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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Folly of Fairness

Obama used the word "fair" or "fairness" several times tonight... especially when referring to taxes and the economy: McCain's tax policy isn't "fair"; It's only "fair" for the rich to pay more; etc. News flash for you Obama: Life isn't fair and legislating fairness is actually a form of injustice.

(Side note: I thought the debate was horrible. Is anyone else really disappointed with our choices this year? Obama, because I disagree with just about everything he says and McCain because he does not articulate the conservative viewpoint at all... maybe because he's not one. Is there no politician who can explain a conservative worldview?)

Back to "fairness." I was reading a parenting book recently and came across an excellent section on the concept of fairness. I thought I'd leave an excerpt here because it's so appropriate in making my point and in addressing the state of our national psyche. Now, granted, the excerpt is dealing with children, but you have to admit that Obama sounds quite like a playground child when whining that "it's not fair":

"There is a universal tendency to try to make life fair. 'You had your turn, now it is mine.' 'You already have two balls and I have none, so you should be fair and share with me.' 'Daddy gave Johnny one, so Suzy should get one also.' We tend to think of legislated fairness as equality, when in fact it is inequality. This is so ingrained in us that we equate fairness with justice. The communist system is built on a principle of forced fairness. In contrast, the American system of government is based on individual rights.

"Pure fairness is as unlikely and as undesirable as making all mountains the same height. It is unnatural and can only be achieved through forced injustice. When it is a rule handed down by 'Big Brother' it will never be carried out with benevolence on the part of the one being stripped of his abundance, nor can it be received with thankfulness on the part of the one expecting legislated equality.

"This indulgent demand for fairness begins at the earliest age. You can know you have already cultivated self-centerdness in your children when Grandma must buy gifts of equal value for each grandchild in order to keep feelings from being hurt. Trying to keep equal accounts, whether in things, privileges, or discipline, is not wise. It trains children to believe they have the right to weigh and balance, to demand equal share, or to veto the good fortune of another. They are turning selfishness into a childhood occupation. Evil covetousness is being rewarded. Parents are missing one of the greatest opportunities to teach their children to rejoice in the good fortune of another.

"It should never be our intention to show favoritism, but circumstantial inequality is not only just but essential to the very foundations of individuality. Some are naturally tall, while others are short. Some are gifted in many areas, whereas others appear to be gifted in little. One farmer receives rain while another suffers drought. One is born into a family of opportunity while another is born into social bondage. One gets a promotion while another loses his job. Many run the race, but only one takes first place.

"When your child gets knocked down, don't reward his whining of unfairness. Teach him how to get up and walk away with dignity. If the other children run off and leave him, teach him how to organize play that will cause them to want to be a part of his activity. But never make your child the unwelcome tagalong of despising peers. When rain falls on his neighbors' crops but not his, teach him how to irrigate. When his wages are lower, teach him how to manage his finances. When someone else gets the job, teach him how to start a company that provides better services. If he has fewer gifts, teach him how to expect nothing and to make little into abundance. Rather than whine for equality, teach him how to give until others are blessed above himself."

How did we get to the point in America where we feel we are owed something by someone, usually the government? Why is fairness now espoused as a virtue? Why are our candidates afraid to tell people "NO" and willing to promise them everything they desire? Clearly our mommies and daddies did not tell us what we needed to hear, so I will: Quit whining and grow up. Life is not fair.

(All quotes taken from "No Greater Joy. Vol. 1" by Michael and Debi Pearl)


mrsgillispie said...

preach it sista!!! :)

Jen Bouch said...

This is so true, Kelley. Thanks for being the bad guy and bursting everyone's bubble. : )

I had actually been wanting to write about this VERY SAME topic after hearing Biden use some "fair" talk during the VP debate. But I'm glad you beat me to it -- your excerpt from the Pearl book hit the nail on the head.

jenniferherrick said...

Wow, that was a great read. I kinda want to read that book now even though I'm not planning on having kids any time in the near futuer...

Amy Middleton said...

Thank you for putting into words, what my mind was thinking! Amen!

portorikan said...

Wow, that's an awesome book.

I think part of the problem is so many people seem to have this sense of entitlement that they 'deserve' better and are owed something more.

How did we get to this point in the US? I don't know. All I know is that watching these debates and all the talk surrounding makes it seem like a middle school student government popularity contest election. 'I'll put coke machines in the cafeteria and free donuts in the morning.'

A lot of promises that cannot be fulfilled but people love to hear it so they bite the bait, and not only that, but they enjoy it.

(I should probably proof-read what I just wrote, but I'm not gonna. I hope it makes sense.)

J.Knight! said...

Thanks Kelley! This is truth. With this fair mentality, the country is raising a bunch of wimps. I am rebelling.

elizabeth jones said...

I agree! It makes me want to laugh when they talk about being fair. If they really want to be fair, then why is the government going to pay mortgages for peole who don't have enough sense to know what they can and can't afford? And the government is going to bail these people out of their house payments at the expense of people who actually live within their means. If the candidates want to talk about something that's unfair, let's start there.

I used to be excited that McCain hated out-of-control government spending and had hope that he might quit spending money the country doesn't have...until I heard him talking last night about the government buying mortgages. Is he kidding? Basically in November we have to decide whether we'd rather have a liberal or a radical liberal in the White House.

If I had know the government was going to start making house payments, we could've bought a bigger house.

portorikan said...

I could've bought a house!

I guess it doesn't pay to be responsible.


Anonymous said...

Does anybody care that we are running headlong into Socialism? What will the government take over next? Our banks, our businesses--it already controls our schools!! HELP!!!!

Kelley said...

Anonymous... I wholeheartedly agree.

I don't understand it. I don't know if people are just ignorant or if they sincerely believe Socialism is a better way. Wake up people, it's failed or failing in all the nations that try it. It's failing in our own nation... that's why our school system stinks. That's why social security is bankrupt. That's why the government fails at everything they try to get involved in outside their jurisdiction.

elizabeth jones said...

On that note...I continue to be amazed that people actually think the government would do a better job managing health care! Since the government has done such a super job with its other responsibilities, let's give them health care too and see how that goes.

jen mcdonald said...

"Quit whining and grow up!" That's amazing. Great blog Kelley!!

True Conservative said...

Excellent post. I have been here a few times to read but never left a comment. The excerpts you cite are words worth putting in the hands of every parent.

Sad to see what is happening in our country sliding the slippery slope of socialism.

Where are the good men and women ready to stop the madness? Where are the people we elected that are willing to stand up and shout, "NO!, we aren't going to take it anymore?"

We best make sure we elect them or they won't be there. I don't think McCain is the guy either but he's a vote against "that one" that is much, much more obviously socialist and radical in his beliefs and agenda.

Can we all hold out for a Palin/Jindal ticket in 2012?