Equality is one of those attractive intangibles which seems a desirable goal in modern and compassionate democracy. Further it is something that many expect us to strive for, even force us to strive for. Unfortunately is not a well understood or well defined term, and this fuzziness is used to manipulate for the advantage of many of the elite.
A popular belief is that 'equality is a good thing', but those who say this rarely, if ever, say whether they mean equality of opportunity or equality or outcome. Clearly everyone is not equal. Some are short, some tall, some thin, some fat, some attractive, and some really ugly. Should we strive for a society in which we have equality? In which everyone has the same height, weight or attractiveness? Few would think so, but this is the underlying conclusion of much of the rhetoric.
Likewise people make different choices in life. Some want to go fishing, some want to go skiing, some want to travel overseas, and others just want to relax in front of the television with a beer and some friends. Should we force or even encourage people to make the same choices? Surely not.
People make different choices in their career. Some choose to take risks, work extremely long hours and very little free time. Others choose to take an easier job, with fewer hours less stress, and spend time with the family or just enjoying their leisure. Should we force or even encourage people to make the same choices? Some would say yes - most would say not.
People also make different choices with their income. Some people want to spend their money when they are young and enjoy life. Others want to invest it in high risk ventures. Some others want to start saving for their retirement immediately. Still others choose to spend their money at the local casino. Should we force or even encourage people to make the same choices with their income? Most would say no.
Clearly if people make different career choices, and different spending choices, their outcomes will be different.
I never heard anyone say. 'I didn't see much of Dad when we were growing up, but that's OK because we had a great house'.
Many people will choose to spend a lot of time with their family, and put up with the low income. This is their choice.
Some people choose not to work at all - they choose poverty.
If you offer people equality of opportunity, you will not see equality of outcome. Likewise if you try to force equality of outcome, you must compromise equality of opportunity, because you take away the opportunity for many to do what they truly wanted.
If the goal is to try to offer equality of opportunity, then it is idiocy to try to measure success by the equality of outcome. The fact that some people end up with more money than others at the end of the day is simply evidence of inequality of outcome not opportunity.