Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This post is unfair!

Much to the displeasure of Ramesh and Anne, I constantly explore inequality and fairness.  In case they, or you, need a refresher, I will gladly point to the following samples:
Those two posts, among many, always lead to the same bottom-line: The best thing that you can do is to choose your parents well.  Of course, we do not get to choose our parents, which means that ...

It is not merely income inequality that results from this accident of birth in the correct (or incorrect) geography.  It shows up in various attributes of life, like even the lifestyle choices.  Things are different on the other side of the railroad track.

Like with health and life expectancy:

In the old country, the juxtaposition of the rich and the poor is perhaps best symbolized in Antilia.  Being born in the wrong place makes all the difference in one's life.  A luck of the draw, in which we are not even active participants given that it is pretty much determined at birth.

These are the kinds of intellectual and practical issues that led to me graduate school in the first place. Which is also where I got to read John Rawls--in a condensed form, because the book itself was way too big!

This video explains the importance of the Rawlsian argument, and why figuring out fairness is important and is also difficult.

As important as these ideas are, the fact that people prefer instant gratification and entertainment over reading and thinking, and the fact that thinking politicians have been replaced with demagogues, mean that we will never get to addressing the effects of being born in the wrong zip code, or the wrong country, or the wrong skin color, or ... and then we wonder why the world is so unfair!

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