5 minutes reading time (998 words)

Saturday Musings – Equal Opportunity vs Equal Outcomes

20191109_equal Choose your equal....

I must admit that this blog post may get some people a little riled up…..but that’s OK as long as it provokes you to do some serious thinking. Over the last decade I’ve found the world has largely gone mad as it increasingly focuses on notion of equality of outcome no matter what. What do I mean by this?

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For a start, I’m absolutely for equality of opportunity. I don’t care what gender you are, the colour of your skin or what ethnic background you hail from. Everyone should have equal opportunity and it is up to the individual to decide whether they will avail themselves of the opportunities before them.

Now let’s look at equal outcome. Equal outcome is driven by saying things such as, “We want 50% of all politicians to be women.” or “If you are from a particular ethnic race then you get a bump in your educational score.” These sound like worthwhile goals until you unpack them.

Let’s imagine you are going to the doctor and find they are of the race that gets a bump in their education score. Does this mean they are qualified, or did they get a passing grade because their race? I would imagine you don’t want any of those thoughts going through your mind as you discuss your upcoming medical condition with them. What you want is the best qualified doctor giving potentially life and death advice.

Likewise, you’re about to jump on a plane and a women’s voice comes over the PA announcing she is the captain. Should we be worried that she is potentially under qualified and was awarded the position because of her gender?

I find these two scenarios unbelievably insulting to all those doctors that happened to be also from “bumped up score race”. It’s also insulting to all those women who work so incredibly hard to achieve a life-time dream. To my way of thinking it’s just wrong.

As soon as you mandate an outcome you’re no longer part of a meritocracy where your individual skills are what allow you to gain your goal. In some circumstances a philosophy of “equal outcome” can be very dangerous and as I said above it’s incredibly insulting to all those hard-working individuals that just happen to belong to a societal group that is “blessed” with a leg up.

We can even push this further. Let’s imagine we have a society where 75% of the health workers are women…..should we then mandate that this should be 50% to reflect the gender properly?  Should we then get rid of a whole lot of female doctors and nurses and replace them with men who either don’t want to do the job or are not qualified to do it?

Why can’t we just let people be judged on their merits rather than on some sort of group identity? Should my son be forced into a profession because there is a shortage of males in that profession? How about his freedom of choice to follow his own dreams? Likewise, my daughters have their own dreams. Why should their skills and work ethic be undermined by some social activists who want to make it easier for them? This is patently ridiculous.

The whole notion of western society has been built upon the sovereignty of the individual and their freedom of choice. If a person doesn’t work as hard as another or aren’t as qualified, then they shouldn’t be selected for the job.

On the other hand, if an organisation adopts a wilfully discriminatory practice then I wouldn’t worry about it and move on. Why is this? The organisation will ultimately fail as they are willing to employ a less qualified, less capable person because of their own prejudices. As those good candidates are employed elsewhere the organisation they are employed in will outperform the discriminatory one…..it’s one of the powers of the market and the freedom of labour to move.

If you honestly believe you didn’t get a job because you’re a part of a minority group, then have a good laugh as that company won’t be in business for much longer. It could also be that you didn’t get the job because another candidate was just that little bit better….

Over the years I’ve employed people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and from both gender to name but two identity groups. The number one issue I have is whether the person can do the job. The day I’m told that I need to employ an underqualified male over a qualified female or a lazy white person over a go getting Asian is the day I’ll move countries. I want the best person for my businesses.

It seems to me that it’s about time we stand up to all of this “political correctness” and call it what it is…..an attempt to reward those that don’t deserve to be rewarded. Like Martin Luther King said, I want to live in a world where everyone is judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

Character is all about; working hard, studying to improve yourself, rolling up your sleeves to get the job done, being a good human being, caring for others, being pleasant to work with. The world doesn’t owe any of us anything and until we take responsibility for our own actions then we will constantly be saying, “woe is me….”

The fact is, the only person that can improve you is you. The more you focus on your character, skills and capabilities then the more opportunities will come knocking at your door. It’s your character and not your affiliation with some minority group you happen to be in (or not) that will determine your future…..so seize the day and take on the responsibility of being a better human being.

Have a great weekend.
Michael

Why I Struggle with Domain Sales
 

Comments

vanclute on 10 November 2019

Well said and watching first hand how the USA is completely imploding because of the PC movement as we speak, I couldn't agree more. The only people who don't want meritocracy, are those who can't/won't perform.

Well said and watching first hand how the USA is completely imploding because of the PC movement as we speak, I couldn't agree more. The only people who don't want meritocracy, are those who can't/won't perform.
Rawgi on 10 November 2019

I think you are on the right track. Try being on the negative side of that thinking, like I am now 66 and have been told I am too old now and don't have the longevity of the younger workers or I don't have the working years left to compete without costing the company a bit in health care services. This started when I reached 62 and is almost impossible to prove. I have a journeyman card in 3 trades and a college degree, plus the experience, but it means nothing because I am older. I retired, but see that company going through many workers because they don't have the skills or experience to do what I did. The laws say no discrimination, but there are ways around that, they even do this with potential renters in the business of housing. In the US it is everywhere.

I think you are on the right track. Try being on the negative side of that thinking, like I am now 66 and have been told I am too old now and don't have the longevity of the younger workers or I don't have the working years left to compete without costing the company a bit in health care services. This started when I reached 62 and is almost impossible to prove. I have a journeyman card in 3 trades and a college degree, plus the experience, but it means nothing because I am older. I retired, but see that company going through many workers because they don't have the skills or experience to do what I did. The laws say no discrimination, but there are ways around that, they even do this with potential renters in the business of housing. In the US it is everywhere.
Guest - Uknowledge on 11 November 2019

The best article among all the articles i have ever read on your blog.

Well said.Political correctness will destroy this nation.

The best article among all the articles i have ever read on your blog. Well said.Political correctness will destroy this nation.
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