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Equality of Opportunity Requires A Police State
I've often heard the virtue of equality of opportunity sung out loud.  As a typical example, the following: "Equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?
One is consistent with a free people and the other requires a police state. Pick one."

The problem with this is that equality of opportunity also requires a police state to enforce.  Here's why.

These people create a false dichotomy between opportunity and outcome, parroting constantly about how "not everyone will have an equal outcome unless there is a police state".  The first problem with this is that outcome is related to opportunity: outcome creates opportunity.  The second problem is that the outcomes of others affect our opportunities.

The first problem is all around us if we look.  It has a name in the academic world: the "Matthew effect".  Businesses that don't get the outcome of getting any clients lose future opportunities for subsequent work with first clients and other clients after them.  Academic institutions that are prestigious get more and more prestige, which opens up opportunities for them, while less prestigious institutions don't get any.  This effect was demonstrated by the 1982 Ceci and Peters experiment, where papers with non-prestigious names replacing the previous prestigious names were resubmitted to the same journals that first published them.  Of the journals that didn't recognize them as previous work, 8 out of 9 rejected the papers for problems that magically failed to appear when they had prestigious names attached to them.  They were inspired to do this study by an earlier study in which Jerzy Kosinski's bestseller Steps was submitted incognito to its original publisher, as well as more than a dozen publishers and more than a dozen literary agents.  Every single one of the publishers and agents rejected it because the author was seemingly unknown.

The second problem is one we are more familiar with: being born into wealth, being born into influential families, nepotism made possible by the success of relatives.

The bottom line is that fixing all of these would require businesses to do mandatory work with brand new businesses to give them real equality of opportunity, peer-reviewed journals to not discriminate against non-prestigious institutions so they have equality of opportunity to grow, giving the homeless the same job opportunities as the nephew of the CEO so they have employment equality of opportunity, and so on.  Enforcing all of this against the quasi-free market and societal prejudices would guessed it, a police state.
You cant win without making losers.
(09-17-2015, 12:35 AM)ocre Wrote: You cant win without making losers.
No kidding.  But holding up equality of opportunity when the outcome of losing also ruins your opportunity is simpleminded at best.
Key lies in balance. Balance between the Wild Wild Cowboy state, and the Borg Police State.

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