Purpose of Blog

As you read through the weekly Leftist LUNCs, you may ask: "Why is it that Liberals typically start out with wonderfully positive and laudable intents, but end up with negative and regrettable consequences?" "Why do Leftist LUNCs continue to happen, over and over again and on such a grand scale?"

There are various answers to these questions hinted at in the Leftist LUNCs, themselves. I will briefly discuss each in this blog.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Politics of Equality

It seems these days that the use of the word "equality" may at times act as a kind of beta-blocker, where people's minds have become closed tight and where they suspend any semblance of critical thinking so that whatever is said in the name of equality is generally accepted unhesitatingly and without questions.

I suspect this may be the result of cultural sensibilities arising in the wake of the civil rights movement, if not more so liberals indoctrinating our children with socialist/egalitarianism throughout our public school system.

Whatever the case, liberals and society in general undoubtedly have a heightened, though selective sense of equality, and in some respects they view governments as the best means for enforcing equality.

I say "selective sense of equality" because the good folks on the Left also advocate for such unequal causes as progressive tax rates, affirmative action, disability legislation, so-called diversity programs, etc. (more about this below)

Regardless of good intentions, government enforced equality doesn't work, and even backfires. Dr. Jordan B. Petersons provides several contemporary and past examples

There are several reasons why enforced equality doesn't work

First, equality, itself, is at odds with the natural order of things, particularly the evolutionary principle of natural selection and survival of the fittest. With humans, there are big and small, skinny and fat, women and men, young and old, fast and slow, weak and strong, geniuses and idiots, etc., and variations in-between. According to current sciences, there are 8.7 million species. (see HERE)

Scientifically, and across most all walks of life, we humans tend to be array unequally along a bell curve, or fit the 20/80 rule, or conform to the pareto distribution:. These are  laws which, if ignored or unwittingly challenged, can have disasterous effects:

Second, equality is at odds with the social and economic nature of things. We have loved-ones and strangers and foes, close friends and mere acquaintances, rich and poor, financial adept and inept, presidents and entry level workers. Some of us are dependents and others are providers, etc. and variations in between. We fill hundreds if not thousands of different occupations throughout millions of different companies, trading in untold numbers of products and services at a myriad of prices, and this during good economies and bad. Some of us like to shop, while others like to play sport or read. Some of us are emotional while others are more logical. Some of us are healthy and sane, while others are...well, you get the point.

Third, it is at odds with the political and legal order of things, the Equal Protection Clause notwithstanding. There exists a broad range of power and authority, from presidents and dictators to citizens and surfs. Political beliefs are arrayed from left to right, anarchist to fascists, globalists to nationalists, and on and on. Legal boundaries distinguish between citizen and alien, minors and adults, licensed and unauthorized, innocent and guilty, legal and illegal, etc.

Forth, as indicated above, inequality is the overwhelming rule rather than the exception. For the most part, and in important and meaningful ways, inequality is the organic outcome of virtually every aspect of physical existence, particularly life on earth, more so among humans.

Ironically, advocates for equality tend to contradict themselves by also espouse the notion that "diversity is our strength"--not including diversity of thought  On the one hand they celebrate differences/inequalities, while on the other hand presuming to wipe them out, and enforce conformity in the name of equality.

However, to a great extent the governmental pursuit of universal equality is virtually impossible. There will always be tall and short people, strong and weak, fast and slow, smart and unintelligent, beautiful and ugly, rich and poor, optimists and pessimist, happy and sad, whole and disabled, young and old, lucky and unlucky, and on and on, with advantages to the ones and not the others. And, there isn't much, if anything that governments can reasonably do to change or equalize these things.

Egalitarianism, while perhaps theoretically appealing, is unfeasible on a number of levels, and attempts to press the square peg of unequal reality into the round hole of egalitarian pipe-dreams, is a fools errand and receipt for disaster, as witness by the Leftist LUNCs. For example, please see: Same-Sex Marriage--No "Marriage Equality."

Forth, in addition to inequality as the natural, social, economic, political and legal order of things, attempt to treat different things equally can be intrinsically illogical. Unlike with adults, we don't let minors consume controlled substances such as alcohol and tobacco. We don't permit them to drive automobiles. We don't allow them to vote. We don't let them enter into contractual agreements, etc. For the children's sake, as well as for the sake of society, it makes sense to acknowledge and accept the meaningful differences and rationally discriminate between minors and adults, and treat them unequally. To treat minors and adults equally would  prove problematic, to say the least. It isn't coincidental that legal-aged young adult drivers have higher rates of auto accidents than older drivers. (See HERE)  Imagine the accident rate were toddlers equally allowed behind the wheel.

Also, take for instance what is indicated in my article on Environmental LUNCS. As  Jerry Taylor has sardonically stated, "The inescapable differences between millions of pollution sinks, environmental carrying capacities, and manufacturing processes are inevitably blurred and 'averaged' in one-size-fits-all regulations that — while not always efficient or environmentally optimal — at least have the virtue of requiring fewer than a million regulators."

Another good example where liberals have illogically treated meaningfully different things equally, is the legalization of same-sex marriage. I explicate the inanity here: Same-Sex Marriage--Destructive Compassion.

Yet another good example is the liberal movement advocating for income equality, particularly between the sexes. The hue and cry is for "equal pay for equal work," which assume that men and women have been and are doing equal work, whereas in truth they haven't and don't. And, in spite of this fact, liberals mindlessly, though with big-hearts, strive for wage parity, not realizing that when pursued through government enforcement, not only produce the opposite unintended effect, it ironically must of necessity violate the right of women to freely choose their own career paths. (See the series starting HERE)

The same, in principle, applies to the liberal issue of wealth inequality--the gap between the rich and poor. (See HERE)

Experience ought to tell us that there are meaningful differences between men and women, educated and uneducated, rich and poor, whole and disabled, corporations and sole proprietorships, doctors and nurses, lawyers and court stenographers, military and civilians, police and criminals, public servants and private employees, married and single, cars and boats, rural and city, and on and on. As such, it makes no sense to ignore these inequalities and presume to treat them as equals. In point of fact, and for good reason, the vast majority of laws on the book tacitly acknowledge meaningful differences and rationally discriminate and pragmatically treat different people and things differently--the exceptions noted above notwithstanding. This is as it should be.

Fifth, governmental pursuit of equality may defy the primary intents for which laws were enacted to begin with. Auto speed-limits have been instituted for public safety and energy saving purposes, and not to equalize the disparity between owners of slow versus fast cars. Regulations governing medical licensing were passed to better assure that properly educated and competent people would be administering to our most vulnerable citizens, and not to equally allow any and all who wished, to call themselves a doctor. Zoning requirements have been set up to encourage wise land use, and not to permit landfills equal rights to the same area as hospitals and residential neighborhoods. The list of examples is virtually endless.

The point being, laws are enacted for rational purposes (typically to produce results which are in society's interest), and not for equality sake. Leftist LUNCs tend to occur when the rational basis behind laws are ignored and the focus is misplaced on equality.

I can think of no better example of this than the issue of same-sex marriage. Under the guise of equality, leftist advocates have rallied to mangle the several millennium-year-old definition of marriage, and nowhere or in no way have they given indication that they understood the rational basis for governments regulating and promoting marriage for centuries. If they had bothered to find out, they would realize that it has precisely nothing to do with homosexuality or equality, and very much to do with attempting to limit procreative sex (male-female sex) to formally committed, long-term relationships. Because of the risk of pregnancy, there are a host of negative social ripple effects from heterosexuals having indiscriminate sexual relations. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)  So, governments have rightly thought it wise to minimize the number of out-of-wedlock births by encouraging legal marriage. Since there is no risk of pregnancy between homosexual couples, governments haven't, and still don't have a rational basis to encourage same-sex marriage. From a cost-benefit or state's interest perspective, the people as a government, have nothing to gain from promoting gay marriage or homosexual relationships, and much to lose. The opposite is true for heterosexual relationships.

Sixth, Leftist LUNCs occur because in many cases governmental pursuit of equality works at cross purposes and tends to be devolutionary--i.e. catering to the lowest common denominator. This is made most evident in the graduated income tax rate that places considerably greater and unequal tax burdens on the rich, and effectively redistributes their wealth to the poor in a way the trickles up poverty. In other words, inequality is hypocritically being used in cross-purpose with the pursuit of equality, and instead of raising the poor up closer to the level of the rich, the rich are brought down closer to the level of the poor. This tends to disadvantage both rich and poor, though mostly the poor.

In short, the liberal pursuit of equality oft breeds inequality. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

As one pundit put it: "Liberalism thus falls into contradiction and fails in the most fundamental way possible. Enforcing freedom denies freedom, enforcing equality makes the enforcers unequal, enforcing tolerance requires a comprehensive system of supervision and control, and giving people what they want is not what people really want." (See HERE)

The leftist public education system is a case in point. By diminishing the incentive for healthy competition, and by equalizing rewards for educational achievement, relatively flat grading and advancement systems have become unequally deleterious to smarter and harder working students and high achievers, resulting in the general dumbing-down of U.S. students, which in turns compromises other aspects of our nation's welfare. (See HERE. See also the Leftist LUNC on Public Education when it is published)

Various other good examples may be found in my series of articles on Obamanomics, starting with, ""Trickle-Up Poverty."

Seventh, the notion of "eqiuality" is overly vague and high risk of divergence of interpretation and application. As I wrote elsewhere (see HERE, page 3), "One set of human advocates may have equality of outcome in mind, whereas other advocates may have equality of opportunity in mind, Some of the advocates for equality of opportunity may have state-enforced "level playing field" and "quotas" in mind, while other advocates of equality of opportunity may have free markets and rule of law in mind. The lists can go on and on. Ironically, there is considerable inequality of purpose in relation to the objective of equality. ;)

Here twice again the notion of equality breeds inequality. 

"And, that is not all..In order to achieve equality of outcome as a proactive objective (high priority or otherwise) necessitates discriminating against (treating unequally) high achievers, hard and long workers, the well adaptive and adept, the fast and strong, the more intelligent, etc. The goal of quality breeds inequality.

"Were that not enough, the goal of equality of outcome also necessitates discriminating against those it is supposed to help. For example, as I explain at my blog on Equal Pay for Equal Work , state enforced closure of the mythical gender wage gap, besides having made the gap wider, ultimately necessitates denying women the freedom to chose different careers than men,  as well as the choice to start careers later than men, work less hours than men, and interrupt their careers for long periods of time unlike men.

"On the other hand, realizing the goal of equality of opportunity, particularly for the "level playing field" and "quotas" crowd, necessitates giving preferential treatment (treating unequally) to select classes of people (specific races, gender, sexual orientation, ages, etc.), as a way of supposedly righting past wrong. The goal of equality breeds inequality.

"Whether the goal is for equality of outcome or equality of opportunity, if it is achieved through government enforcement, necessarily discriminates against, and thus treats unequally, freedom lovers."

Eight, the irrational obsession with equality is one of the fastest ways to radically distorted thinking. It causes people to imagine prejudice lurking around every bush. This is a malady that afflicts the Right as well as the Left (see HERE), but by far more so the Left (see  HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)  It tends to engender a flurry of false accusations besmirching the innocent, and it often turns back on itself, causing the afflicted to engage in the most nefarious forms of inequality. (See above and also HERE)

Here is a simial perspective from another author: Egalitarianism Without Equality is Tyranny.

George Will also provides "A Philosopher's Take on the Left's Obsession with Income Inequality," which is based, in part, on Harry G Frankfurt's book on "Inequality." Please also see Kevin D. Williamson's article on A Few Thoughts on a Futile Project: Income Inequality.

No comments:

Post a Comment