Which statement is more appealing: “All men are created equal” or “You are below average so we need the government to level the playing field for you”?
While anyone would support the first statement, it’s obviously not true. You can argue intent, philosophize, and equivocate all you want. If three hundred million Americans are born and raised identically and then they all play a round of golf will there be a three hundred million way tie? History has times where it favors one attribute over another and we must set out not to completely devalue certain attributes because they are not currently valued by the free market. The defense industry is a fine example of this. With that inarguable basis you can extrapolate measures to many different fields with varying degrees of necessity. Is it still in our national interest to maintain the current mining industry for thermal coal? Likely not. Is it in our national interest to maintain a metallurgical coal industry to facilitate self sufficiency in steel production? I would say absolutely. Yet in this example the efforts and the people supporting it would be labelled communists or any of the typical reductionist insults that haunt our political system. The democrats end up on the unappealing side of any way this issue rears up – if the market handles it’s a win for the market and if the markets don’t it often requires a depth of understanding that are traditional political losers.
Don’t forget the equally unappealing to message to the above average: you have been fortunate. How many people that worked their whole life will ascribe their success to luck? How many people are willing to cope with the thought of going to work every day for 40 years and it being up to chance whether that works out?
Surely no one believes the absolute dumbest person alive could become a doctor if they only worked hard enough yet we apply this is the demoralizing incongruity we force on many people. Worse yet there is no glory in being average, or hardworking, only in being rich – because in America if you work hard and pay your dues, you are rich.
So what happens when a person who, for their own personal pride and wellbeing, can’t believe they’re below average, works their whole life and ends up below average?