Equality of Opportunity vs Equality of Outcome

June 12th, 2007 at 6:21 pm by David Farrar

Last week Jordan Carter blogged on what it means to be left wing and quotes from some overseas socialist parties. What I found most fascinating was his statement:

Our ideology at heart says that because people are morally equal, and because the distribution of talents and capacities is largely a matter of luck (and therefore morally arbitrary), the community as a whole has a responsibility to embrace a political and economic system that reflects this.

That is, public policy uses a range of tools – sometimes markets, sometimes community provision, sometimes state provision – to ensure that each person has a roughly comparable standard of living, quite independent of their luck in drive, intelligence, physical aptitude etc.

This shows the difference between right and left. On the right we think it is nonsense to have a society where everyone has the same standard of living. Certain countries have tried paying brain surgeons the same as street cleaners. The results are well known. yet despite this, it remains a goal of the left – to drag everyone down to the same standard of living. To penalise those who have ambition, intelligence and drive etc. After all they’re just lucky to have inherited them in their worldview.

This notion of society compensating for those who are not as “gifted” as others is classic statist thinking. Where should it end? Should ugly guys have the state provide paid prostitutes so they get as much sex as the “studs”. Should those with arsehole personalities be given more money to compensate for the fact they don’t get promoted as much as helpful people?

This post explains much about the thinking of the left. There is never ever a time where there is too much state involvement. Because until the laziest, thickest, most arseholed member of society has a comparable standard of living to the most hard working and intelligent, then there is always more state intervention to be done.

It is unfair that some people are lucky enough to be hard working and ambitious, and the role of the state is not to encourage them, but to drag everyone down to the same level.

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