. Every day, families in the United States face the stark choice between a roof over their heads and food on the table. Buying health insurance, owning a home, and saving up for college are just too far out of their reach.
    Rep. Chris Van Hollen: Breaking the Cycle of Childhood Poverty

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

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    you can offer up a level playing field, but not all players will be equal....in my family, only 2 of us had the internal drive to pursue more education and a better life, 2 more were disadvantaged in the smarts department, and the other 2 were just plain lazy.
    If you GIVE money, or assets, to people who are lazy, they will piss it away. If you GIVE to the slow of mind, someone will find a way to legally take those assets from them.
    You're darn right! That's the beauty of it. Leveling the playing field allows this natural phenomena to play itself out with each new generation. Without the level playing field, we would see the artificial monetary positions that we see today.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RDS View Post
    Starting life with equal opportunities is out of the question. Instead there should be a level playing field and no student should be deprived of education and health care just cuz he or she is poor.

    And this is the type of equal opportunities I am talking about. Of course nothing would ever be literally equal at the start of life. But it would be a goal to shoot for, knowing that we could get really close, but never reach it.

  9. #89
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    Re: Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    You're darn right! That's the beauty of it. Leveling the playing field allows this natural phenomena to play itself out with each new generation. Without the level playing field, we would see the artificial monetary positions that we see today.

    Is equal opportunity (not equal outcome) best for society?-thread_necromancer-jpg



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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?
    Interesting...

    I'd have to say all things being equal there likely would be a disproportion of workers mainly because no one would be incentivized to do anything productive. However, you haven't added any variables in which to go by, i.e., do the people have the freedom to spend their money on anything they want? Are they free to learn anything of interest to them? Can they do anything with their land except merely live on it? With those variables in mind, I'd say many people would take risks with their money and over time many would lose a significant amount of their wealth for various reasons.

    Some might make poor decisions. Some may just blow it on worthless things. Some might simple have bad luck with their investment. Some just might not be good stewards with their money or pursue the right education or put their money to good use for their benefit. All sorts of things might happen. Thing is you just don't know, but I suspect that over time a good number of people would fall out of the "wealth-class". You'd probably still have a large amount of wealthy people, but you'd never have a "balance" of rich -v- poor and it wouldn't be due to natural selection; it would be man being free to choose for himself.
    Last edited by Objective Voice; 07-19-13 at 11:12 PM.
    "A fair exchange ain't no robbery." Tupac Shakur w/Digital Underground

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