Monday, January 27, 2014

In a free economy, it is everyone's responsibility to create or find their own opportunity


The absolute right to use money that is fairly and justly earned — or any resource, for that matter — isn't the problem. This principle is enshrined in our current constitution and the American Declaration of Independence from which it is inspired. We as individuals have the right to life, liberty and property and the pursuit of our individual interests. Moreover, these rights are held to be inviolable. The simplest interpretation of this is that EACH one of us as members of the human family are recognised to have individual rights and freedoms and are allowed to exercise them, the only limit being that no one individual shall infringe on the rights of another individual to exercise those selfsame rights.

Societies and cultures founded on Judeo-Christian philosophy actually emphasise equality of opportunity NOT the equality of outcomes. We are brought up to expect that by working hard, doing your best and playing by the rules you will be rewarded for your effort. We hold the belief that you can achieve success and wealth playing by the rules. And that you have the right to dispose of that wealth however you see fit as long as you do not infringe on the rights of others to do the same. This isn't a point of view that is currently popular; these are the axioms that are the foundation of our modern civilisation. What can be fairer than that?

The fact that there is a vast inequality among our peoples and that there are entrenched groups that prevent the bridging of this disparity indicates an institutional failure in our society and of our political systems. It isn't because some of us spend more than what others think they should. What it does reveal is that we have failed to uphold the rights of the majority of our citizens to live their lives unencumbered. Our society has failed to provide the opportunities for gainful employment. That ultimately points to a failure of our institutions of authority (the state) to provide oversight and ensure that EVERYONE follows the rules. Indeed, as we've seen over the past year, it is often the case that the state acts in collusion with certain entrenched groups to claim privileges over the rest and to prevent their interests from being challenged.

The "hard pill to swallow" isn't that there are problems concerning (money) or how we use it. That's the easiest, most obvious thing you can point out. The most common response is to attempt to limit it, or to reallocate it. The philosopher John Rawls postulated a "theory of justice" based on the idea that we have an innate sense of fairness that is offended when some people fare better than others. It seems intuitive then that in order to be "fair" one must be willing to sacrifice for the common good; everyone should share. What is difficult to accept is that reality teaches us LIFE IS FAIRER WHEN INDIVIDUALS ARE FREE TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS. It will be fair because individuals only participate if each party feels that they came out ahead, each getting exactly what they wanted. We are worse off when we are shamed into acting against our wishes or when government forces our participation. In that situation, you always feel as if
 you've been cheated.

Source:
http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2014/01/china-outsourced-air-pollution-now-reaching-us-mainland/comment-page-1/#comment-206170

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