By: Chris Warren.
Back in February 2014 my second post on the then brand new Twenty First Summer was about fairness (click here to go to the original article). Since that time, the attitudes I expressed in that article have not changed, but a lot of world events that drive those attitudes has. It’s perfect time to revisit the concept of fairness.
“Each side will claim the other is lying. Each side has a vested interest in keeping the concept of fairness as blurry as possible,” I said back then. That part is still glaringly true. What is different is that one side is more invested in blurring the lines of fairness than the other. I’m not sure what fairness exactly is, but I do know what it isn’t.
Fairness is not taking assets from those who earned them and giving them to those who did not. Where does it say that everyone has a divine cosmic “right” to housing, a college education, childcare, and on and on…regardless of one’s ability to pay?
While we’re on the subject of fairness, it’s also worthwhile to mix in the issue of “rights” because the two concepts are closely related. We The People have a right to many things. Yet, it does not automatically follow that having a right to something means others must provide it for you: I have a right to speak my mind. Should someone else be compelled to host my blog or set me up with a podcast for free?
If it’s not fair that I should get free web hosting, then I need someone from the political left to explain why. After all, they believe fairness equals the right to make someone else pay for my medical bills, my rent, my education, and pretty much my entire lifestyle. I want to know why the same line of thinking does not conclude that my free speech should be, literally, free.
Here in the United States we have the Second Amendment of the Constitution asserting our right to bear arms. While the liberal left is busy insisting that “fairness” means taxpayer funded sex change operations for convicts and fifteen dollars an hour for people stupid enough to think shoveling french fries is a lifetime vocation (none of this is in the Constitution, by the way), they should stay true to their philosophy and demand that the government issue a gun to every citizen who wants one. After all, it’s my “right,” isn’t it? Liberal logic should have no problem with my request for a 9 millimeter semiautomatic chunk of fairness. And I want someone else to pay for it so I don’t have to.
For American Progressives, Europe has been the role model of egalitarian fairness for two generations. Like all things liberal, the European version of fairness wholly depends on taking from those who earn and giving to those who don’t. Europe is now living up to the late great British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s quip about running out of other people’s money.
The Euro Zone which Thatcher strongly warned against is failing, as it deserves to, and Great Britain is seriously considering hitting the eject button from the European Union, an act known as the Brexit in economics-speak. It’s a bit of historic irony when the country that didn’t want the American colonists to have independence nearly 250 years ago is now itself contemplating what without question would be a very messy economic and political divorce from the rest of Europe. I say go for it England, before all that EU fairness sucks the life out of your great and proud land.
That brings me to my last question for American liberals: If European democratic socialism is so awesome, why is it failing? More precisely, why is your version of fairness failing? I’m sure the answer will be at least as blurry and evasive as the excuses for implementing it in the first place.