In his State of the Union address, President Obama touted the “Buffett Rule” which he said would bring about equality in the tax code. Meanwhile, “Occupy” protests have been living in encampments across the nation to protest  what they say is an unjust income inequality.

What’s the true meaning of equality in America? The Founders were deliberate about including the concept of equality in the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims: “That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

But does the America of today view equality in the same way the Founders did?

Heritage Foundation scholar Julia Shaw explains,

When the Declaration of Independence proclaims all men to be created equal, it means that all human beings, regardless of religion, sex, or skin color, possess the same natural rights. The Founders were well aware that different people are unequal in physical and mental capacities. But however noticeable the differences between people may be, they are never so great as to deprive them of their rights. No one, no matter how intelligent or capable he or she may be, can claim the right to rule others. Since all men and women share a common human nature, they are all therefore equally entitled to the same natural rights (such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness).

The Founders wanted to create an America where all people had equality in their prospect to succeed. They sought to create a political and economic system that allowed people to have a fair shot at success through hard work and through their own merit.

However, such a system based on individual merit necessarily means that there will be inequality in outcomes. Because we live in a free society, some will naturally succeed more than others.

Liberals hold a different view. “Today many people think that equal rights are not enough and demand equality of results,” Shaw says. “They view any inequalities, whether in income or educational attainment, as a sign of injustice. Such claims are misguided.”

The American dream is still alive, and the Founders have insured through our inalienable rights, that every American is endowed with the opportunity for success.

Do you think America has strayed from the Founder’s ideal of equality?

Comments (5)

Doug Halbrooks - February 4, 2012

Considering that all living things die, the enlightened’s determined effort to make The Constitution a living/breathing entity is nothing but an eventual death sentence to equality and freedom.

Robert Seklemian - February 4, 2012

Envy of others is a natural human trait that civilized society attempts to control. The “Community Organizer” in the White House is stirring up this primitive desire to the point of rage so as to move the country toward his socialistic goals: ” To each according to their needs. From each according to their ability.”

Unfortunately, his class warfare, “fairness” ranting seems to be working. The theory of Equality of Outcomes will destroy us!!

Leon Lundquist - February 5, 2012

I look at the Obama Adminstration as 1984 Totalitarianism, and every bit of these Redefinitions as Crimes Against Americans under the Constitution. I regard Republicans who just go along with it, “slow it down,” as Traitors and their crime is failing their Oaths to protect America against all enemies Foreign and Domestic. So, by this standard we have no choice, no actual Representation and no free and fair elections, real choice is not on the ballot. Nobody will prosecute the Traitors and that means they are Traitors themselves. Totalitarianism is an Unconstitutional Form Of Government, truth is Obama and his gang are Domestic Enemies! The RINOs are those Republicans who let them get away with it. Newt Gingrich, for example let Bill Clinton get away with Abuse Of Power, Conspiracy, and lying to the American People. That makes Newt a Traitor. See what I mean? Obama continues to destroy our Representative Democracy by his precident. “See? If Dictatorship was Unconstitutional then Obama would get caught!” Thanks, Newt for Clinton. Do you plan to Impeach Obama? No. Well then! You are yourself a Traitor because Obama and his Communist Co-conspirators ARE the Domestic Enemy!

wally - February 8, 2012

Obama has used the redistribution policy in nearly all aspects of his term. It shows in his desire to make the same medical treatment available for all regardless of the ability to pay. It shows in making a college education available to everyone regardless of the ability to pay and the aptitude of the student. Its too bad he doesn’t understand that everyone doesn’t have the same desires or aptitude and that a college degree is not required to be successful. Most of our parents didn’t have insurance. If they needed medical help they received whatever attention they could afford. I do not expect to receive the latest technology if the cost exceed what I can afford. Yet, many people today think that its a RIGHT. Most of my generation had to pay their own way for a college degree by working summers and during the school year plus attending a college that was affordable. The Federal government must get out of the education business except for the funding of SOME SELECTED research grands. The government must not be involved with everything. Educational institutions must be competitive and stand on their own. This will assure the least cost to the student.

Richard Harrington - February 15, 2012

It seems to me that the choice between equality of opportunity vs. outcomes is a false choice. If a society provides equal opportunity for all its citizens, then it would seem to follow that the outcomes would be equally distributed across the demographics of the population.

However, when outcomes are skewed along definable socio-economic variables, it brings into question whether there is true equality of opportunity. That is the basis of liberal concerns about inequity of outcomes. It is not that liberals want or demand absolute equality of outcomes but rather that outcomes should reasonably reflect equity in opportunity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *