Everything You Need to Know About Politics … You Learned From Being a Mom.
The Deadly Fallacy of Fairness
If you’re a mom, it’s likely that you’ve fallen head first into the occasional fairness trap. It all starts out so nice … everyone gets their fair share! Until the minute details of the negotiation derail the process, fighting ensues and the whole thing dissolves in tantrum and tears.
You see, Mimi doesn’t care that the cookie cake slices are EXACTLY the same size because Jack’s slice has a flower on it and she wants the flower. And Ted could care less about the damn flower – he wanted the crust piece. And on and on until you actually hear yourself conjuring up your mother’s favorite line:
“Life isn’t fair! It’ll never be fair! So get over it and eat your damned cookie!”
And there it is. A life lesson that we all learn at age four and acknowledge as truth. The world is actually a completely, unfair place. This has been a truth throughout human history regardless of era, culture, geography or government system. You may “even the playing field” as best you can but at the end of the day even the nature of our birth is unfair! Some are tall, some are short. Some are geniuses others, not so much. Some are beautiful and others are homely. Some born wealthy, some impoverished. Some are friendly, others cranky. I could go on.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men are created equal”. But he never implied that the government should be empowered to force them all to have equal amounts of stuff. Or that every man had equal talents and abilities. That would have been absurd! He meant that each life was equally valuable and had equal protection under the law.
Amazingly … this kindergarten level truth seems to be incomprehensible to our modern day politicians and bureaucrats, who fancy themselves some kind of Houdini – who can magically conjure up an American Utopia where everyone ‘gets their fair share’ and has ‘complete wage equality’. The promises are grand. And we believe they can deliver.
But they can’t deliver. Because if it doesn’t work at my kitchen table with a cookie cake, it certainly can’t work in a country of 300 million, with the largest, most complex economy in the world. It’s actually impossible for an elite few in Washington, DC to EVER deliver even a modicum of fairness. And while falling into the fairness trap is annoying as mom, it’s a deadly for a nation.
Karl Marx promised a Communist Utopia to the Russians “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” and equal distribution of goods and services for the people. When his plan was implemented by Stalin it resulted in forced famines, food shortages, economic collapse, purges, forced displacements, imprisonment in labor camps and massacres.
All told, Russia lost 40 million souls during Stalin’s Communist reign because the people were lured by the promise of false utopia and a ‘fair share”. They surrendered liberty for perceived equality.
Socialism didn’t fare much better. Hitler’s National Socialist Party promised the Germans the same type of ‘social and economic justice’ in the early 1930’s. Total government control of business, major industries, healthcare, education and religion would usher Nazi Germany to the Promised Land.
Germany’s experiment with socialism cost the world 11 millions souls who perished in concentration camps. Their highly efficient, national ‘health care system’ featured the T4 Euthanasia program responsible for the injection deaths of 200,000 disabled children and elderly.
We are being sold these tired, failed ideals today. Only they’re repackaged as ‘economic justice’ and ‘income equality’. Every time we empower the government to be the arbiter of fair share we are giving up our liberty, independence and freedom to pursue happiness as we see fit.
Isn’t it interesting that we give politicians (who rank between used car salesmen and blood sucking lawyers in terms of trustworthiness) so much power to take our hard earned money and redistribute it to others? We trust them to control our healthcare and education? Do we really believe they won’t simply enrich themselves, enrich their cronies and consolidate power at the expense of our liberty and prosperity?
The thing is … Liberty might be messy. And it’s not always fair. But that’s OK for me. I know enough about history to know that when a politician promises fairness they are really only looking to get elected. And with too much power and control, governments become downright dangerous. I’d rather have income inequality than tyranny.
And, I actually don’t mind that some people are richer than I. Because in addition to telling me that life is never fair, my Mom also told me that money can never buy happiness!