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Is equality feasible and is it worth achieving? Subquestion: By your definitions, is equality synonymous with fairness?

This is an idea I recently fell upon while thinking about colleges and scholarships. I was wondering why I've been told (not actually witnessed) that minorities get a better chance of getting in college for being a minority. This was apparently an attempt to level the playing field and make things for equal for applicants. I realized that in their attempt to equalize the playing field, they made it unfair. What are your thoughts on this situation and any other equality situation? Do you think people should be going for fairness or equality, both, or are they essentially the same thing?

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  • Jun 13 2013: One more comment on this, you started by saying take the 40 hours that Rachel would work. This would be a terrific argument if Rachel actually worked, but she doesn't. Yes, after paying the bills she may end up with a big fat zero. But so do we many weeks. There needs to be some incentive to go to work. What I didn't tell you is that Rachel was already on section 8 for six years with the two kids, when she had the third. Again, a bad plan, but one you can get away with if the government allows it, on the tax payers dime. My goal also did not mention universal healthcare, but I sure would be interested in Welfare reform. There must be a limit, just as there is for unemployment. You said if my husband lost his job there would be a safety net - and that is true,but it would come from the insurance that comes out of his check when he WORKS. And there is a LIMIT to those benefits. This encourages him to get back to do more WORK, to have more money. I don't know if you work, but if you don't mind a big chunk of your check being sent to Rachel and others like her, well then disregard my opinion.
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      Jun 14 2013: The safetynet is there even after his unemployment runs out. The incentive to WORK is still there too.

      "Once you get a free check, why go work for one?" because the amount of money you get is so little compared to what you would make if you WORKed.

      " As far as my illnesses are concerned, I needed to travel to Chicago from New Jersey in February to see a specialist, all at my expense, airfare, hotel, and out-of-network care. If I got the same free money every month that Rachel got, and was able to put it away, that trip would not have caused me to have a credit card bill for the next two years." - You wouldn't be able to put it away......you'd be so poor you needed to use it to pay your bills every month....That's the point....

      "All I'm saying here is if she gets a check, I should to, and you should too, and your neighbor should too." - I agree. I say let's tax income on a percentage, then share the wealth equally. It could be a great equalizer for the huge gap between the richest and poorest of us.

      " and your neighbor should too." - I agree. I live in India. I'd be quite happy If it was the UN that administered the above mentioned program on a world wide scale.

      "I have heard it straight from her mouth exactly what you stated, that she would have to work so hard to have what she has, and why should she if it comes for free?" - I said that? Where?

      "My goal also did not mention universal healthcare" - no you didn't, I did. This what I said: "What would you suggest as the solution? Universal healthcare? I agree!" Since That wasn't too clear, let me rephrase: What would you suggest as the solution? Universal healthcare? I would agree!
      I would even pay an additional 10% in taxes if this were implemented on a world wide scale by the U.N.

      "but I sure would be interested in Welfare reform. There must be a limit, just as there is for unemployment" - There is. http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dfd/programs/
      • Jun 14 2013: Manishka - Back to the question Why go to work if you get a check for free? and you explained that the amount after working would be so small. Isn't that the same for (almost) everyone. There are doctors wives who spend $ all day and have thousands and thousands worth of credit card debt, 200 pair of shoes, and a huge mortgage. Perhaps I was wrong about giving everyone a check - certainly not people like her. So, again, my argument is about behavior. Bad behavior and poor choices very often result in no money. However, I may be a little bitter in my comments as I made what I considered to be good choices in starting a business and working very hard, only to lose everything when I became ill. The car was towed, the house was foreclosed upon, and I worked everyday. This is the chance we take as human beings - we must go on and try again. So yes, I am angry that I support people that do nothing to help themselves, as I sure could have used all that money I worked for to pay my medical bills.

        As far as you idea about paying the tax money for minimum wage job. I give that idea a great big yes! While single moms are working, let the unemployed babysit. While folks are in the office 12 hours a day, let the unemployed mow their lawns, clean their homes, run their errands, all to gain vouchers to obtain their monthly allowance that they now get for doing nothing. I though about a welfare voucher system many years ago, and immediately was shot down as it looked to many like slavery - or something degrading to the person who has to work for their $. Well, I don't consider going to work slavery or degrading. What I was told was degrading by my parents was being on welfare and not earning your keep. So I completely agree about plenty of work to be done so true and if there were a way to implement some sort of work for your welfare check without a huge uproar I'm in. But it will never happen. Being of the system has become a way of life for so many for so long.
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          Jun 15 2013: "Back to the question Why go to work if you get a check for free? and you explained that the amount after working would be so small." - I said that? where?

          What I actually said was: "Once you get a free check, why go work for one?" because the amount of money you get is so little compared to what you would make if you WORKed.

          Since we seem to have a problem with communication, again, let me clarify:
          "Once you get a free check, why go work for one?" because the amount of money you get FROM PUBLIC AID is so little compared to what you would make if you WORKed. That means you make more money if you WORKED.

          "Perhaps I was wrong about giving everyone a check - certainly not people like her."
          I'm sorry you feel that way. I feel that that attitude is what's wrong with the world today- the lack of compassion.

          "While folks are in the office 12 hours a day, let the unemployed mow their lawns, clean their homes, run their errands, all to gain vouchers to obtain their monthly allowance that they now get for doing nothing." I would not support a government That pays the "have not"s to clean the homes, run the errands, mow the lawns for the "have"s all on the taxpayer's dime. These are private citizen services that should be paid for by the beneficiary.

          I would support the government offering jobs to anyone and everyone that wanted to work, at minimum wage for services that benefit the local public or humanity in general, such as cleaning the highway, building the highway under the supervision of experts, conservation activities, working at the school - janitorial, secretarial, teacher's aide, etc.

          To make sure the government doesn't gobble up all of society, I would limit the amount of work each person can do. This would also mean that employers, in order to keep employees would have to offer better - full time work, benefits, more pay.

          This also not a voucher system. it is employment. for money. I would still keep foodstamps for all - rich or not - at sustenance level
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          Jun 15 2013: Amy Win,

          I saw your comment on the thread "Decisions, Choices . . . " and I wanted to encourage you a bit. I left a longer reply for you back on that thread. I left it at the top of the page with your name in the box as here.

          Good luck, and I hope that what I offer you has some small comfort for you. There is hope and some other options are available for you.

          You can always find my comments to you on my profile. That's might be the easiest way to find them if navigating around TED gets confusing. (It does for me sometimes!)
      • Jun 16 2013: Hi Again Manishka: After re-reading our conversation, as well as your bio, I realized that you are truly a very sweet person with a lovely vision and a big heart. I wish that things worked the way they were intended to in this world, but unfortunately that is very often not the case due to some of the things that I mentioned during our conversations. We will always have the greedy and the cheaters and the lazy, and so many times the many suffer due to the actions of the few. To reiterate, I do not begrudge any children and everyone should have a hot meal. I was only voicing my frustration at the loopholes and problems with the system. As far as the government offering people jobs working on roads and such - again a lovely idea, but here in the US we have something called Unions, and when people take their jobs they tend to get annoyed. So, I thank you for our chat and I hope, as I believe that you do, that positive change happens and that we can overcome the negative obstacles that prevent a happier and healthier world. Best to you and to your efforts.
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          Jun 17 2013: Hi Amy,
          Thank you, and I apologize if I came on strong. I realize too that because of your personal circumstances, you are feeling bitter and perhaps rightfully so.

          I agree that there will always be the greedy, lazy, cheaters. I just don't feel that we can give up on trying to make a better world because of them. I don't think that we have fully explored the possibilities of motivation.

          As far as Unions go, the government does also have an obligation to get bids for contracts they're offering and also the option of not giving a job on contract at all if the required work can be done internally.

          I do hope positive change does happen. There are several ted talks about acting on our ideals. This one is about teaching kids activism. I hope people decide that just thinking about lofty ideas is well and good, but acting on them could bring about change in the real world.

          http://download.ted.com/talks/KiranBirSethi_2009I.mp4?apikey=TEDDOWNLOAD

          Best to you as well.
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      Jun 14 2013: "I don't know if you work, but if you don't mind a big chunk of your check being sent to Rachel and others like her, well then disregard my opinion." - I do work and also pay taxes. I'm quite happy to let my taxes be used in the public aid program. I would be quite happy to pay more to implement it on a world wide scale.

      Would you be ok with using tax money to give minimum wage jobs instead of flat cash with no obligation? There is plenty of work to be done... highways, hospitals, disabled, teacher's aides,

      http://www.wisegeek.com/how-does-a-retinal-scan-work.htm
      During a retinal scan, the user must remove glasses, stare at a specific point, and hold their head still for the 10-15 seconds it takes to complete the scan. A retinal scan is very difficult to fake because no technology exists that allows the forgery of a human retina, and the retina of a deceased person decays too fast to be used to fraudulently bypass a retinal scan.

      We already use credit and debit cards to pay for groceries. What if, instead of using credit cards, We simply had the bank tie it in to our retinal scans. If a retinal scanner was installed at all grocery stores in the world, A single bank account opened that would allow each unique retinal scan to use x amount per week. Already, the bar codes of all items are coded to say whether the item is food or not.

      We could start out with just food.

      Simplified version of What happened in parts of Africa: There was famine. So free imported donated food was given out. The farmers couldn't compete with free. The economy collapsed.

      Selling donated food in times of famine could help resolve that. the proceeds could be used to combat the root cause of the famine (When money can help depending on what the cause is)
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      Jun 15 2013: Amy Win,

      I saw your comment on the thread "Decisions, Choices . . . " and I wanted to encourage you a bit. I left a longer reply for you back on that thread. I left it at the top of the page with your name in the box as here.

      Good luck, and I hope that what I offer you has some small comfort for you. There is hope and some other options are available for you.

      You can always find my comments to you on my profile. That's might be the easiest way to find them if navigating around TED gets confusing. (It does for me sometimes!)

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