What does equality mean? Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence purported that “all men are created equal.” However, he was not talking about blacks or the plight of the poor. Jefferson, though he permitted that his slaves be freed after his death, insisted on the matter that blacks were genetically inferior to whites. Furthermore, this international document went on to espouse the basic notion that all individuals are entitled to “inalienable rights” and henceforth are assured of equal rights. It is safe to say that what individuals make of this is “wholly” dependent on their abilities and efforts.
American society, for the most part, does not emphasize equal results or equal rewards; few Americans believe that every person should earn the same wages or hold the same amount of land. In other countries, for example, the government allocates tax dollars in order to assure that all of its members have the most basic necessity of health care. Though I understand why many fear an egalitarian system of property/wealth distribution, I am puzzled why this is a factor when it comes to universal health care. Sure, too much distribution of wages “might” advocate a system that stifles talent and limits opportunity, but such a system also assures the basic needs of those that make up its polity. Much of the American premise as it relates to one’s rights rest in the enlighten philosophy of John Locke, and later borrowed by Thomas Jefferson. Though Americans and western society heavily relate to the optimistic views of Lockean philosophy, Americans might be wiser to seek the more pessimistic writer, Thomas Hobbes… who promulgates that man has basic rights and is equal according to the laws of nature.
Furthermore, Hobbes contends that one cannot base equality according to mere size, seeing that a weaker person has the ability via technology to kill a stronger person. I am sure we all recall David and Goliath.Thus instruments are in place to promote equality, much like the common purpose or purported goal of an American education. Because inequality in education exists, many minorities and rural whites do not receive the proper education needed to attend and be successful in college. Think about the number of elite private schools in the country that have a very small number of black students. Often enough, minorities and rural whites are victims of educational slavery in that they live in low property tax communities.
So, if Americans shy away from promoting absolute equality when it comes to education, it might be difficult to expect universal health care for the many that are sick and cannot afford to make basic payments; I find it interesting that the people most against it are those that can afford it. I just do not see how Americans can buy into liberty and equality on one hand, but take on a conservative action as it relates to class and healthcare on the other hand. This is a paradox to me.