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PangoFriday 04th of February 2005 03:26:49 AM
Equality or Equity? - I was recently involved in quite a heavy debate with a friend of mine (until he got personal - as far as Im concerned it made his points null and void lol) concerning fair treatment for different groups in society.

I wonder what you consider is fair treatment. Im not talking laws and courts but mainly in health, education and welfare systems where sometimes some groups of people need more help finicially or otherwise.

Do you think it is 'fair' to say that some groups of people (groups based on whatever - ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status etc) need an extra helping hand to get by?

Do you think that it is more important that the powers that be strive for equal outcomes or should everyone start on an equal footing?

Should different people be treated the same in such social systems?
patriosWednesday 09th of February 2005 01:13:22 PM
equality or equity - February 09, 2005
Pango
Neophyte

Getting personal should not by itself render an argument invalid, but you might not want to continue the discussion


Fair that's really difficult to define. I believe that health and education should be available to all. Further those who have received a free or subsidized education should repay the cost, if they are able to do so, in order to alleviate the cost to the community and make it self-supporting.

Welfare is of a different nature. It should not derogate the importance of the family and should be limited in time for almost all. It should not encourage a welfare mentality or heredity. Some degree of work should be demanded to engender self-respect for the recipient.

Do you think it is 'fair' to say that some groups of people (groups based on whatever - ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status etc) need an extra helping hand to get by?

Of course not. That idea is racist because it implies that certain peoples are inferior to others. In all cases the decision should be made individually without regard to the above mentioned categories.

Do you think that it is more important that the powers that be strive for equal outcomes or should everyone start on an equal footing?

Here you are in la-la land. One can only provide a level playing field. Because each of us is different there will never be equal outcomes nor by the same token can everyone start on equal footing. As you well know, some who were very low at the start exceeded those who were up the ladder. And the reverse is also true. All one can reasonably provide is equal opportunity.

Should different people be treated the same in such social systems?
Here the old Marxist statement fits best: from each according to his ability and to each according to his need. Of course this is pure nonsense but is has a grain of truth. The bible also says it: from those given much, much is expected but only says take care of the poor.
I guess the crux of the matter is to treat everyone individually as individual. When I hear a concept of social groups or masses, my eyes glaze over.


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