Economic Equality And Fairness — Dreams And Reality
Economic Equality And Fairness — Dreams And Reality
All rise! The Superior Court is now in session! Judge Common Sense presiding! Calling the case of Reality versus Equality!
Judge (to Reality): What is your complaint?
Reality: Your Honor! Equality has been trying to fraudulently redistribute solar energy on the planet Earth abusing Nature.
Equality (defendant): Your Honor! We are genuinely concerned about poor polar bears freezing to death in the Arctic, while the privileged enjoy living in a comfortable climate. We must change the existing climate so that everyone could live at equal temperature, everywhere! Therefore, we must achieve equal and fair solar energy distribution around the globe. Energy inequality is a barrier on a beautiful road leading to Fairness, Harmony and Prosperity!
Reality: This is misinformation! The equalized climate will raise temperature and result in melting of the ice cover. It will hurt the poor polar bears instead of helping them. It will leave them hungry and miserable.
Judge(to Equality): Why do you need to change the climate, then?
Equality: Your Honor! Our theory of Solar Energy Equality proves convincingly that it is the only way to rectify the systemic injustice perpetrated by those living in a comfortable climate.
Reality: It’s a deception! The solar energy is distributed not equally because of a spherical shape of our planet Earth and the tilt of its orbital axis to the plane of Earth’s rotation around the sun. No one believes that Earth is flat anymore.
Equality: Those are the lame excuses to justify such blatant inequality and to preserve the status quo. At the equalized climate, no one will freeze to death from the cold any more, anywhere! Our theory predicts a comfortable climate for all.
Reality: This is a fraud! If all solar energy received by the planet is distributed equally, the land temperature will be equalized at chilling…8.5oC (47.3oF), everywhere (per Wikipedia)! The whole Earth will become the Arctic tundra all year round, although in the summer season.
Equality: There is life in tundra too. Millions of inhabitants of the Siberian GULAG in the former communist Russia could have confirmed that if they had been alive.
Reality: Not much of a life! At the equalized climate, the temperature is equal and low, so there will be no air movement, little evaporation and little rain. Only moss and other not edible plants can grow at low temperature, insufficient solar energy and shortage of rain all year round. This will result in chronic shortages of food and goods, which will make everyone equally hungry and miserable. Equality is a beautiful road leading to Hell!
Judge (to Equality): And for the sake of a beautiful idea, you are willing to force everyone to live in that Hell, aren’t you? (The judge’s gavel bangs loudly).
…I wake up from a loud bang. I can’t believe that it was just a dream. It was so real as if I was there in a real courtroom. What a pity I missed the jury verdict, though. Did Reality convinced the jury that Equality is a fraud? What do you think? And the theory of Solar Energy Equality and Inequality looks so familiar. Oh, yes, of course, it reminds the concepts of economic equality, which humanity has been dreaming about, and inequality, which it has been unsuccessfully fighting — for ages. Especially nowadays!
I looked up the Internet and counted almost one hundred posts in a row — all of them are studying economic inequality and exposing the harm it does to humanity. I gave up only when I saw an article from The Atlantic magazine “Why so Few Economists are Studying Inequality.”
In contrast, a non-stop barrage of inspirational accolades are streaming from the TV screens and pages of newspapers praising economic equality as the symbol of Fairness, Harmony and Prosperity.
Numerous causes of economic inequality were found by academics, from the rise of technology to cheating, and even more arguments to reject it. But only few of them are interested in the origin of economic equality, and why the most convincing argument to accept it is Fairness.
Can it be that a critical or at least an objective evaluation of economic equality is possible only in a dream?
We all are created equal before God or before Laws (where laws exist). We are given inalienable rights — Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Then why, in the pursuit of happiness, do we become unequal economically? Is it fair?
Let me answer this question with a question — who wants to be a millionaire? Everyone! Well, except billionaires, of course. No one wants to be poor. We have a dollar — we want two; we have two million — we want four. And we want more and more, especially when it comes to free stuff.
But this is the notorious Greed! Not everyone behaves this way! Agree, except that we are probably born this way — Nature sets the rules of our behavior. Greed is a primordial trait of human nature inherited from our ancestors. It makes us acquisitive and some of us filthy rich. With jaw-dropping mansions, eye-popping yachts, flashy jewelry and more, the filthy rich became the symbol of economic inequality.
Filthy rich! Whenever the word “rich” comes to mind, the adjectives “filthy, egoistic, greedy, unjust, unfair or selfish” stick to it like a magnet. We have been bombarded with these stereotypes every day. And, let’s be honest, when rich guys lose their wealth, most of us do not feel sorry for them very much.
We do not know how they became rich, and we don’t care. What we feel is that there is some kind of illegitimacy and filth associated with being rich. We think that we should have as much of material things as, at least, our neighbor does (as long as the neighbor has more).
But this is the notorious Envy! Not everyone acts this way! You are right. However, this primordial trait of human nature has been also inherited from our ancestors.
You may agree or disagree, but Greed, Envy and Egoism are ineradicable because they are gifts from Her Majesty Nature! That’s why they are still with us for millennia despite all our attempts to eradicate them from the human society.
Luckily, human Mind is capable of defying Nature. And here comes Economic Equality — a beautiful idea to create a fantastic human society that will force each member to ern equally and to have equal assets. Proposed by socialists, the idea looks appealing and convincing, but it is not clear will the poor earn and possess as much as the rich do?
Really, does economic equality make everyone equally wealthy or equally poor? It is a touchy subject for socialists, and they prefer not to discuss it, while the well-to-do and the rich supporters of economic equality believe that it is not about confiscation of their wealth, and that they will be able to get away with high taxes and charity donations.
It’s not clear also what to do with Greed, Envy and Egoism, which will desperately sabotage this beautiful idea? No problem here — economic equality has to fundamentallytransform human nature and character replacing Greed with Generosity, and Envy and Egoism with Selflessness.
What an arrogance! For hundreds of thousand years, like a great sculptor, Nature chiseled human nature and character from the granite of Life and wired them not for worry-free existence, but for competing and hard work.
Thus, the concept of economic equality is an abuse of Nature. It corrupts human nature — people unlearn how to be ambitious and responsible for their own actions, and how to make their own decisions. It perverts human character by tempting it with free stuff, for which people, eventually, pay very high price. “Free lunch” is as free as cheese in a mouse trap!
No wonder the principle of equality does not exist neither in the non-animated, nor in the animated world. As for a human society, name one place in which economic equality has ever functioned successfully, excluding, of course, human imagination or fantasy?
Let’s look for equality in the non-animated (natural) world. Can you find any two islands that are equal in size or similar in shape? Or two lakes, rivers or mountains? Every snowflake or piece of sand is different. Every acre of land or ocean receives unequal amount of solar energy, rain or wind. Soil fertility, mineral deposits — anything that sustains life or human activities is unequal.
Just think about it. What would have happen if mineral resources had been distributed evenly around the planet crust? No deposits of iron, coal or oil would be found anywhere! People would still be living in caves! The only equal things that can be found on Earth are the products of human activities. Everything in the natural world is unique and unlike anything else. There is no equality in any shape or form!
This is a manifestation of the principle of inequality in the natural world. Natural world can support the living world if there is a gradient — a slope. Life can exist and flourish due to the gradients. Rivers are flowing from a higher place to a lower place. Hot air and hot water are rising, while cold air and cold water are sinking.
Life can exist and flourish due to gradients. But it has always been unacceptable symbol of inequality for socialists. Their goal is to eliminate economic inequality in a human society by creating a so-called “a level playing field.” It means that any prominence that standing out on a playing field should be removed to exclude any unfair advantages.
For the proponents of economic equality, the world should be flat, and the rich are viewed as the annoying prominence that stands out. That’s why the rich should be eliminated in order to give the poor a better chance in life and, thus, will make the world a better place to live. (About the consequences, read my article “Eliminate the Rich!” Kontinent, 6/8/2020.
The concept of “a level playing field” looks beautiful, fair and appealing in theory, but not in practice. If it had been practical, Nature would’ve used it, and the natural world around us would have been flat. But it’s not flat — there are hills standing out over flat planes. However, for the proponents of economic equality, practicality does not matter — the hills must be removed. The reasons or consequences are of no significance, either.
To find a reason is not hard. Let’s bulldoze the hills for those who cannot or don’t want to climb the hills, or for those who find it hard to get to the top. This will make the world a better (flatter) place for them to live.
Аs for the consequences, just ignore them even if they are awful. The streams and rivers running from the hills will stop running; “a level playing field” will become a thick, muddy swamp deprived of oxygen and nutrients that are needed for fish, animals and vegetation; and, eventually, it will turn into a dried out, hard crust deprived of life. What can grow and who can live in this better, flatter world is of secondary importance.
Inequality in the natural world is what supports life on Earth!
No equality exists in the living world, either. All individual living creatures are different in size and shape, and in all the rest. They are big and small, strong and weak, fast and slow. Every tree, branch or leave is different. Not a single living thing or plant is alike or equal. And the distribution of vital resources among the living creatures is also not equal.
Due to such inequality, every living creature has to compete and work hard for its share, portion of which, in its turn, being shared with numerous smaller, weaker or useful ones. As a result, innumerous living creatures and plants are compelled to interact, to adjust to natural environment and to find its place and its niche helping each other to survive or propagate.
Inequality is a wise Nature’s strategy that allows the limited resources of a small planet like Earth to be utilized extremely efficiently and to the fullest extent. Nothing goes to waste in the living world.
Inequality is the way of life of all living creatures for millions of years!
Economic equality has never existed in a human society, either. Although people are created equal before God or Laws, they are not created equal before Nature because Man has always been a part of the living world.
That’s why people are so different — strong and weak; hardworking and lazy; venturous and indecisive; intelligent and mentally challenged? How can it be natural that everyone is entitled to be rewarded equally regardless of their contribution? How can anyone, who is able to work, get something without competing and working hard for it?
Economic inequality has always been and will be the way of life in a human society, one way or another, even though it does not fit with the idea of economic justice pushed by the modern socialists.
The principle of economic equality is known to humanity for some 2-3 thousand years. In theory, it looks appealing and attractive, but, in practice, it is damaging and destructive. It drags the able down and the mediocre up to the lowest common denominator; it kills competition and stimuli; it punishes the successful and rewards the losers; it discourages excellence and achievements; and it destroys what have been built by others. Everyone loses at the end.
In contrast, Nature has been practicing inequality for millions of years. On the surface, it may not look so appealing and attractive, but it is fruitful and constructive in practice. It pools everyone up as far as their abilities allow; it brings competition and stimuli — a powerful driving force that makes people build and create, compete and excel, and…accumulate wealth in the process.
A notorious wealth concentration is similar to a hurricane. A hurricane is a huge concentration of air and moisture. We don’t like hurricanes — they destroy things. But each of them, like a gigantic fan, rapidly transfers masses of air, containing enormous amounts of heat, oxygen and moisture, to distant chilly, stuffy and arid lands. Thus, they support Life on Earth making up for the local destruction a thousands times over.
Wealth is also a huge concentration of resources. We don’t like wealth (if it’s gained by others). But the wealth allows a rapid transfer of enormous financial resources to underdeveloped regions building not only palaces and monuments, but plants and entire industries, and fueling science and new technologies. Prosperity follows, and everyone benefits at the end. And guess who plays a vital role in creating this prosperity — the poor or the rich?
A sparkling, neon-bright facade of economic equality hides its appeal to dark, primordial corners of human nature — to take away from others. Redistribution of wealth accumulated by economic inequality is the only way economic equality can be achieved and sustained. In other words, economic equality can live only at the expense of inequality.
In Nature, such phenomenon is called “parasitism.” Watch the behavior of a parasitic wasp. It chooses a prey that accumulated enough fat. It does not kill the victim, but paralyzes it to lay its eggs into its fat body. When the eggs hatch, the wasp’s larva feeds on that fat. If the victim is killed, the larva die from hunger. If there is not enough fat in the victim’s body, the larva die from malnutrition.
Economic equality operates the same way — it needs the fat of inequality to exist. The Russian socialist wasps did not follow the script of Nature and have just killed their victim — a fat body of capitalism. And the larva of equality was starving for 70 years and died.
“They made a mistake,” confess modern socialists and other proponents of economic equality in the US and Europe. “Just give us another chance, and we will correct this mistake!”
Now, they do not want to kill a fat body of free-market capitalism accumulated a lot of fat due to inequality. They need this inequality and the fat to feed the hordes of their socialist larva. But this will kill capitalism, anyway — too many chewing mouths and too few producers of fat. In any case, the end is the same: economic equality brings poverty and misery.
No wonder most of the socialist parties in the world turned to the free-market capitalist system for solving problems caused by economic equality. They rejected this bankrupted socialist idea almost everywhere. Even in Russia where it was unsuccessfully tried first. And even in the communist China!
The jury court described above is a parody. And the idea of “energy equality” (to collect all the energy received by the planet and to divide it equally so that everyone could live equally comfortable) is an absurdity, although it looks beautiful and fair. But this parody is a sober lesson. Earth does not receive enough solar energy to provide both equal and comfortable climate everywhere and for all. Such artificially equalized global climate is far from being comfortable. It can hardly even sustain life.
If energy equality is an absurdity, then economic equality (to collect all the income received on the planet and to divide it equally so that everyone could live equally comfortable) is an absurdity too, although it looks beautiful and fair. Such equalized global wealth redistribution provides a standard of living for everyone that is far from being comfortable. In fact, artificially created economic equality makes everyone just equally poor and miserable. As for the poor, it makes them even poorer!
This is not an exaggeration. Just imagine that you have taken away all the income from everyone on the planet and divided it equally. Would the poor join the ranks of the middle class, at least? Not even close! The median income worldwide today for everyone (not only the poor) would be less than $10,000 per household and $3,000 per capita…per year (Wikipedia)! A beggarly standard of living as it was in the former USSR!
The lesson is that Earth does not have enough resources to make everyone both financially equal and secure. Economic equality is capable only to add the rich to the ranks of the poor making miserable absolutely EVERYONE!
“Those are just the lame excuses to justify such blatant inequality and to preserve the status quo,” claim socialists and the supporters of economic equality. “Goals justify the means, especially if the means is economic equality and the goal is Fairness in distribution of wealth created by a society.”
But fairness itself is another artificial, subjective and ambiguous concept developed by a human mind. Many philosophers have been debating it since the ancient time and cannot come to a consensus even today.
Just imagine a situation. An inventor thought up a practical idea to make an extraordinary cake, white icing and beautiful red cherries being on top of it. An investor gave money to make it. The task is how to divide and share it.
“We should have a bigger piece,” the inventor and the investor believe. “It’s fair because we deserve it. (Economic inequality).
“No, it’s not fair,” a professor, who has no practical ideas and no money, objects. “Everyone should have an equal piece.” (Economic equality).
“Just a minute, professor! Inequality can be fair, too,” a diabetic interferes. “The equal pieces of cake should not be equally sweet. Some of them should be sugar-free.” (Equality for the handicapped).
“I disagree, inequality cannot be fair,” a representative of intellectual elite laments. “Although all the pieces of cake are equal in size, they are not equal in taste and look — those that have cherries on top are testier and prettier. Fairness is when the tasteand look will be the same for all pieces.” (Esthetic equality).
“The diabetic is right — equality is not always fair,” a supporter of the rights of minorities complains. “Look at the icing on each piece of cake — it’s all white. Part of the cake should be black or brown!” (Racial equality).
“It’s not fair! No, it’s fair!” Other representatives of everyone and supporters of everything start yelling. (Equality is as fair as inequality).
…”So, what is fair, for God’s sake?” The confused inventor asks. “What’s clear is that inventing anything extraordinary is not worth it. It’s safer to cook up a simple cake — just flower and water, no sugar, no color and no cherries!” (Equality and fairness are the enemies of innovations and technical progress).
“Hell, with all of you!” The enraged investor screamed. “Next time, each of you pitch in a dime and buy a loaf of cheap diet burnt bread — it has no sugar, taste the same and its color is brown with a black crust! (Equality and fairness are equal to poverty).
As you see, fairness is like a menu at a restaurant — everyone chooses the fairness that serves their ideological or economic interests.
Here is one of the definitions of fairness as related to wealth distribution found on Internet: Fairness is the perceived appropriateness of the accepted rules used to distribute or allocate goods, benefits and other outcomes in the society without bias.
Look how ambiguous and subjective this definition is. “Perceived appropriateness” is not very objective criteria — what I perceive as fair for me is not necessarily fair for you. The “accepted rules” are not objective, either — those who set the “rules” will coerce others to accept them and use these rules in their interests. As for being not “biased,” in what society will people care more for strangers than for their family, close friends or like-minded members of a partisan group? Such imaginary society is called Utopia!
Where is a society heading if they try to put into practice a utopian idea of economic equality to achieve a utopian goal (fairness)? TO DISASTER!
Like the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which can live only inside human body, the theoretical idea of economic equality can live only in the minds of impractical intellectuals. Its practical application is doomed to failure!
You can find more about economic equality in “Nature vs. Man” by Valdemar Malin (Amazon.com)
Красильщиков Аркадий - сын Льва. Родился в Ленинграде. 18 декабря 1945 г. За годы трудовой деятельности перевел на стружку центнеры железа,километры кинопленки, тонну бумаги, иссушил море чернил, убил четыре компьютера и продолжает заниматься этой разрушительной деятельностью.
Плюсы: построил три дома (один в Израиле), родил двоих детей, посадил целую рощу, собрал 597 кг.грибов и увидел четырех внучек..