Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Equality for all People No! It should be Equity
The Winter Olympics are taking place in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada. It is a sporting event that hosts the best athletes in the world. Theoretically everyone is equal in these games. Everyone should have a chance to win. If all people were equal each of the countries participating would have a chance to win. That is not the case, not everyone is equal. In the world of sports not everything or everyone is equal. The countries with more people, more resources, more venues have an advantage. The athletes with more money can train more. They can devote more of their time to training rather than splitting time with earning a wage. Each country tries to level the playing field by putting money into their athletes efforts. Even at the sporting events the organizers of the games try to get everyone to have a chance at winning. The racing starts are staggered to give people a chance to win. Not all race starts are staggered. The short track speed skating races favour the inside lane. The outside racers have to go and extra distance as they are on the outside of the track. In summer games the race starts have staggered positions in order to compensate for the inequities in the outside lane starts.
That is the nature of the world, not all things are equal. If people tell you that all people are equal, they are mistaken. I find it funny that many people that are saying all people are equal are many times those on top of the food chain. It's like that line in "Animal Farm", "We are all equal but some are more equal than others".
There is a book and documentary out entitled "Guns, Germs and Steel". It puts forth the notion of geographical advantages of Europe in the expansion of the world. These people had the advantage of different elements that gave them advantage over other places and people in the world. It outlines how people are beneficiaries of geography, time, and other elements. Just as this book highlights the benefits for specific regions and people, it denotes that not all are equal.
Conservative folks and the political Right want everything to be equal. Treated equal so there are no favorites. That is a very good notion, but it cannot really happen. It can't happen because we are not equal. What they should be aiming toward is equity. Making the playing field equitable, so everyone has chance. We all don't have the same chance at jobs, at education, at health care, and social status. Our status in life either benefits us or starts us at a disadvantage to the rest of society.
People say we all have the same opportunities to succeed in life. Perhaps that is true, but where we start at is different. So if we had some equity in opportunities that might level the chance to have the same opportunities as everyone else.