There has been a great deal said over the past few years about the issue of equality. The problem is that what exactly equality is, in regards to the issues that the word is thrust into really has no bearing. Whether same-sex marriage, or “income inequality” when the term is attached to any issue, the sense of the term flies out of the window along with what it implies.
Equality is about value. This thing has an intrinsic value that cannot be separated from its self, that is why when it comes to the issue of race, of which there is only one–human, people are equal. Black is not better than white, white is not better than red, red not better than yellow, these external markings are simply means to identify people from one another, and have intrinsic purpose for the climates in which we live, they are a product of the nature of human beings, therefore they posses a value that is intrinsic to each person. Men and women are equal in their humanity and faculties, however anyone with a knowledge of biology would be a fool to say that men and women are the same. There is an inherent disparity between what a man is and what a woman is. It is more than external, it is internal, down to the very building blocks from which we are assembled.
Same-sex marriage, the “equal marriage” push that has overtaken this nation in the past few years, is another case where the term of equality has been thrust. Using the value of what a marriage produces, i.e. the next generation, same-sex marriage is inherently at a disadvantage because it is incapable of itself producing anything of value, rather sets about to consume resources that are finite, without bringing anything to the table of societal value. This is not to disparage, but to point out the inherent disparity that lies within the thing.
“Income inequality” has become a recent rallying cry of those who do not understand the necessary quality of value. While people have the same intrinsic value, as previously discussed, they do not bring the same value to the work force. The “living wage” argument is faulty in itself because every wage is livable. The comforts that one can afford on a given wage may vary, but that is dependent on what the person earning the wage esteems as having value. If a person does not bring value that the employer needs to do the job, or brings greater value, it is ultimately up to the employer to decide what the terms of employment should be because they assign value to the task required. The only thing that I know, and can state with any degree of certainty is that every time the government regulates an issue that fairly well sorts itself out among reasonable people, it is the “little guy”, the person who has no experience or skills to trade upon, who suffers because those who have skills and experience take those places because they are forced out of jobs that are taken over by automation (just look at Detroit and the car industry). This is not to be critical of technology but to point out the number of people who are displaced when they esteem themselves above the value of the task they are doing. The idea of “what I deserve” has replaced the more reasonable, “what can I do”. Income is inherently unequal because tasks are unequal, responsibilities are unequal. What ultimately determines income is the value presented to the employer.
Equality and sameness are terms which have to be defined in the course of the conversation, if that is what is wanted to be had. Selfishness though resists the cause of reason and logical thought. The terms both relate to the concept of value yet do not apply similarly. We want to draw some arbitrary line, some absolute measure, but there is, in truth, only an objective measure. People may be equal in one sense, but not in another. Things may be equal in one sense, but not another. These things have to be thought through logically, step by step, and looked at carefully to be understood and appreciated.