TED Conversations

Bernard White

TEDCRED 20+

This conversation is closed.

Equality versus Meritocracy. Which Wins?

I have been having this debate in my Head for quite a while now, and I can't decide. Which is more important? Both are in conflict to a certain extent on various issues, like "Education" for example.
It could help to watch this TED talk :
- Jonathan Haidt: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives.
http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.html
I ask this because many politicians talk about "Fairness" they usually mean many different things. Roughly speaking when Liberals talk about "Fairness" they typically mean "Equality". While when Conservatives talk about "Fairness" they typically mean "Meritocracy".
So which one is more important to you? (Or in other words, What do you mean when you say "Fairness"?)

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Aug 31 2013: True Story --
    In 8th grade I was the campaign manager for a mock presidential election. There were 4 candidates. My guy won. All 4 candidates and the three other campaign managers were all given an A for their work, I was given a B. I asked "we won, why do I get a B?" The teachers said it was because "they didn't think I worked that hard".

    As a result of that I decided that in 9th grade the teachers would see every bit of work I did. My goal for the entire 4 years was to never take a book home, and except for a single exception, I never did. I did math problems walking to class, bigger assignments in homeroom, I wrote papers during lunch, etc. My senior year my mother came up to the school to talk to the guidance counselors about college. The counselor said "oh, he has a free period now, do you want to see him?" As they were walking to the study hall she said "he is the hardest working student we have ever seen". My mom said she was in shock. Sure enough I was in the back corner busily finishing some paper. At home my mom was laughing because she had never seen me with a book. However, the rule in our house was that as long as I had A's they didn't bother me about school.

    Several times throughout the 4 years teachers had given me higher grades for poor work because "they knew how hard I worked".

    This whole idea of judging people based on merit and how hard they work is a farce. You have very little idea how hard someone works.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.