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The Dark Side of Human Equality

Everyone should suffer just as much as me!

by
Theodore Dalrymple

Bio

November 13, 2013 - 10:00 am
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It has long been my opinion that all notions of human equality, other than that of formal equality before the law, are destructive of human intelligence and sensibility. My opinion was confirmed recently when I read an editorial in the Lancet, one of the two most important general medical journals in the world.

The title of the editorial was “Equity in Child Survival.” I could have written the editorial myself from the title alone, so utterly predictable was its drift:

Although Indonesia has reduced child mortality by 40% during the past decade, data from 2007 show that children in rural areas were almost 60% more likely to die than those living in urban ones, while those in the poorest 20% were more than twice as likely to die as those in the richest 20%, and girls were 20% more likely to die than boys.

Note here that even if inequality were the same as inequity, there is nothing in these figures to show that inequity had increased in Indonesia during the decade, or to show that it had not actually decreased; and if equity in this sense were an important goal in itself, it would matter little whether the health of the poorest improved, or the health of the richest deteriorated.

In a country the size and complexity of Indonesia, with hundreds of inhabited islands, some of them very remote, it is hardly surprising that there should be quite wide geographical variations in health, wealth and productivity. It is no more inequitable that there should be these variations than that the French should have so much better health than the Americans, or for that matter than the Bangladeshis.

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Top Rated Comments   
If the Left really favored improving the lot of the poor rather than looting the rich in the name of "equality," they would promote free markets, capitalism, lower taxes, less regulation and free trade. Those are the things that tend to make countries and ALL the people in them better off. But the Left is obsessed with the fact that some people are rich and favor redistribution from the producers to the non-producers so that everyone can be more "equal." This leads to an economy with high unemployment/low labor participation, with far too many people dependent upon government handouts for their sustenance. Ultimately, we all end up worse off.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Charity is one thing, and Americans are, reportedly, better at it than any other people in the world.

But REQUIRING the healthy to pay for the sick through a scheme that purports to be about health but is really about redistribution ? That will only work to diminish natural, private charitable giving, as every so called big government program distorts and compromises natural systems.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have known many leftists, and became very clear over the years that many of them were upset far less by the fact that some people were poor than that other people were rich: Let high be brought low. If this were to make everyone worse off that would be okay. And what's even better, they would be in charge.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy Mr. Dalyrimple
On the current course of DemBamaCare, they WILL have lesser health.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The socialist ideal of equality is to make everybody equally poor and miserable, except of course for the nomenclatura, who get protected under any socialist gov.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some elect Obama.

Some leave Omelas.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
This view of things is not new at all. Wise people have been warning against it since we were first told not to covet our neighbour's house, wife or ox. No, it's not new at all.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Envy is ugly.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sweeping reforms: China to abolish labor camps, ease one-child policy November 15, 2013

http://rt.com/news/china-social-reforms-children-783/
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the Left really favored improving the lot of the poor rather than looting the rich in the name of "equality," they would promote free markets, capitalism, lower taxes, less regulation and free trade. Those are the things that tend to make countries and ALL the people in them better off. But the Left is obsessed with the fact that some people are rich and favor redistribution from the producers to the non-producers so that everyone can be more "equal." This leads to an economy with high unemployment/low labor participation, with far too many people dependent upon government handouts for their sustenance. Ultimately, we all end up worse off.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, if.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The French call this "Nostalgia for the mud".
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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