Midnight Rantings

Tired rantings in a tired world.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I Like Chocolate Better Than Vanilla

I would ask everyone to read Thomas Sowell: Equality, inequality, and fate. It succinctly shows the impossibility of a true equality. We want fairness and the same opportunities. Let's look at a society that everyone was the same.

We all would have the same valued house. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms would, probably, be the same. We would have the same car. We would have the same income. How boring would this be? Freedom would be over. Freedom is not the freedom from mistakes, but the freedom to make mistakes. We all make mistakes. Maturity is the ability to take responsibility for your mistakes. Freedom is the ability to make our own individual choices. If the members of society have the same of everything, then freedom is destroyed. The only guarantees we should have are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All of these are equally important.

Instead, we castigate the rich for having extravagant life styles. If you can invent a better computer operating system than Windows, then you will be richer than Bill Gates. There is no monopoly. Is is fair that Bill Gates is a billionaire? Or Sam Walton? These people developed a novel concept and made it work. Should someone, who chose poorly, be given the same as Bill Gates or Sam Walton? The pervading clarion call of Marx that resources ought to be distributed from each according to his ability to each according to his need. This mantra from our government always leads to an erosion of rights and responsibilities. What is the use of being creative and working hard, if the government is going to take it away and give it to someone else? This is done daily in the name of fairness.

I would submit that the bum (not homeless person) is in his lot in life due to poor choices. By saying the bum is there not by his fault, takes away his free will. We are in our situation because of poor choices throughout our life time. Someone may say he/she has no money, yet smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. That person has money but chooses to spend it on something else. A ~$2000 a year habit can be quite expensive.

Another example is the disgust at professional athlete's salaries. These folks seem to be paid a lot of money just to play a game. However, they are able to play that game better than 99% of the population. When one is in the top 1% of the population in any profession, he/she will make a lot of money. Fairness has nothing to do with it. If we do not like their salary, then do not watch their games. Simple.

Lastly, I do not want everyone to be the same. This world is a rich tapestry of people. By making everyone the same, we will destroy the greatness of us. Many people may like vanilla, but rarely does someone like vanilla by itself.