Source: Economist’s View: Opinion- Ezra Klein: ‘No One Really Believes in Equality of Opportunity’.
I do not want this post to be very partisan lets say ideologically because Liberals and so-called not really Progressives tend to be Democratic. And yes they are different and I’m about to give you an example of that. But I blog a lot about liberalism and what today passes as lets say progressivism and I’ll give you a quick example of that.
So-called Progressives ( Social Democrats in actuality ) tend to judge programs and what’s going on in the economy based on how much government invests in it. Whereas Classical Liberals ( the real Liberals ) judge the same programs based on what we get out of them as taxpayers. The bang for the buck rather than say Food Assistance is a very successful program based on how much we spend on it. Which would be the socialist or social democratic point of view. Liberals will say great it’s good a lot of people have avoided starvation as a result, but the fact that we have so many people on Food Assistance is not good because that means we have a lot of people who simply can not afford to put enough food especially quality food on the table for themselves and their families. And our poverty is too high and we should reduce that.
The so-called income inequality debate is another example of that where Social Democrats ( not Progressives ) tend to believe that people who’ve been very successful in life and have done everything they need to be successful and have been very productive and as a result have made a lot of money doing that, that it’s somehow unfair that they make so much more money than people who open the door for them or work in their stores or factories, serve them in restaurants and so-forth.
Liberals would say it’s good that a lot of people have been so successful in life, but we still do not have enough people like that with an official poverty rate somewhere around twenty percent and we need to empower the people who are struggling to survive and perhaps collecting Food Assistance so they have enough to eat so they can be successful as well.
Social Democrats ( who are called Progressives ) tend to want to take a lot of the money that the wealthy have made through higher taxes. Give that money to government and invest it more in public assistance to prevent low-income people from starving or going homeless to use as examples. Liberals would like to invest more in job training and re-education for adults who are low-income and low-skilled, so they can get themselves the skills that they need to be successful in life as well.
And that’s where I come to this debate as a Liberal and when I’m talking about equality of opportunity, I’m talking about creating an economy where all Americans have a good shot at succeeding starting out in life. And where all adults would have that shot as adults as well and not have to raise their kids in poverty.
So when I’m talking about education reform I’m talking about creating a system where all students would be able to at least be able to go to the public school that’s best for them and not be confine to a school based on where they live. And the parents and students would make that decision not some central office in an education department. And while the parents of these low-income kids are now able to go to a good school and have a real shot at getting a good education and preparing themselves for college. They would be in job training like at a community college, finishing high school or a combination of these things. That we invest in things as a country that empower people to move up in life rather than just trying to take care of them as they struggle just to survive.
Instead of telling the top ten percent of the country rather than doing 99 vs 1 and telling them you’ve been very successful in life and couldn’t possibly need all of that money especially as the rest of the country is struggling. And the public sector is being cutback and so-forth. So what we are going to do is take a big chunk of their money off their hands that they probably wouldn’t donate to charity anyway and give that money to Uncle Sam so he can take care of the less-fortunate. What I want to do is to continue to encourage people to be successful in America and reward that while at the same time we empower more people to be successful as well.