The lefties want "equality". Is equality possible?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by bucs90, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. bucs90
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    bucs90 Gold Member

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    Saw the following quote in another thread:

    "Your apparent definition of leftism isn't remotely accurate. To go for as uncontroversial and official a defintion as possible, we turn to the dictionary where a leftist is described as: "someone who seeks radical social and economic change in the direction of greater equality. "

    Leftist | Define Leftist at Dictionary.com"

    I thought about it, and pondered a wonderful debate. The left, it seems, wants a large government to guarantee social equality, while the right, it seems, would rather have the freedom to succeed above what others may attain. Very general, but for debate and the above definition, it seems the farther left we get, the more "equality" becomes a catch phrase, and to the right we get more "freedom" used as a term.

    So, this question is mostly for lefties. Can we have equality?

    What if we could construct a government that guaranteed equal income for all citizens? Every citizen in the USA would make $60,000 a year. I'm sure we have enough $$ in the USA to make that happen. No more, no less.

    Every citizen would get free, gov't provided healthcare. No costs, ever, for any treatment.

    Every citizen would get free school. College and high school. And housing.

    But would we not then bicker about other "inequalities"? Some would have to live in apartments, while others in houses. Not fair? Lets say we somehow made that fair. Others would whine about their school not being as nice, which we already have in public education.

    But lets say by some miracle, all public schools were made equal. Somehow we accomplish that ultimate educational dream.

    Would folks then not complain that their comfort levels are not equal? That why do they have to live in Akron, OH, and not San Diego, CA?? Because remember, with equal pay, home prices would be nearly equal, so everyone would want to live in the nicer areas. With no rich people, and no poor people, we'd all be middle class. Who gets to live in the ocean front homes, and who gets stuck in Southwest Atlanta?????

    But lets say somehow, some miraculous way, we made all 300,000,000 US citizens equal in pay, education, employment, housing, healthcare. We delivered the total utopian dream!!!

    Would we not then have folks crying inequality in stuff like attractiveness of wives? Sounds silly, but imagine everyone is equal, in all aspects of life except physical appearance. Wouldn't the fat single people claim discrimination by the thin people who won't date them? We damn near have that going on now.

    Can't we just face a fact: Envy is human nature. We cannot provide total equality. But we can provide equal opportunity. We cannot provide an equal starting point. But we can provide an unlimited stopping point. Somewhere out there are 2 kids born today, 1 kid is born into wealth, another into poverty, and in 40 years, the poor kid will be rich and the rich kid will be poor, because of personal decisions.

    So, can we provide total equality?
     
  2. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    Don't worry. You're not equal. You're something "special".
     
  3. bucs90
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    bucs90 Gold Member

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    Hmm. Was expecting a more intellectual response from liberals.

    Can you not defend your ideology? If the goal is social equality, tell me, how do we get there? And is it even possible? I don't think it is possible at all. If we mandated that every American makes $60,000 a year, NO more, NO less, and forced that mandate, would we have equality? No person would have more purchasing power than the next. Would we then have equality????

    I'm open to switch my ideology a little if you lefties can convince me.
     
  4. QUENTIN
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    QUENTIN VIP Member

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    Who says you need a government to provide social equality? I'd argue that's basically impossible, since there would still be a class in power and a class out of power. Government is one of the primary barriers to equality.

    And you fudged the definition even after quoting it. Leftism seeks change in the direction of greater equality, there's nothing contradictory between that and the recognition that total equality is unlikely to achieve and cannot be "provided."

    Your picture of a kid born into wealth becoming poor and a kid born into poverty becoming rich is extremely statistically improbable. Not only are those born into poverty in America exceedingly likely to live and die in poverty (making the exceptions notable success stories we read about because they're rare exceptions), but those born into wealth are even more likely to maintain their wealth, it's fairly hard to lose an inherited fortune given the education, social status, investments, and other socioeconomic advantages that come with it. You have to be a true fuckup to lose an entire fortune you were born with, whereas you have to be truly spectacular and a bit lucky to make your own fortune.

    Anyway, the equality the left hopes for is the equality of opportunity. That everyone receive equal and quality education, health care, and that their bare needs are met so that the playing field is even and everyone has the freedom to achieve what they can based on their merits rather than what they were born into. It's not the permanent enforcement of rigid equality throughout life, it's just a truly fair shot.

    You should read Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, it's a great satire of the inherent and absurd problems in a government trying to guarantee "total equality."

    Harrison Bergeron
     
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  5. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal...
     
  6. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    Oh stop. Look at your premise:

    What if we could construct a government that guaranteed equal income for all citizens? Every citizen in the USA would make $60,000 a year. I'm sure we have enough $$ in the USA to make that happen. No more, no less.

    Every citizen would get free, gov't provided healthcare. No costs, ever, for any treatment.

    Every citizen would get free school. College and high school. And housing.


    There is nothing intellectual there. It's too dumb. So a doctor should make the same as a fry cook? We all know, there is no such thing as "free". That's why Republicans don't understand how tax cuts for the rich add to the deficit. Or how we can remain world leaders in science and technology without education.

    If that's a difficult choice for you to make, all I can say is "pity".
     
  7. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    They start off equal. They are all equally free. They should be equal in the eyes of the law.

    But the reality, you have people like John McCain getting into the Naval Academy based on Daddy pulling strings. Or George Bush being jumped over thousands more qualified to get into Harvard based on Daddy pulling strings. You see, Affirmative Action is OK as long as it helps only rich white people.
     
  8. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    You are going way off to prove that equality is impossible.

    300,000,000 people getting $60,000.00 a year will cost $18,000,000,000,000.00 a year. Believe it or not, someone has to pay tor that, because there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Add in free health care, housing, a perfect education for everyone, and the cost will probably increase by a factor of 100. Just where is that money going to come from? Who is going to pick up the trash? Do the dishes? Cook the food?
     
  9. bucs90
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    bucs90 Gold Member

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  10. bucs90
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    bucs90 Gold Member

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    Oh..........

    So you agree that an individuals work, education and job type should entitle him/her to more in life than someone who has a less demanding career choice???
     

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