Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Privilege and advantage are not tenets of equality (#2637)

     I am all for those who earn greater rewards in life through merit and hard work. Those are after all the processes no one can dispute as to being legitimate. It is the privileges and advantages that I take issue with. The comprehensive overview of our laws and ordinances have come to take a position that allows for an easier path to success for those who already have a leg up in life than those who don't. The problem is at the foundation of our society, where there truly is no level starting point for all to begin from. Most, and by most I mean the less well off, have trouble just meeting basic standards for living let alone being able to compete with the wealthier among us. I do not chastise the wealthier for having settled their basic needs, but I do offer it as evidence that the less well off have no such beginning point. Therein lies the inequality of the beginning of opportunity.
     I advocate for a basic wage for all Americans so that the question of basic needs becomes for the most part moot. In practice we will have a society structured that will offer a beginning point from which all can participate equally. Surely there are problems to be ironed out but what we have now is unacceptable so a process to make things more equal as we begin our lives is urgently required. Our founders envisioned a more perfect union and as it is now, we are far from that well over two hundred years later. The status quo of status as a determination of respect and dignity has to be adjusted so that it isn't wealth that defines our place in society but our merit and character.
     We cannot know of whom merit and character are measured when we have so few who able to participate in expressing it. We must decide if our nation is a democratic one or an aristocratic/oligarchic/theological one. Where all lives of citizens are treated with respect to nurture and inclusion. The subtle but organized way we allow for democracy to be interpreted as less than principled is coming to a head. We, Americans who care for our democracy, can now show where privilege and advantage are undermining the intent of equality and opportunity so that it cannot be ignored. We have to choose and when the choosing time comes which side will you be on?

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