Life isn’t fair. I know this, and yet I struggle with it. Within my very small sphere of control, I try to make things fair, and I now plenty of others do the same, but it’s not always easy, or necessarily the right thing to do. It’s harder to do the more people you put in the ‘bubble’. Try to put a whole society in that bubble and well, it’s impossible to keep everything fair.
It’s not fair that some people are born beautiful, talented and in good families that can provide while others aren’t. However, this is our reality.
As a society, there is a certain balance that we try to maintain between this reality of unfairness, and our sense of responsibility to balance the equation for those that are less fortunate, or simply less capable. But this is a delicate, delicate balance, and if you push it too far, you can break it.
I just watched a video that expresses an angle of the causes of the recent financial crash. The video is mired in politics, (I’m sorry) and clearly has an agenda. Personally, I think both parties had their hand in the cookie jar on the current debacle, and I’m not so interested in the politics of it as I am in the underlying concept of capitalism.
So, back to my point. Most of us live the life we do because we’re educated, we work hard, we work smart, we innovate, we sacrifice, we attract talent to work with us and we work within a capitalistic framework which allows us to improve our lot in life. Not everyone has an equal chance to achieve fame or fortune in this framework (that’s the unfair reality), but the possibility for improvement is there nonetheless.
Given an inherent unfairness, as a society, we are faced with a question of what to do about it. How do we balance inequality? My personal bias has been to try to balance inequality as best I can but within limits. Those limits are to ensure that I somehow don’t break the underlying formula of capitalism altogether.
I don’t know enough about the underlying details in the above video to know what’s actually true versus things taken out of context. But with regards the video’s claim that regulation, in particular, the Community Reinvestment Act, was one of the foundations of things gone wrong, I do agree that forcing banks (or anyone for that matter), through regulation, to make what amounts to risky loans is simply a bad policy. It fundamentally breaks the formula while pushing to create an artificial balance that’s simply not sustainable. As harsh and cold as capitalism actually is, it reflects a framework that rewards those that work hard and have talent that is valued. That’s not always fair, but it reflects reality.