02.01.2021 0

Equality vs Equity: Unraveling the allure of socialism

Placing equity over equality when it comes to our economy will not ensure that everyone ends up a millionaire, only that nobody will get the opportunity to rise through the ranks and achieve that success in the future.

By Brett Kimball

Equality and equity are two concepts which are often mistaken for one another; however they could not be more different.  Equality of opportunity is essential in order for any free society to thrive; it ensures that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed. Radical left socialist democrats have posited the theory that all inequalities of outcome in society can be attributed to a rigged system which discriminates based on secondary characteristics such as race, sex, gender, etc. Therefore, we must strive to create a more “equitable” system in order to ensure that those inequalities of outcome which can be observed are eliminated. This idea is patently un-American and unfair to its core.

A system based on the principles of equality is one which provides each individual with the same level of opportunity to attain success. A system built on the principles of equity is one which attempts to ensure an equal outcome for each individual. The former being an inherently moral system and the latter being an inherently immoral system.

This distinction often becomes lost in the fray of debate however, becoming overshadowed by the alluring concept of “free stuff,” whether it’s college, healthcare, etc. It’s important to remember that we all as Americans share the same privilege of having been born in the freest society in the world, one which does provide endless potential for upward mobility. To sacrifice this freedom in the pursuit of a more rigid economic structure meant to ensure some socialistic utopian concept of equality of outcome over opportunity would be reckless and dangerous.

Why do so many young people fall victim to the unrealistic and damaging proposals put forth by the radical left? The simplest answer is this, these promises sound good on paper. Upon even the slightest bit of further review however, they start to fall apart.

For example, a fifteen dollar minimum wage sounds great, but those who advocate for this are missing a few key factors. For starters, a minimum wage that high would force businesses, especially smaller and family-owned establishments, into mass layoffs of thousands of entry-level employees. This would be a problem under normal circumstances but would certainly be exacerbated by the toll the Covid lockdowns have already taken on struggling businesses. Businesses simply cannot  afford to pay entry-level  employees that type of money, when their jobs could just as easily be cut or replaced by technology. McDonald’s implementation of touchscreen kiosks for in-store ordering is one clear example of where we are headed if a higher minimum wage becomes mainstream.

A recent study by the Congressional Budget Office found that while the plan for a fifteen-dollar minimum wage would predictably increase wages for around 17 million workers who would otherwise be earning less, such benefits would be offset by the nearly 1.3 million jobs which would be lost due to the increased cost of labor. This fluctuation would be more than enough to put many under the poverty line.

The increased wages of those able to keep their jobs would also inevitably lead to an increase in the cost of goods provided by those businesses to account for the higher wages businesses would be forced to pay their remaining employees.

Another socialist pipe-dream worth dissecting is the idea of “free college for all.” This one has gained momentum and popularity over the last few years, and could perhaps be the most damaging of all. The word “free” as it’s used by democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Ilhan Omar has lost all meaning. What they really mean when they say “free college tuition” is “government funded” and thereby “taxpayer funded.” All it means is that you won’t be footing the bill for your degree, everyone else will.

Considering the rampant fiscal irresponsibility on display regularly by our elected officials in the House and Senate, the only way to accomplish such a feat would be to raise taxes on all Americans, but with a “progressive” tax plan which would bleed the 1% dry. Many young people who get drawn in by the idea of socialism and the concept of an oppressive billionaire ruling class tend to forget how free-market capitalism actually works. The category known as the 1% is not a static, fixed group of people hoarding the county’s wealth for themselves. In actuality it’s fluid and ever changing, with people drifting in and out of the top tax bracket constantly. The 1%, in most cases, employs the “99%” as well. They create and run the businesses and corporations which employ millions of people all over the country. Hitting them with ridiculous tax rates out of a false sense of fairness or equity, would hurt workers across the economic spectrum and severely stunt any ability for growth in an economic system originally designed to provide such opportunities.

When people like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren suggest that “billionaires should not exist,” they may think they are advocating for the downfall of today’s billionaires who they deem greedy and oppressive. What they don’t realize is that they are also advocating for the downfall of the billionaires of tomorrow; those who will rise up through the system with ingenuity and entrepreneurship to usher in the new era of innovation on the horizon in our country.

Placing equity over equality when it comes to our economy will not ensure that everyone ends up a millionaire, only that nobody will get the opportunity to rise through the ranks and achieve that success in the future.

Preserving our ability to thrive and protecting our core values as a country are of paramount importance for the next generation of great entrepreneurs. Equity is a perversion of justice which will only greatly undermine the next generation’s ability to succeed.

Brett Kimball is a college student and conservative political activist from Gaithersburg, MD.

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