Monday, March 16, 2009

Faux Poll For The Readers

A pretty basic one, at that: in your approach to issues of public policy, do you tend to value freedom or equality more? Why?

I realize that this is going to have a significant bias, but I'm interested to hear.

7 comments:

tom said...

No question about it, I prefer freedom.

Although in theory there shouldn't be much difference - as long as you're talking about equality of opportunity and not Harrison Bergeron style equality, and you are trying to achieve equality by maximizing rather than minimizing opportunities for everyone.

Steve Newton said...

Mat
I'll play, but while I'd obviously prefer freedom, there are different freedoms and different equalities:

Freedom to fail
Equality of opportunity
Equality of outcome

If you are going to drill for information, maybe a better definition is in order.

Shirley Vandever said...

I had the same question as Steve. What exactly do you mean by "equality". Tom gives two different definitions. What is yours in the context of this question?

tom said...

Actually tom doesn't care so much about the definition of equality as how you go about implementing it.

Government mandated equality of any definition has a strong tendency to drag everyone toward the lowest common denominator.

Miko said...

Equality (rightly defined, in the sense of Locke). We derive liberty/freedom as a consequence of this correct view of equality.

cf. Roderick Long's Equality: The Unknown Ideal

Miko said...

Government mandated equality of any definition has a strong tendency to drag everyone toward the lowest common denominator.

If the government is making such a mandate, it's explicitly asserting that we are unequal to it. Under a reasonable definition of equality, the government would be seen to lack the authority to mandate such a move.

Mike W. said...

I definitely prefer freedom.

equality of outcome is an unachievable ideal.