The fairness agenda

As we look to find language that can articulate the benefit of progressive policies to people on the other side of the political spectrum, it seems to me that the idea of "fairness" might be just such a bridge.

Of course, what's fair to one person may seem insane to another, and I understand that. But wouldn't it be better if our debates that took place over the word "fairness" instead of over words like liberal or conservative or tea party or whatever? Shouldn't leaders in government be striving to achieve fairness in all things? Shouldn't we be doing our best to ensure that as few people as possible are hurt or disadvantaged by policies that benefit others? Isn't that the essence of fairness?

North Carolina has a very long way to go before we can even dream of being First in Fairness. But wouldn't it be exciting if that was our goal?


"Life isn't fair"

If it can be refuted in a single, pithy cliche that everyone knows, it's probably not worth hanging your hat on.

If we allowed our political futures

To be dictated by cynical cliches, we might as well just go ahead and blow our brains out. After all, guns don't kill people. People kill people.


That said, you make a good point.

You're right, life isn't fair.

But government is supposed to be.

When one student is suffering from malnutrition that can (and does) affect his or her ability to learn and compete, while another student is well-fed and groomed for success, it's the government's responsibility to even those odds, not take steps to make sure the well-fed child's parents get a big tax break.

It's not the government's job to make sure people who buy a mobile home pay a higher percentage of sales taxes than someone who buys a yacht. Their job is the exact opposite of that: to make judgments based on humanitarian concerns and not the desire to please those who write big checks come election time.

I think the voting public needs to spend a little more time exploring the definition of fairness. Quality of life in our country is so deeply interconnected with things like access, family ties, geography, organized religion, and a whole slew of other factors that dictate what opportunities we'll have. While we may not be able to address all of these concerns and produce a truly "level playing field," the least we can do is make sure the people we elect to office don't exacerbate the unfairness. And the accelerated shift of wealth upwards proves we are failing miserably at that.



Well said. Fairness in education, and in life

should mean that people get what they need, not that everyone gets the same. This concept can have broader, strategic, policy implications. For example, why does the oil industry need 4-5 billion dollars in annual subsidies ? They don't, but renewables do.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?