Monday, August 5, 2013

The Government’s Definition of “Fair”…

What is fair? Is life meant to be fair? Is it fair that you have to be 6’8” to play in the NBA? Is it fair that you have to run fast to be a marathon runner? Is it fair that you have to be smart to get into Harvard? In order to make many things that we value fair, we have to change the rules and then accept the outcomes of those changes.

In order to make access to becoming an NBA player fair we would have to put in place rules like: there needs to be the same amount of woman, Asians, Whites, Hispanics, and Black players on every team. These players would need to be divided into players that are no taller than 5’1”, 5’8” and 7’0”. This would eliminate the dominance of tall players. We would also have to include a number of slots for people that are disabled. The list of rules to make the game fair could go on for pages.

We could take every institution, profession, and employment opportunity there is and make rules to make the possibility of entry to them fair but the results would all be the same; fair = distributed misery. There is no such thing as ensuring fair outcomes without manipulating the inputs. If you manipulate the inputs it is guaranteed to impact the outcomes in a negative way.

The rules of the game must be fair. The US Constitution is the rule of the game for this country. The Constitution offers a guideline for a limited intrusion into the freedom of the individual. These rules encourage people with exceptional skills, intellect, and drive to become successful without the intrusion of government bureaucrats forcing fairness on their outcomes.

Smart people will always be more successful than not so smart people. Big strong tall people will always have a better opportunity to be a professional sports player. People with a propensity to take risks will always be more likely to be successful entrepreneurs. The federal government can try to dictate that not so smart people should be smart but unless those people apply themselves the result will diminish the institutions they are enrolled in. The federal government can dictate that the NBA hires small uncoordinated people but the result is the NBA will lose its fans. The federal government can give money to people to start businesses based on something other than skill but the result will be less business at a high cost.

You can make the access to opportunity fair by making the rules of entry the same for everyone. You can try to make the outcome of results fair but that is a fool’s errand. We are not equal when it comes to skills, knowledge, God given genes, and drive, so how do you dictate success? The only way to make outcomes fair is to distribute misery.  And that is something the federal government and all government bureaucracies are really good at… Spreading misery…

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