Equality of Opportunity vs. Equality of Outcome

I had a conversation the other day with a friend about Equality of Opportunity vs. Equality of Outcome. He’s a libertarian and believes in the former while I strongly believe in the latter.

I don’t believe in socialism or that there shouldn’t be an opportunity for folks to rise above and be wealthy. I do believe in two things:

a) If you work 40 hours a week, you should receive a minimum wage that allows you to live above the poverty line.

b) There should be a safety social net to help those that legitimately need it.

Today I watched a great documentary on HBO called American Winter. It highlights families facing severe financial troubles due to unemployment, underemployment trying to support a family on minimum wage, running the risk of foreclosure and eviction and having to rely on food banks and other services for basic needs.

These are families who aren’t lazy and are willing to work hard. Intermixed with the stories of the families are people talking about the financial crisis.

This was a great piece, but unfortunately I doubt it would sway those that are determined to subsidize businesses off the suffering of the lower and middle class.

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