So is the writer trying to say that equality is attainable only be eliminating
freedom? I suppose I can go along with that. What I can't accept is the
notion that freedom is worth sacrificing for equality. That only results in all
being equally miserable.
When a machine turns out more rejects than good products, we recognize that the
machine needs repair. It doesn’t matter that the good products are
exceptionally fine, it is the ratio that counts. The machine that
pumps the life blood of our society has become obsolete and is failing to do its
job of properly handling the exchange of labor for money. The failure is not
necessarily the machine’s fault, it is more the fault of the changing
environment that the machine works in. The fault is of little
concern, we need the machine fixed.
Much of what Wall St does should be illegal, and used to be illegal. But the
Masters of the Universe who work there have made enough "contributions"
to our members if congress that they have gotten the laws changed to allow their
criminal behavior. Saying the financial community has made their billions by
"hard work and saving" displays a basic ignorance of what they do.
The naive assumption commonly made in discussions like this is that too much
market freedom inevitably results in extreme income disparity. The truth is that
we live under a regime of crony-capitalism as Roland Kayser referred to.
Government-favored corporate pals get special treatment while those outside the
"good-ol'-boys club" have to live by a less friendly set of rules.
The notion that income disparity is a free-market phenomenon is laughable.
The concept of "Equality" in various contexts is NOT a guarantee that we
will all experience Equal-results, or have "Equal" stuff. That's
the promise of Marxism/Communism, but not in a liberated society such as
ours.Liberty to make your own decisions obviously means we will all
make our own choices and experience our own results (we will not all experience
the same results insured and doled out by the collective)."Equality" means different things in different contexts.In
a religious context... we are "Equal" in God's eyes because we are
all equally his offspring and his family. He gives us ALL the same rights.
But what we do with those rights is up to us, and the results we experience will
be up to us (and the decisions we make). He did NOT insure equal results for
all. That was the other plan.In the Government context... Equal
means we all have the same laws and protections of the law. But we are all
free to decide our career, how we spend our income, if we will break the law,
etc. It doesn't insure equal stuff.We are all
"Equal". That Doesnt guarantee equal results.
Equality worth having is in opportunity. Equal opportunity does not
mean equal outcome.Schools would do well to learn this lesson, and
stop trying to control every outcome. Students have a say in their outcome,
regardless of how great or bad the teachers are.Society/socialists
need to understand this also. Trying to for equal outcome is futile.
Not everyone wants the same outcome. (This is called diversity)
I wasn't my dads favorite not the fortunate one. Life's never fair.
Some get's the gold mine and some get the shaft.
Chrisanne, there are at least two flaws in your basic assumptions. First, you
assume that liberty and equality are mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, the
current system is devised so that hard work, saving, and sacrifice don't
get you ahead in the game. Most fortunes are made by people who are able to
treat other people as commodities and resources and therefore pay them as little
as they can get away with. At the same time, they reap profits they have not
earned by any definition of the word. Thus, greater equality in terms of
receiving a share of the profit proportionate to your work in creating it would
actually increase freedom for the majority.Second, you apparently
assume that the inequality in our society is harmless. Au contraire. The rapidly
increasing gap between the rich and the rest is not only damaging to our
economy, it is unsustainable. So, unless your version of utopia is Botswana or
Colombia, you should be more concerned about our rapidly expanding inequality.
And by the way, the USA's Gini index is already closer to Botswana than it
is to Sweden.
2 bits,Since you brought up religion, it is interesting to note that
all four volumes of LDS scripture, particularly the D&C, promote (or even
require) economic equality (and that would be equality of outcome, not or
opportunity). But I challenge you to find one verse of scripture where God
actually promotes economic liberty.
Ford DeTreese,You must not read your Bible. Here's a few.-Parable of the talents The lord gave unto one 5 talents another 2 and
another 1. When he returned he rewarded those who invested wisely. The other
he asked, "Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I
might have collected it with interest"?-1 Thessalonians 3:10 "For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone
is not willing to work, let him not eat"-Genisis 41Joseph
is instructed to plant, save, store and invest during the 7 years of plenty so
he can survive the 7 years of famine.-Luhe 12“Take care,
and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not
consist in the abundance of his possessions.” I Timothy 5But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members
of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbelieverYou asked for references. I was just pointing out that economic
equality, civic equality, spiritual equality... are not the same concept.
Roland,thank you for the condemnation of BO - he garnered more campaign
cash than his opponents.Ford DeTreese,the D&C may promote,
but does not guarantee economic equality. there's that little statement
about he is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garment of the laborer.God promoting economic liberty? how about, "seek ye first the
Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you"? (paraphrased
to the best of my memory)
re:2 bits"it doesn't insure equal stuff"Because
that is what we've created and find acceptable."To deal
with the poor, everyone who came to the city was to consecrate everything - all
of their property - to the bishop of the church, who in return would deed back
to them properties sufficient for their needs. It was an equalization
program.In fact, the word "equal" has a fairly strong place
in Joseph Smith's revelations. For example: "That you may be equal in
the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of
heavenly things. For if you are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal
in obtaining heavenly things." At another point, he made the drastic
statement that inequality was a sign that the whole world lay in sin. These
Cities of Zion were to create unified, egalitarian societies and eventually fill
up the world."(Richard Bushman, Pew Forum "Mormonsim and Politics
Are They Compatible?") "And the Lord called his people Zion,
because they were of bone heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and
there was no poor among them."(Moses 7:18)The Parable of
the LaborerMatthew 20:1
To lost in D.C.: The problem started in the late 70's so we can't
really pin it on Obama, although the President has been no better than anyone
else at reining in Wall St. It is a bi-partisan issue, Wall St. money has
corrupted both sides. Also, in the last election, nore Wall St. cash went to
Romney than Obama. Not that that means much.My conclusion is that
Democrats are bad, but Republicans are worse because they oppose even the meager
efforts of the Democrats to give a little supervision to our Casino Capitalists
who run the world.
re: Truthseeker Agreed, but please define "poor" as stated
in Moses. Do you believe it is measurable in the same way the various states in
the U.S. define "poor?" For example the bar to receive medicaid, CHIP,
etc benefits varies from state to state from 2*poverty level to 6*poverty level.
Or you think it's defined by the governmental label of the poverty line?
If someone makes poverty level income, but stays out of debt, has a modest home
paid for, and doesn't go hungry, are they STILL "poor"?
Truthseeker,If you were talking about the law of consecration that was
experimented with in early history (and proved we are not ready for it)... The
concept isn't that everybody gets "equal stuff". Each gets what
they need. That is a perfect example of things not being "equal".
And I never said we should not have equality. I said that we ARE
Equal (in every example I gave). Each human is equal in Gods eyes. Each
Citizen is equal in the Government's eyes. Each person is equal in the
law's eyes. I'm not against equality. I'm just pointing out
that that liberty and equality doesn't guarantee "equal outcomes or
stuff".I also never said we should have poor among us. I do
everything I can to help the poor. I approve of the Government's efforts
to help the poor (as long as they teach people to work for the aid they
receive). And I approve of my church's attempts to help the poor.I also agree that Stuff is not important. I never said stuff was
important. I just said liberty and equality doesn't guarantee equal stuff.
Kass' statement "We were once a people who prized individual liberty
above all else." is false. The Natural Man may prize freedom for himself
above all else, but we certainly do NOT prize it for many others. When did we
prize it for the black Americans? American Indians? Hispanics?You
say these peoples need to earn it. Did you?The Declaration of
Independence proclaims all men are created equal. Thomas Jefferson and our
other Founding Fathers, due to traditions, left out women, black people and even
non-landowning white men.We haven't changed. We pass our
traditional bias's to the next generation. And that often includes the
principle that we are entitled to freedom, but others must earn it. Especially
the immigrant, the minority and others not like us.
To "Chrisanne Sueltz" you are almost there. What you should also point
out to the liberals out there is the fact that the more free (not anarchy) a
people are, and the more capitalism present in their society, the more equal the
distribution of wealth becomes.Just look at the communist nations.
They have massive poverty, and have a few with massive wealth.When
the US government didn't try and manipulate the free market, we had one of
the best distributions of wealth in the world. Now, not so much, thanks to the
government trying to manipulate the free market.To "Kent C.
DeForrest" just saving money in the bank will never make you rich, that is
well known and established through history. You don't become wealthy
without risking your money in some manner, either through buying property or
else through starting a business.To "Truthseeker" nice try,
but still nothing you write says that you will have equal "stuff". If
you studied what Zion is to the LDS faith, you would have known that equal in
posessions does not mean that you will all have equal stuff.
2 bits, you failed on every count:Parable of the talents- It's a parable, likening money to something else. Jesus isn't giving
an economics lesson here. Read a little deeper.1 Thessalonians
3:10-This verse is not about economic liberty.Genisis 41-Good grief! This is Joseph instituting a command economy in Egypt, for crying
out loud. It's an ancient example of, well, Social Security or Welfare.
Wow.Luke 12-Guard against covetousness. Good advice, in all
sorts of economies. It has nothing specifically to do with economic liberty.1 Timothy 5-Provide for your family. Again, good advice, in every
type of economy. It has no tie to economic freedom.Try again. In the
meantime, please read D&C 49:20; 70:14; 78:6; 104:14-18; Mosiah 18:27; 4
Nephi 1:3; Acts 2:44-45; and Moses 7:18. Not a lot here about economic liberty.
Plenty of insistence on economic equality.
Lost in DC:That verse also refers to the idle rich who eat the bread
and wear the garment that the laborers have created. That sword cuts both ways.
SEYIn one way what you said is technically correct (equality is
attainable only be eliminating freedom)... but it's not that simple.total-equality OF OUTCOME is attainable only by totally eliminating
freedom (IF by "equality" you mean equal-outcomes/results).The only way to guarantee equal-OUTCOMES would be to, as you put it,
"sacrifice freedom" and FORCE everyone to make the same decisions.
That plan has been proposed many times throughout history. And yes... That
only results in all being equally miserable.This is how I see
it...We are all equal. There's no question that we are equal in my
mind, and nothing can make one person more valuable than another (in my
opinion). The only way you can say we are "unequal" is if you see
peoples REAL-value as people's "stuff" or their
"social-status". I don't.So depending on how you look
at it... Either all of us are already equal (the way I look at it). Or there
is no way to be totally_equal except to give up your freedom (IF you see
"equal" as equally rich, equally important, equally talented, equally
We should not look for equality of outcome but for true equality of
opportunity.We may say we have the latter, but I think even a
cursory examination reveals we do not. That is where we should focus our
efforts.One quick point here is in higher education (and that can
mean education in the trades as well). There is no better provider of
opportunity for young person. But look at college costs today versus 30-40
years ago. It used to be that a young person could earn enough in a summer to
pay for tuition, room, and board at a state university. To do so today would
mean that they would have to be able to take home (save) over $1,000 per
week.There are various reasons for the increase in cost. Fancier
stuff at the colleges, and a lot less state support to name two. But the simple
point is we cannot have true equality of opportunity unless education after high
school (including for trades) is accessible by all.Unless every kid
who has reasonable grades can look at getting a good education, we are wasting
talent and do not have sufficient opportunity.
Freedom is sold the highest briber - er, um, I mean...bidder.Gadianton Robbers and Master Mahan Eco 101.
"Success" and even life longevity is determined by whether one is
impoverished or not. Studies have shown children with higher IQs in
impoverished areas do worse than middle class children with lower IQs. People
don't choose the circumstances of their birth, at least as far as we know.
Whether one is born in a crime-infested inner city or into an impoverished
nation or into an upper class affluent neighborhood appears to be a result of
"luck." Not everybody has the same opportunities--particularly in this
country as compared to other industrialized countries. Therefore,
it is our moral obligation to continue to address poverty especially with how it
affects children. Republicans seem to have forgotten the welfare
reform that they pushed and passed under Pres. Clinton. Broadly painting those
who don't owe federal income tax (47%) as lazy, "ner-do-wells"
reveals deep blindness and ignorance. Pres. Obama's and the
Democrat's ultimate goal is that all Americans have a basic level of
dignity, an affordable and good education, jobs that can provide economic
security and the necessities of life, and the conditions and opportunity to
advance. Wealth does not confer moral superiority. Often it reflects the
When WallStreet corporations can go to jail for theft, robbery, and murder --
THEN there will be equality.When a poor old woman goes to jail for
shop-lifting - while the privileged few with $$$ like ex-Enron CEO Jeff Skilling
gets his sentence cut in half, or celebrities joke about their illegal drug use
and some even getting away with murder -- THEN there will be equality.When Corporations and the uber-Romney rich pay 30%+ in taxes like the rest of
the Poor and Middle class do -- THEN there will be equality.There is
no Freedom, when there is no Equality.
"When the US government didn't try and manipulate the free market, we
had one of the best distributions of wealth in the world."Odd.
Strange take on history. But perhaps you can be more specific. What era are you
talking about? "You don't become wealthy without risking
your money in some manner, either through buying property or else through
starting a business."Again, an odd statement. You give two
options to becoming wealthy. What about things like inheriting wealth, or
playing ball games really well? Perhaps you did not mean to be inclusive with
your two ways to become wealthy. "is the fact that the more free
(not anarchy) a people are, and the more capitalism present in their society,
the more equal the distribution of wealth becomes."This also is
a very strange statement. "The more free. . ." But you stop short of
anarchy. So it would seem that you recognize some limits on freedom in society
are necessary for a more equal distribution of wealth. Trying to prove your
point using communist countries doesn't work. The fact that communist
countries were massively corrupt and failed does not prove your statement.
If you leave your children long enough and you come home to find the eldest
charging the younger siblings rent would you be ok with that?It
keeps happening to the Lord.
to SEYYou mean socialism for the uber-rich and/or well connected and
capitalism for the rest.Maybe just maybe Adam Smith (invisible hand
of the market) & Darwin (natural selection/survival of the fittest) are in