What is fair and equal? There are the four choices. We need to pick one of these.
Realize our Constitution doesn’t dabble with concepts of fairness, and speaks only in terms of equality. Skipping the questionable dialectic discussion equating fairness and equality, let’s assume we’re in search of equality.
Choice #1) Equalize the amount of dollars taken (taxes, fees) from each person? – no, we’ve decided not to do that in this nation.
Choice #2) Equalize the % taken from each person? – no, we’ve decided not to do that.
Choice #3) Equalize present-day opportunity? – that’s what our Constitution says, but I don’t hear a lot of support for that anymore. There are some people who say equal opportunity is possible if we pre-bias (like a golf handicap) the process, but that idea creates the problem of evaluating when you’ve pre-biased enough. In search of “What’s enough forced inequality to implement equality?” advocates are left monitoring what each person has today. That’s Choice #4 below.
Personally, I think the key to pursuing Choice #3 is to spend government money and taxes, but only spend money for the common good. I like this idea because it sounds very much like our constitution. How do I define common good? Any government check written to an individual person’s name is NOT for the common good. For example, you can write a check to improve the park in City XXX, but you may not send checks to persons YYY in order to fund their trip to the park. You may set up a telephone help line, but you may not provide free cell phones to call the help line. No more welfare checks, but yes, we CAN invest in soup kitchens. No more medicaid checks, but we CAN invest in hospitals. And so on…
Choice #4) equalize what each person is left with after most is taken – yes, this is what we’re moving toward, and this is socialism: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Our nation fought against the Communist implementation of this from Russia, and continues to fight against the Chinese Communists implementation. At the same time, we simply vote it on top of ourselves.
Other references from prior blog postings: