Why I am not an Egalitarian

I used to be an egalitarian for a short period of time.  This means that I used to think that huge amounts of wealth concentrated in the hands of a few was immoral and improper.  “No one needs that much money,” I would reason.  “Far better to spread it around to those who do.”  I could think of blue collar workers in the food service industry, or manufacturing, or car maintenance, to name just three.

I have sympathy for those who feel they are at the bottom of the food chain.

But economic egalitarianism is not the answer.

One reason that convinced me is the following: if each individual is different in terms of skills and abilities, then each individual, treated equally, would perform differently, both athletically, socially, academically, and economically.

To make sure each individual receives the same (or very similar) economic benefits, the law, or society, must of necessity treat some individuals far differently than others.  In other words, some form of discrimination, in opposition to individual liberty, would be required.

As I see it, it is far better to have each treated equally in the eyes of the law and see individual differences (including preferences) reflected in economic situations.

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3 Comments

Filed under Libertarian, Personal, politics, role of government

3 responses to “Why I am not an Egalitarian

  1. Really well-expressed; thanks for such a clear, concise write-up! 🙂

  2. plato04

    You’re certainly welcome. Glad you found some value in it.

  3. I too was of the same mindset 20 years ago. I too had the same turnaround.

    The way I look at it is that we are guaranteed a chance at the American dream through our rights: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The rest is up to us.

    I was recently told that rich people didn’t need all of that money. I then asked this person what rich meant. They replied “anyone makin $250k or more”. So I asked if they should have to work harder for their money then this person should. They said it’s fine. I then asked them to look me in the eye as one of these rich people (as I make over this amount) and repeat this. They changed their stance quickly.

    The problem is, is that everyone would love everyone else to pay their way if they could. I personally, want the same fair chance to make the money as the rest, and don’t believe I should HAVE to support less motivated people (I still donate to worthy causes), and I don’t believe I should have to work harder for my next dollar (I already usually do) than the next guy.

    I agree. Most people with the money understood how to manage it, and that’s how they got there. Taking it from them and giving it to others is ignorant.

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