“The truest form of inequality is to make unequal things equal.” – Aristotle
I have been considering the meaning of this quote. My son the philosopher states this often, and so I have been pondering the meaning.
On Philosoblog they stated:
“Equality of opportunity is difficult to achieve, but it is (in my belief) a worthy goal. Equality of outcome is impossible to achieve without reducing everyone to the level of the least successful person. Equality of misery is all that will be achieved in this manner. Inequality is a necessary part of life.”
And so equality of opportunity is what we want, not equality of outcome.
In this political atmosphere of thinking this person or that person deserves this much in back pay, this much more ahead of the other guy or gal, and thinking we have to tokenize a certain race, or ethnicity, or gender, or whatever, to achieve equality, it can get mind boggling on what is truly fair. You are simply trying to force an outcome that isn’t particularly fair. (I think you call this “identity politics.”)
[DISCLAIMER: I just want to say, whatever I write if you disagree and can tell me a good logical reason why in the comments I don’t mind. I am not a genius and I only write what I think I know, which is always tempered by my own background, upbringing, social standing and lack thereof, and biases.]
[ALSO, I am adding my new category “Might be a Rant,” because this very well might be.]
I have wondered why. What is due me or you, or anyone in particular? My own lineage is of Spaniards working in New Mexico. They came over around the late 1700-1800’s, working on projects, and then married some Native Americans in New Mexico on my dad’s side, and then Mexicans and other immigrants who married Native Americans in Arizona from my mom’s side. There were also a bunch of other races and such that came into the mix via marriage, and pretty soon I became the mixed breed of American citizen so common today.
My parents met in California, both from mostly Spanish, Mexican and Native American lineage, and a lot of other races. And so, my ancestors weren’t even around the south or north. They were too busy being abused in their own form in the southwestern states. One set of grandparents ONLY spoke Spanish and the other set of grandparents were bilingual.
And so…am I being a racist for not feeling a part of north and south abuses that my own family background had nothing to do with? I see it as a horrible history, just as the holocaust was, and what is going on right now to children and families at our southern borders. This will be our future horrible history. Perhaps I am missing something because I don’t get this sudden conversation on reparations (but, I will get to that).
A Hypothetical Race
Let’s say we start on a line, like runners, and all are lined up. We hear the whistle and take off. But one person is stopped by a large rock in the path. He has to make up for the time by either running around the rock, or climbing over the rock. He decides to climb the rock because he has some background in rock climbing.
Everyone starts to move ahead of him.
And then the next person hits an oil spot (not sure this would work, but let’s go for it) and this shoots him forward past all the other runners until he is nearly at the front of the line. He fumbles forward after the oil spill, cause his feet are still slick, gathers his footing and continues into the top three of the pack.
And then we have another guy who is simply running along, with no obstacles, but he’s just not very fast, and so the one who actually had to climb over the rock in the road is now passing him.
He had no obstacles, but now he’s falling behind everyone else because he simply was not capable.
Okay, as the race heats up, there is a total upset when a guy who is flown in on a helicopter, lands on the path and takes off. He came out of nowhere and is now in second place.
Where’d he come from? Is that a 666 I see tattooed at the back of his head? (I’m kidding, and just throwing this in to see if you’re reading.) 😀
And then there is one person who the moment the whistle blew ran his hardest, has strong legs and is nearing third place on simply his own god-given momentum.
Does this make sense? Is it a good or bad metaphor? Does this relate to life?
And Now This…
Reparations right now sounds like a slap to those who are hurting financially but were just born the wrong race. Born with the wrong background. Born in a country at the wrong time.
When you cut down men to make women feel empowered, that is the wrong way to make a gender get ahead, and vice versa. Sacrificing one to uplift another is never a good idea.
When you place a different ethnicity into the part of a character that has been around for decades simply because you think that is what the audience needs or wants, then you are playing into a stereotype. It is unneeded. Instead, create a character that you want and that is unique.
This forced equality of outcome is becoming the truly unequal thing after awhile.
Reparations or UBI
When you speak of reparations you are simply trying to appeal to a certain audience. What about those who are hurting despite their background and birth? What about that other guy over there struggling?
This is why a Universal Basic Income (UBI) is across the board a great equalizer. It gives everyone (EVERY SINGLE ONE) over the age of 18, that is a citizen, a check. They are not favored. Whether rich or poor, black or white, if they are an American citizen they get a check from the country they live as shareholders in the wealth of the most financially successful country that will do better and better as technology flourishes.
This would be called the Freedom Dividend, or the “tech check.”
I think reparations is a sad payout for a past injustice when many people, including my ancestors, were treated poorly and never owned slaves. There was just a lot of injustice in the past to multiple races. Not at the same scale, but it was consistent, and it continues today here and in other countries. There was a lot of cruelty in the past done to any who were of a certain race or ethnicity. Our country was built on the backs of poor, slaves, and indentured servants. Today, we have Mexicans that do the jobs nobody else wants to do. They have been working in poor conditions for decades.
I’m sure some will think I’m wrong, but if you do please enlighten me as to why.
I see poor people in every race and group. I see people struggling from every background. I don’t think favoring one group of people is a good idea for any country. What you end up with is, “Why do they get money when I’m struggling and I don’t?”
Forward momentum is when you each start at the line at the same place and are given a fair chance at the same time and space.
It’s true equality. Not unjust inequity.
“The truest form of inequality is to make unequal things equal.” – Aristotle
Reparations is being tossed around a lot as a political plot point. I guess if they said, “All people with the name Valerie will get an extra 100 a week,” would I jump at the chance? Maybe. But I’d feel like a real jerk if I saw Sandra struggling over there and I was getting a 100 for simply being born with the name Valerie. It just seems so unfair.
So, I don’t really see it helping everyone except those chosen from possibly a certain ancestry. I really dislike inequity for the sake of guilt. Classicism, to me, is more of a problem. The fact the rich keep getting bloatingly richer, and the poor just keep getting poorer, and have more and more joining their ranks. 57% of Americans would not be able to handle a simple $500 unexpected expense, and only 37% could handle $1,000. I know I wouldn’t.
Another story, yes…
I work in retail. There was a young guy in his 30’s with a small child. He came through the line and was buying diapers and various foods, all generic brands, cheaper brands, and paying with his SNAP card.
He kept messing up the pin number, seemed nervous and ashamed. He finally exasperatingly told me, “I finally have to use this. I never thought I would. But, the things we do to make sure our kids can eat… right?” He half-smiled, still looking ashamed.
It was sad to watch. He was just a young Caucasian guy, looked very average, dressed very average. He’d go unnoticed walking down the street.
I told him, “Yeah, I know I probably should apply for this too. It is so hard when you have kids. If it was just me, I’d live in my car and not worry about these necessities – live on tuna, a head of lettuce, and bread.”
He laughed. But we knew this wasn’t that funny.
I’ll be honest, if you know a good reason reparations is a problem solver, please let me know. Am I a hidden racist? I don’t think I am, but we never are sure. My ancestry were Native Americans and poor Mexicans. I am not a black person, and only dealt with racism toward Hispanics in LA when I was younger – so this is foreign to me. Maybe I am missing the point and I have no idea. I do not mind if I am simply misinformed. I would like to figure this out if I am wrong, sincerely. So please tell me in the comments if you know why this is better than UBI. (And perhaps, even both are needed?)
I consider myself an Equalist. I think we need to be fair to one another. I think good healthcare is a right of every American (by the way, medical expense is the most common unexpected expense). I think being able to work only 35-40 hours should be enough to pay the bills. I don’t think people should have 3 or 4 jobs to live – and yet I have three jobs. I think family and wellness is important as a human being. Your whole life should not be only sleeping and working, and possibly eating when you can afford it.
I don’t think people should jump through hoops every month, reporting and filling out bureaucratic paperwork to prove they need help and assistance to some powerful entity – waiting hours in a line to prove this and then told not to make a certain amount of money, or get ahead because they will then lose needed benefits that feeds their children. That doesn’t make sense to me. Single moms and dads – who are mostly affected by this – get what I’m saying.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask that stay-at-home caregivers, either of children or elderly parents, shouldn’t be considered a true contributing person in society. Why are they only given 0% worth according to GDP?
The UBI helps relieve this problem. It is not a cure-all, but man, if you had an extra $1,000 for every adult in your household it would help. Right? An extra $500? It’s a good equalizer.
A UBI paid for by a VAT (value-added tax of only 10% to luxury goods/consumables) is very doable. It is not a tax on your income, it is a tax on things consumed and bought.
Taking away the giant military complex we have and using the savings is very doable. Stop spending so much money on regime-change wars? It would save money.
We, as a country, should work smarter. And that’s the rub: will we be any smarter in the future, or just keep doing the same thing?
We are just so used to having everything stay the same, easy, with little to no thought. Thinking hurts our brains and so let us be apathetic and let things just go on the same. Let’s just sit back and do the same thing over and over and over and over again. I think this is called, “insanity.”
This doesn’t work. We have a country evolving. Technology is evolving. Life is moving on. Things change. We need to change our way of thinking with this wave of the fourth Industrial Revolution.
Elderly and the Future
Old people will keep their grip on what they know. Don’t rock the boat. Patch it up with a bandage here or there.
We have a lot of elderly politicians still stuck in the past.
But we have to live in the now.
And, we need to rock the boat.
Did you know…?
The 115th Congress is among the oldest in history. Over half of the new senators being elected are over 65-years-old. Most of these representatives are 20 years older than the median age of their constituents.
Do you think they get what is happening? Progress? Technology?
I’m nearing 60 and my kids (Millennials) need to constantly help me figure out my phone.
I used to work for a very popular congressman (always won with almost 70% of vote). He is number five of the oldest representatives in our country, and was a war veteran, POW, and decorated more than any other congressman. He has held his seat now since 1982 in this district. Let that sink in: 37 years!
I had to take care of him last year after he fell, and he – for real – repeated what he said to me every 15 minutes. (I had worked for him in the past for four years, and watched over his wife who had Alzheimer’s until she passed away. ) He, by the way, repeated himself before but it had gotten worse. No lie. I began to time it. His cognitive functions had degraded so badly in the five years I had worked for him. He was already at this mental incapacity when I had first worked for him, but every year it grew exponentially worse and worse.
I am not saying he was mean or impolite, or even a horrible person. He was a kind grandpa to his grandkids and would tell the same story over and over and over and over again.
He was aged. It happens. The brain loses function as you age. It’s simply a natural occurrence.
Again, this is great for a beloved grandpa, but not a good fit for a job where you make over $150,000 a year, working only a few months out of the year, making decisions that will effect an entire country of human beings. You should not have this kind of responsibility or power. He should have retired over 10 years ago (I think this should not even be up to debate because we need term limits). But, he would run and overwhelmingly get voted into office because he was a beloved figure in the community. A known commodity. And people hate change.
He spent his entire day (since he rarely worked) with only ONE news station (Fox) on in the background – very loudly – and playing solitaire on the computer. He never read or did anything, but watched, played solitaire, and cussed at the TV set.
He was a puppet congressman for the party he belonged to and his staff told him over the phone – because he was deaf and had it on speaker all the time – what to vote, where to be, and what to say.
And he collected his paycheck paid by me – the taxpayer.
We really need to expect our lawmakers to be thinkers, don’t you think?
I became very upset and apathetic after that job. So much so, I stopped listening to any form of news for a year. I needed to have my soul healed because I became very angry that this was happening. I knew it, but I had witnessed it firsthand: the reality of party politics.
I’ll never forget a night when a group of American Mexicans knocked on his door, begging him to not give up on the immigration reform bill and Dreamers bill he had been working on just before Obama became President. It was all worked out during George W’s. reign, a bi-partisan bill, that was actually a good bill. But when Obama became President he got the phone call that it wasn’t ever going to happen until their party was back in power. They didn’t want Obama to have a win. And that bill went away never to see the light of day once again because as you know, Obama was president for two terms.
It’s all about power and not people. That is the cold reality.
Do we really want our future decided on a political party’s power? We need it to be decided on what is best for the American citizen.
I saw him as merely another spineless puppet, who once again chose the party over the people.
Is this what we want to keep voting into office for the rest of our lives?
My End Result
I don’t know if I wrote anything sensible. I just hope words can make people think in ways they might not have thought before. I hear from Andrew Yang things I’ve never heard politicians say. Whether on Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro, H3 podcast, The Rubin Report, or anywhere really like Problem Solver Politics, Paget Kagy, or getting news from Kim Iverson or The Hill with Krystal Ball. Do a search on his name on YouTube (the only place you’ll find real news these days).
Normal and human things that relate to every day people. Our every day struggles. It’s not about this group or that group. It’s not villainizing a group that you don’t like. It’s not about a party or party line. It’s not the usual sound bite that tickles ears and make others feel good. It’s just about every day citizens.
One Issue Voters are Dumb
Yes, they are. I’ll just say it flat out – you are being dumb if you vote on only one issue. Our problems as a country are too massive for this game.
The people living around you are dying from lack of healthcare and poor diet, children are being stolen from their parents at the border, and we have an Opioid crisis, and you worry over some random woman that might possibly get an abortion? (Roe vs. Wade was decided over 50 years ago! My gosh, move on. It’s their body and their decision.) I’m not trying to be cold or cruel, but babies are dying all the time outside of abortion. Infant mortality (post born) are higher than any other country despite us being so advanced.
Suicide, Depression and anxiety are at all time highs. Why is infant mortality rates in our country higher than any other country? These are real issues. Why are more and more homeless people out there? And the homeless are growing younger and younger. Why? Why are rents so high? Why do children go to bed hungry? Why is the American mortality rate so high and the life expectancy at the lowest it’s been in over 100 years? Let that sink in: Not since the Spanish flu at the turn of the 20th century has our life expectancy been so low! Why the f*%& are we still in Afghanistan?! Two more U.S. service members died this week. In the 70’s there was a bunch of serial killers, and now we have a bunch of serial shooters randomly killing hundreds. Why?
Why? Why? Why?
This isn’t because of abortion, by the way (statistically this is overwhelmingly down to record levels in both the U.S. and Europe because of education and contraception. The more you know, right?).
Stop being dumb.
That is all. Just… stop.
What am I trying to say?
We all need to see that we are in this together. We are in this thing called “life” together. But we are all very different and individual. We are not a cookie cutter resemblance of that other guy or gal like a bunch of storm troopers (yes, I’m a nerd). We are all so very different and need to make our paths at different times and different levels.
Making us all equal by forced metrics isn’t the answer. We each individually have our own value. Give us all equal opportunity and some will surprise you and some might underwhelm you, but that is not the point. You are not the indicator of them. Only I, myself and me know what I need. Just as only you know what you need.
Let us not worry so much about how the other person is living, and if we get an equal payment some will surprise you. Let’s be hopeful of those surprises in this country.
It’s not left or right or liberal or conservative. It’s working smarter and moving forward with what is best for everyone. That is what a country should be about – the people.
I hope you all have splendid day of good things and good searching! 🙂 Gumbatte Grace! 😀