Fairness is an important topic in our society. We want equal opportunity, equal pay, and equality for all. We call it fairness, but is that what we really want? (Read this: 3 Unfair Facts of Life)
Let’s get a few things straight to start:
1. Life isn’t fair.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and the best thing we can do is exploit our own strengths, build upon them, allow them to lead us to live a purposeful life.
2. Everyone is given opportunity, because we control how we work, think, and how we act.
We control our thoughts and our emotions and our actions. Thus, we control our fate.
The myth that is equality, isn’t fairness.
A few examples:
1. Graded tax systems.
Fairness, in the truest sense of the word, is having the same, flat tax rate amongst every human within a society. That’s fairness.
If everyone pays 10% tax, the guy who makes a million dollars a year will pay $100,000 in taxes, and the guy who makes $10,000 a year will pay $1000 in taxes. The guy who makes more still pays more, but he’s not absurdly forced to increase the percentage he pays simply because he’s found more success.
As a guy who spent 3 years building a business all the while paying taxes even though they were tough to afford, knowing how volatile owning your own business can be and that one year of success may not equal two years of success, you understand the unfairness in a progressive tax system, where, when you earn more money, you’re not only taxed a greater AMOUNT, but a greater percentage.
You see how this holds you back from hiring employees more freely.
You see how it can lead you to give less to charity.
You see how unfair this “fairness” really is.
You see how it stops growth, bringing no one “up”, but rather just pushing more “down”.
It’s not just about economics, it’s about psychology. When you know you’re going to be punished a greater percentage as your business grows, you’re going to look for ways to cut costs, ways that may also cut growth, and in the big picture, as more and more business owners look to cut costs and hire fewer employees, you see how this negatively effects an economy.
Business owners should be rewarded for their risk. They should be encouraged to risk more, employ more, and they shouldn’t feel guilty for earning more when they’ve provided the market with a service that it benefits from.
When you look to tax the big corporations that people seem to hate, yet all love their products and services, you can’t avoid hurting both the consumer and the smaller, individually owned or family owned corporations that make countries like America and Canada thrive.
You don’t want fairness, you want benefits that someone else paid for. You want safety that someone else risked their livelihoods for. You don’t want to have to do what they did to earn what they earned.
Fairness and equality don’t mesh in this instance. Equality is giving everyone the same opportunity. It’s telling me where I have to put my money when I’d much rather put it back into the business, give it to charity, and save it for my kids.
Does it suck that some people are born into poverty and others into wealth? Of course, in both cases. The man born into poverty is forced to struggle and hustle if he wants to rise, the man born into wealth can sit on his ass his entire life and get by. I’d rather gain the benefits of the hustle than rest; there’s no growth in rest.
If you want true fairness, you want a flat tax.
If you don’t want true fairness, you want to piggy back on someone else’s success, and you want to punish them for being successful. They’ll pay more either way, you just want them to pay a greater percentage because they’ve done what you haven’t done, they’ve worked harder, taken more risks, or they’ve simply been born into a wealthy family (the latter being statistically the rarest case as 70% of billionaires are self-made).
After reading this you may still want a graded tax system where the rich pay a greater percentage. That’s fine. Just don’t think that it’s actually fair. It’s in direct opposition to fairness.
Also understand that you can’t punish the ultra rich without also punishing the small business owner or the guy who employs 25 people in our town. You want that guy to thrive because your town then thrives.
When you take higher taxes its put into the hands of people who don’t know how to manage money. The government wastes more than any corporation on the planet, I’d rather have money remain in the hands of innovators and intelligent minds who will do something beneficial for the planet and its people (read about: Dean Kamen and Bill Gates). So not only is this distorted view of fairness not actually fair, but its detrimental.
2. Graded tests to account for inequality.
Two instances come to mind:
a. Affirmative action.
Poverty has no color. As unemployment rises (and those who simply quit looking for employment increases dramatically) people are getting poorer. This poverty spans across all demographics, so if you’re looking to give people an opportunity, you have to look at the number not the color. You also have to give what is earned and not merely give out of pity.
The kid with the best grades should get the scholarship. There should also be room for those who receive sub-par educations because they grow up in poorer areas to gain access to a college education, but to choose said student because of the color of their skin and not because of their grades or income level seems a tad, dare I say, racist, does it not?
Here’s an example of how the government uses a decline in unemployment to falsely show that employment is increasing, when the reality is that it’s declining like never before:
If you’re looking merely at the color, you’re deliberately excluding others because of the color of their skin.
How is that fair?
I’d love an explanation on this that lays out how giving someone a hand because of their race and pushing someone else back because of theirs is in someway fair or just.
Another miss in the equality fight.
Now, after reading this you may still feel that minorities deserve a bigger hand from the government, just don’t claim that it’s fair. Let the numbers show you what’s fair and the numbers may show that more minorities need more help, awesome. Stop seeing color and start helping those who will use your help, who will work and not waste your help because they’ve earned it.
P.S. This isn’t a campaign by some rich guy who was born into wealth. I’ve been utterly broke, missed rent 8 months in a row, and taking control of my own fate was the only way to rise up. I needed to spend less and make more. Starting a business was the first step, being ruthlessly frugal was the second step.
b. Graded physical tests for men and women.
Men and women each have our own strengths, and typically, men’s “strength” is strength. We’re born with a bigger muscle base then women and we’re typically bigger than women. (Read this: The Alpha Male Guide to Strength)
So where physical jobs are concerned, take the military or fire fighting, there need to be standards for the betterment of those fighting, for the success of a mission or the safety of those they’re trying to save.
You degrade those physical requirements to “be fair” to weaker women (not all women, many women can pass the physical requirements even if they aren’t degraded), you degrade the position and compromise the integrity of the group.
Which begs the question, why only make separate rules for women? Why not make separate rules for everyone born with low T or a lack of muscle mass?
The mission, the task, what the position asks must require a lot of a man or woman, and they should be hired based on a flat and fair set of tests. That’s fair. Two tests for two groups, isn’t.
Again, there are many, many women who will pass the physical tests currently in place. If you think that lowering the physical tests to accommodate weaker people is the right thing to do, that’s fine, just don’t claim it’s “fair”, it’s in direct opposition to what is truly defined as fair.
Equality isn’t fair. Meritocracy is.
If you want equality, you don’t actually want fairness. If you want to give everyone an opportunity to warrant where they end up, to merit their successes and their failures, then yes, you do want fairness. From an economics standpoint that begins and ends with a healthy economy.
There shouldn’t be a war of one group or class or sex against another, but a working together that brings more people up and less people down.
Since I’ve been walking this fine planet, we’ve never been more divided. We’ve moved away from the desire to help one another and into a mentality wrought with entitlement and envy.
We’re seeing an evolution in our values, from hard work to things, from value to money. It’s strong men like you that can bring people up, that can create companies and changes laws and increase the prosperity of everyone without subjectively picking and choosing who gets what, but rather rewarding those that merit the award.
In the end, you need to know that your success and happiness are things that you control, and there is no one that can take that away from you, no matter what they do or what they impose. You are the master of your own fate and this is essential to creating the life you want to create.