Equity. Equality. These ideas are very much in style today. It is not merely the radical left wing progressives who believe that things should be equitable. There are even many middle-of-the-roaders who feel bad about the massive gap between the wealthy and the poor across America. So, they also feel that policies that level out the playing field are necessary to keep things equitable. There is more than a bit of truth in these ideas. But there is also more than a bit of dangerous social engineering in these ideas that must be avoided.
Poor children who are raised in crime-ridden neighborhoods are at a clear disadvantage to wealthy children who are raised in communities filled with healthy and wholesome communal activities. This is absolutely true. One does not need to be a social worker to understand this. Children without two parents in the home are at a distinct disadvantage to children with one parent at home. Indeed, there are many problems that often start in the womb. Unhealthy mothers produce unhealthy children.
What is needed is a flattening of the opportunity to succeed in life via programs that bolster the chances of disadvantaged children to get ahead in life – however one wants to define success. What has been done until now since the 1960’s programs of LBJ are the wrong ideas. Throwing lots of money into subsidized housing programs have not increased opportunities for disadvantaged youth. They have institutionalized the problems.
Public housing projects are certainly ineffective today and probably were wrong when they were started. What is needed across the United States are incentives for poor people to become homeowners or apartment owners. What poor families need is not to become more dependent on the government, but more help from the government to become independent of the government.
What young disadvantaged children need are more opportunities to get educated and get out of their public housing projects, not more funding to keep them in their housing projects for decades. They need more financial support to expose the children – from elementary school through high school – to role models of success despite adversity. Role models need to be brought into their communities and the children, with their parent’s consent, should be brought outside of the communities.
But today’s local leaders of these areas are usually focused on tossing more and more money in the way of food stamps and further discounts on public housing. This is not what is needed. What is needed are more homeowners and more educated and capitalistic youngsters who dream of succeeding and not being poor.
Equality of opportunity is a blessing. What Kamala Harris and others are supporting is equality of outcome, and that is a most non-equitable idea that is based on taking money from the wealthy and redistributing it to the poor. It is not practical, wise nor moral. Social engineering should be geared at making sure everyone has the chance to succeed. But it should not be based on turning the USA into a socialist system where success is punished by governmental overreach.