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Equal Opportunity Vs Equal Outcome 08 September, 2020   

Most people think the words equal opportunity and equal outcome can be used interchangeably. This is far from true. The concept that everyone deserves an equal shot at succeeding regardless of whatever the field is something that everyone agrees with. In fact we derive maximum utility from a collective pool of talent. This pool of talent will invariably comprise of people of different ages, sex, and ethnicity. No one would argue against this fundamental concept, its what allows society to strive for excellence and scale greater heights.


However, nowadays we see a different concept manifest itself. One that concerns itself with using micro management and strong social engineering that is quite frankly unnatural. Equal outcome is based on splitting various institutions into levels of hierarchy and then comparing these levels with preset demographic standards  and setting rules to achieve this result. Its best explained with an example. For instance, an educational institute, has the students, teaching assistants, professors, head of departments etc. Now for each level, there would be a demographic standard. A class would have to have  50% female students for example. If this standard is not achieved naturally, we engineer the situation to suit this criteria. Men and women should be given a choice, forcing them to fit into some arbitrary equality impedes on the ability to make decisions and choices that women rallied for.


In Scandinavian countries which are considered the most egalitarian, ( most equal in terms of men and women) the difference between men and women in STEM fields increased after adopting equal outcome measures. The more appropriate question is why is this a bad thing? Where does it say that when an engineering class has reached 50% of both sexes, we have now reached the pinnacle of society? Keep in mind this is just based on sex, we then having several races to contend with maybe even age and a plethora of socioeconomic standards.


As we progress towards this kind of life, we allow the government to micro manage even small aspect and hand them even more power, because who regulates these standards?

If this idea is continued what is to say it stops at economic equal outcome? Can we ensure equal outcome in every facet of life? The sports we play, the relationships we find ourselves in or even the pain we feel. The only argument I can see in favor of this is that not everyone is born on equal footing and some are disadvantaged at birth due to no fault of their own. However, what nature has taught us is that as humans we are able to adapt to adverse situations and strive to make the best of what we naturally have. When you tune into your favorite NBA game do you notice that everyone has the same height? Of course not, but the players have honed their other skills to be where they are and that’s what we should take from that. People are different due to myriad of factors including sex,race,culture and even personality but that doesn’t mean they cant be treated fairly.

equality equal opportunity equal outcome totalitarian government utopian society

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