Equality is not the solution to our problems.
The problem we face is one of values, relativity and human rights – which are absolute, though we don’t recognize them as such. Instead we assign value and all kinds of rights where none exist (copyrights, patents, etc).
When basic human rights are not guaranteed, extreme disparities between the highest and lowest “paid” in society result in the lowest paid being unable to “afford” to live with basic human dignity. This causes a destructive imbalance that results in extreme poverty, avoidable deaths, pervasive misery and instability.
That is the core of our problems and it must change.
Everything and everyone on this planet has a place and has rights. A culture that doesn’t learn to assign everyone their due rights, eventually self-destructs because there can never be peace and tranquility when basic human needs are not met.
Indeed you have an interesting point there. But I am afraid that the political system which assigns the values is also permeated by lack of equity and liberty. The disparities between the distribution of income and human rights is something that the economist Amartya Sen qualifies as unequal. I like your argument, but without realizing you are also talking about inequality which I think is indeed the central issue amidst several other social and political phenomena.
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Thank you, David, for your thoughtful comment. You touched on a very important point – equity. THAT is what our economy and our lives are lacking. We won’t get that by striving for equality, which is a pipe dream and will never exist – as we are not born equal in our physical composition, our skills or in our intellect. But that does not mean that we can’t as a society afford each other the right to live with human dignity, no matter who we are. It is absurd, that as a civilization, we can sign a solemn agreement to protect each others rights to property, yet deny each other the right to live with basic human dignity.