1/01/2005

equality

Effective equality failure

I believe a CORE belief of a liberal society is that the society should be based on effective equality of opportunity, both in "practice" and in "result". One concept that relates to that of the "Veil of Birth", VOB. Note: I suggest that there is a strong VOB and a weak VOB principal. The strong one is discussed by Debate Central, and assumes that there should be an equality even for different genetic characteristics. The weak one says that there should be an equality at least for groups that are not distinguished by relevant genetic characteristics.

Without proscribing the solutions, e.g. Non discriminatory laws, elimination of legacy college admission, etc. I suggest that a society has failed if two groups have demonstrably different societal rewards that are not explained by genetic characteristics.

Thus if for example, "Blacks" are on the average poorer that "Whites" then the society has FAILED. We may be able show why this occurs, Lack of schooling, Lack of Motivation, etc. but the society, environment, is such that a Black has less expectation of obtaining the societal benefits than the White.

Thus once we agree that a society has failed, we can discuss various ways of reducing this failure, More religion, encouragement of marriage, improved head start, etc. but if we believe in this principal, then we should first admit that such a society has failed..

The Economist magazine article linked to at the head of this entry discusses the failure of American society with respect to parental wealth and states that the spread between the richer and poorer is increasing and that the mobility between these classes is decreasing, thus that America has failed.

Note: The "Free Enterprise" believers do not, as I understand, it think that this principal is important. Their argument is that the important thing is not the spread between the groups, classes, or the rigidity of the groups, but that there is improvement of all the groups and that there are instances of movement between the groups

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A CORE belief of a liberal society should be that the society should ensure "effective equality of opportunity" both formally and in result.

A moral justification of this is the "Veil of Birth" principal, VOB, which suggests a "People should not excessively benefit or suffer as a result of their birth characteristics." Note: there seem to be a strong a weak VOB principal. The strong principle is discussed by Debate Central, and assumes that there should be an equality even for different genetic characteristics. The weak principle says that there should be an equality at least for groups that are not distinguished by relevant genetic characteristics. One result of such a situation is that we, the society does not benefit from the best of its citizens, but just from the Best who happened to be born in the right groups.

Thus, for example, if "Blacks" are on the average poorer that "Whites" then the society has FAILED. We may attempt to explain some of the factors that may have caused this, Lack of schooling, Lack of Motivation, etc. and the practices that can be taken to improve the situation, e.g. more religion, encouragement of marriage, improved head start, etc., but the fact is that the society, environment, is such that a Black has less expectation of obtaining the societal benefits than the White and thus has failed.

The Economist magazine article linked to at the head of this entry discusses the failure of American society with respect to parental wealth and states that the spread between the richer and poorer is increasing and that the mobility between these classes is decreasing, thus that America has failed.


Note: The "Free Enterprise" believers do not, as I understand, it think that this principal is important. Their argument is that the important thing is that there is improvement of all the groups and that there are instances of movement between the groups, and that it might be nice if the law did not discriminate, but once the formal legal governmental barriers are eliminated, it is inappropriate to discuss inequality.

1 Comments:

Blogger Mike Liveright said...

Educational ExcellenceNote: After thinking about it, our society needs to ensure that no group shares less of its wealth than other groups, e.g. Equality, both for fairness and because that means that each citizen will be able to minimally contribute to the society.

On the other hand, it also seems that we also need Educational Excellence. In our world, the standard of living of a society will be based, in the reasonable long run, on the productivity of its citizens. There are many factors that might contribute to the citizen productivity, but one of the major ones is the education of them. If we can't ensure that our educational system is excellent and that anyone who can/wants to take advantage of it will, then we are ensuring that we will not be able benefit from the world economic system.

4:45 PM  

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