“Equality Should Be Enforced By Law” (L45)

Pick any chapter in How to Argue, and write 100 words on this: “How could voluntary arrangements solve this problem if the state did not impose the politics of plunder?”

Enforcing equality by law means, more specifically, enforcing equality of outcome using coercion. This issue could be simply resolved if the government would butt-out, and allow free-market voluntary exchange to take over, because then there would be equality. However this would be equality of opportunity, rather than the government’s enforced equality of outcome. Free market competition means that everybody would have the same chance to get the same job as everyone else, and could bargain their price. The hardest worker offering the best wage would get the job, just as he should. This extends much father than the job market though, and it fits comfortably into every aspect of life.

To break this into simpler terms, imagine yourself in a class of 29 other children. You each had to take a test, and were given a week to study. On the day of the test the teacher told you that the winner would get a cupcake; this upsets some students because they did not know there would be a prize, therefore they did not study. You on the other hand, being the hard worker that you are, studied all week. You ace the test, get the highest score in the class and you get the cupcake. Fair, right? Right. But some students do not think so. Typically, these students are the ones who do not want to do the work for themselves. So, little Timmy, who didn’t study because he didn’t know there would be a cupcake, gets mad. He tells the teacher that everybody should get a cupcake because that is the only way for her to be fair to all of her students. She responds by saying “you all had the opportunity to study. The circumstances were completely fair and equal for each student; one student studied harder than the other students, he made that decision without an incentive. He got a cupcake for doing what everyone was supposed to do in the first place. Do you think that the one cupcake should be shared evenly among 30 students for all their combined efforts when some people are scoring zeros and some are getting 100’s? Should you be rewarded for someone else’s hard work Timmy?” He contemplated this for a moment, sat back in his chair, and said “well, no. I guess not. I wouldn’t want to be the one pulling the weight of the whole class and getting skimped on my treat.”

We live in a world where the government is always testing, and our only incentive to pass is to avoid being plundered and abused. Voluntary arrangements completely abolish the threat of force the government has imposed on our decisions.