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Old 12-19-2019, 10:59 AM
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Equality of opportunity does not lead to equality of results


We have a good discussion ongoing in the "Will Trump win in 2020?" thread, which, while vigorous and valuable, completely derails that thread, so I wanted to try to redirect it here instead:


Conservatives often accuse liberals of conflating "equal opportunity" with "equal results." Some liberals, though, say that equal opportunity means equal results, and if you don't get equal results, then people never had equal opportunity to begin with.

I would challenge that for a few reasons:
  • Everyone has different interests. You may love math, I may hate it. If given the same opportunity to get a math scholarship, you may put far more effort into it than I would, simply because I have no interest. And you'd probably be much likelier to get the scholarship than me.
  • Different cultures value different things. Some cultures value athletics, some may put more focus on academia.
  • Everyone has a different work ethic. Some students are perfectionists and want straight A's. Some are happy with B's. Some just want to pass and would be okay with a D. Some don't even care to pass at all.
  • Everyone has different amounts of talent. Some people are simply gifted with artistic, musical, or theatrical talent. Some could never play an instrument or act any role on stage to save their lives. Some are physically much stronger, taller, weaker or slower than others.
  • Even if everyone has equal talent or work ethic, sometimes opportunities are limited and will exclude the majority. A football team can only have 53 players on its roster. Even if a school has a thousand athletes who are all equally fit, strong, fast and agile, it can only field 53 players on game day. As a result, there is by definition bound to be unequal outcome. (An even more extreme example of this would be the Powerball or Mega Millions: Every ticket, by definition, has an equal chance of winning, but only one or a few tickets - out of many millions - will ultimately win.)

Last edited by Velocity; 12-19-2019 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:10 AM
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You are misstating the liberal position. Nobody, and I mean nobody literally believes that if every human started out with the exact same opportunities, then everyone would have the exact same outcomes. Nobody argues that, nobody asserts that, it is the very definition of a straw man.

This is closer:

If we can help make every person able to have the same opportunity for success (access to medicine, education, food, stable home etc), then we would, as a society, expect to see on average better outcomes for everyone. This does *not* mean everyone would have a great outcome, it just means terrible outcomes wouldn't be guaranteed by having zero opportunity to succeed.

If you don't think we have many people in this country that have never had an opportunity to succeed in life, then you are living on a different planet. Bad choices can lead to failure in life, but someone failing in life does not mean that they made bad choices that caused that to happen. Some people are just screwed from birth. Trying to fix that would tend to lead to better outcomes for those people.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:24 AM
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I don't believe equality of opportunity would lead to equality of outcome for every individual -- there are indeed different levels of talent, drive, etc. But I do believe it would lead to no gross, massive differences in outcome for things like race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, etc.

But this would be impossible to test without actual equality of opportunity. Since we're obviously not there yet, then I think we can focus on trying to achieve true equality of opportunity, and then we can see what kinds of outcomes it leads to.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:33 AM
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Some liberals, though, say that equal opportunity means equal results, and if you don't get equal results, then people never had equal opportunity to begin with.
*sigh* liberals never say anything about equal results. This is a time-worn conservative strawman argument. Just because you think you have a new spin on it doesn't make it any less of a strawman.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:37 AM
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We'll never have equal opportunity until we have equal education, free to all up to college level. There's no reason only the elite and those willing to go into long term debt should have a proper education. There's no reason poor black kids and immigrants should have a worse education than anyone else K-12. Properly fund the schools instead of using those funds for another bullshit war.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:39 AM
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I don't believe equality of opportunity would lead to equality of outcome for every individual -- there are indeed different levels of talent, drive, etc. But I do believe it would lead to no gross, massive differences in outcome for things like race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, etc.

But this would be impossible to test without actual equality of opportunity. Since we're obviously not there yet, then I think we can focus on trying to achieve true equality of opportunity, and then we can see what kinds of outcomes it leads to.
Yep, equality of opportunity is what we should strive for.

Equality of outcome is not something we should strive for, even if certain groups are not equally represented we should not seek to engineer the conditions so that they are.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:40 AM
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*sigh* liberals never say anything about equal results. This is a time-worn conservative strawman argument. Just because you think you have a new spin on it doesn't make it any less of a strawman.
It's not a straw man at all. Look at some of the quotes in the other thread:

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equality of opportunity and equality of results ARE THE SAME THING. If we're not achieving the latter, we didn't achieve the former, either.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:44 AM
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Oh I'm sorry, I didn't realize everyone on the left or who considers themselves liberal is responsible for everything any other random person on the left says.

Hoo boy are you guys on the right responsible for some horrible and awful things then! Yikes.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:45 AM
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We'll never have equal opportunity until we have equal education, free to all up to college level. There's no reason only the elite and those willing to go into long term debt should have a proper education. There's no reason poor black kids and immigrants should have a worse education than anyone else K-12. Properly fund the schools instead of using those funds for another bullshit war.
Equal opportunity means equal access to education, along with medical care, job opportunities, and so many other things. So yes, equal opportunity means equal opportunity.

Conservatives don't believe this nonsense about equal results, they are against equal opportunity because it levels the playing field and takes away the advantages that conservatives keep working at carving out for themselves. One of the cornerstones of this so-called conservatism is the fear of competition and finding any excuse to rig the system to avoid it.

Last edited by TriPolar; 12-19-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:49 AM
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We'll never have equal opportunity until we have equal education, free to all up to college level. There's no reason only the elite and those willing to go into long term debt should have a proper education. There's no reason poor black kids and immigrants should have a worse education than anyone else K-12. Properly fund the schools instead of using those funds for another bullshit war.
Even with equal education, there is still a gap in motivation and work ethic. Some students simply work harder or are more motivated than others. Some just want to pass and don't care if it's a D+.

There is still a gap in talent. There is still a gap in parenting - some parents are great at giving their kids a good attitude about academics, some parents are terrible, and some kids are single-parent or orphans.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:55 AM
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You are misstating the liberal position. Nobody, and I mean nobody literally believes that if every human started out with the exact same opportunities, then everyone would have the exact same outcomes. Nobody argues that, nobody asserts that, it is the very definition of a straw man.
Consider how we try to measure equality of opportunity, though. Developing objective measurements of opportunity itself can be challenging, so we use equality of outcomes as a proxy measurement. We look at some population grouping (school attendees, CEOs, prison inmates, hobby groups, whatever) and inquire as to what degree the demographics of the grouping correspond to the demographics of the general population. If there is a significant difference, we assume there is inequality of opportunity. Then, we try to reduce those differences in outcome by providing additional opportunities for supposedly-underserved groups (affirmative action, outreach programs, additional opportunities open only to those specific underserved groups, etc...)

But there's no particular reason to believe that the demographics of some grouping should correlate to the demographics of society at large. For example, there's no particular reason to believe that workers in STEM fields should be something near 50% men/50% women (and no particular reason to believe that they shouldn't be, either). But we look at the relative lack of women in STEM fields as a sign that we need to provide additional opportunities for women to pursue STEM-related interests. Now, maybe it's actually true that women suffer from a relative lack of opportunity (that's certainly my personal view). But pointing out the inequality of observable outcomes isnít a reasonable way to infer that lack of opportunity. Yet that is what we do, at least in part.
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:00 PM
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Even with equal education, there is still a gap in motivation and work ethic. Some students simply work harder or are more motivated than others. Some just want to pass and don't care if it's a D+.

There is still a gap in talent. There is still a gap in parenting - some parents are great at giving their kids a good attitude about academics, some parents are terrible, and some kids are single-parent or orphans.
You do realize that this isn't a black and white thing right? We can make sure that nobody fails simply due to circumstance and also understand that even if we do ensure that everyone gets at least a chance that not 100% of people will avoid failing in life.
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:14 PM
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It's not a straw man at all. Look at some of the quotes in the other thread:
You are absolutely right-We should never have appointed TimeWinder to be our official spokesperson. If you could ask the Mods to put a hold on this conversation until the General Liberal Convention in Dubuque on May 17th it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:26 PM
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Even with equal education, there is still a gap in motivation and work ethic. Some students simply work harder or are more motivated than others. Some just want to pass and don't care if it's a D+.

There is still a gap in talent. There is still a gap in parenting - some parents are great at giving their kids a good attitude about academics, some parents are terrible, and some kids are single-parent or orphans.
You're arguing like those are perfectly correlated and wanting to compensate for any of them means wanting none of them to influence outcome. Which is rubbish even within the framework of the tiny-minority-view/strawman you set up.

Equal opportunity means that things like ethnicity shouldn't matter for what opportunities you get. Someone saying equal outcome means we haven't achieved equal opportunity is extremely unlikely to mean we don't have equal opportunity until every person becomes a doctor. They're saying they believe the factors you mention aren't correlated with e.g. ethnicity, so an unequal outcome on group level, means equal opportunity hasn't been achieved.

I'm sure you'd be able to find someone somewhere who wants people to wear weighted pants and blurry glasses to make everyone absolutely equal, but that doesn't mean it's a sensible thing to discuss.
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:15 PM
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If everything and everyone was absolutely equal, we'd have nothing but mediocrity in all fields. Give all people an equal education and let them achieve what they can.
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:18 PM
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If everything and everyone was absolutely equal, we'd have nothing but mediocrity in all fields. Give all people an equal education and let them achieve what they can.
It can't happen as long as schools are funded locally.
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:47 PM
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Even with equal education, there is still a gap in motivation and work ethic. Some students simply work harder or are more motivated than others. Some just want to pass and don't care if it's a D+.

There is still a gap in talent. There is still a gap in parenting - some parents are great at giving their kids a good attitude about academics, some parents are terrible, and some kids are single-parent or orphans.
How can you tell whether there has been equal opportunity? If there were truly equal opportunity, then you would expect equal outcomes, regardless of income level, race, ethnicity, etc. But, we don't have equal outcomes, right? Poor people don't succeed as often as rich people, for example. So, one way to measure whether there really has been equal opportunity is to look at outcomes -- if poor people or black people or first generation people, or urbanites, or suburbanites, or whatever, don't do as well, then why should we assume they had equal opportunities?

I don't even know how you could guarantee equal opportunities across all those groups other than randomly assigning kids at birth to different parents or something. Then, on average, maybe you get equal opportunity across races and ethnicity, at least. (Note, this isn't something I'm advocating or am willing to defend)

So, of course there's a gap in talent and motivation, but why do we see a gap in talent and motivation between, say, poor people vs. rich people? Shouldn't they be roughly evenly distributed among groups? Shouldn't we expect roughly the same number of poor people as rich people in Harvard, if there's equal opportunity?
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:47 PM
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It's not a straw man at all. Look at some of the quotes in the other thread:
You should be asking TimeWinder to explain himself rather than asking why all liberals believe something that we're all telling you that we don't believe.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:02 PM
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Even with equal education, there is still a gap in motivation and work ethic.
This seems a lot like suggesting that outcomes can't ever be the same, so there's no point in addressing the horrendous difference in opportunity. Let's equalize opportunities, and then see what the actual achievement gap is, and then have whatever conversation is necessary around that.

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here is still a gap in parenting - some parents are great at giving their kids a good attitude about academics, some parents are terrible, and some kids are single-parent or orphans.
I would humbly suggest that if a child's academic performance suffers due to being an orphan or a single-parent household, those are some unequal opportunities that should be compensated for. Children shouldn't be academically penalized if their parents are dead, or if their mother had to split from an abusive/deadbeat spouse. We should be helping those families compensate for whatever those disadvantages are.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:12 PM
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If there were truly equal opportunity, then you would expect equal outcomes
I wouldn't.

If you give women and men equal opportunities to live and work exactly how they choose with no barriers at all, I would be very surprised if we saw gender participation in all activities at 50/50
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:26 PM
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I don't believe equality of opportunity would lead to equality of outcome for every individual -- there are indeed different levels of talent, drive, etc. But I do believe it would lead to no gross, massive differences in outcome for things like race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, etc.

But this would be impossible to test without actual equality of opportunity. Since we're obviously not there yet, then I think we can focus on trying to achieve true equality of opportunity, and then we can see what kinds of outcomes it leads to.
Do you agree with at least one of the following two bullet points from the OP's list?:
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  • Everyone has different interests. You may love math, I may hate it. If given the same opportunity to get a math scholarship, you may put far more effort into it than I would, simply because I have no interest. And you'd probably be much likelier to get the scholarship than me.
  • Different cultures value different things. Some cultures value athletics, some may put more focus on academia.
If so, why would you expect no massive differences in outcome based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, etc. given that culture varies significantly between different groupings? For example, would you say that the small % of male nurses is indicative of a lack of opportunity for men to enroll in and succeed in nursing programs?
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:26 PM
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Conservative thought is based on:

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Just_world_hypothesis

Unequal outcomes are the just/correct result for them.

If black people have lower academic achievement it's because there is something inherent in their "blackness" which is justifiably causing it. That could be genetics (as our racial realists think) or "cultural" (but ONLY culture which is embued with "blackness"), but either way fighting against the proper nature of the world is a mistake.

Last edited by Chingon; 12-19-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:32 PM
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Do you agree with at least one of the following two bullet points from the OP's list?:

If so, why would you expect no massive differences in outcome based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, etc. given that culture varies significantly between different groupings?
I think it's almost impossible, if not entirely impossible, to separate such things from the question of fairness and equality of opportunity.

Quote:
For example, would you say that the small % of male nurses is indicative of a lack of opportunity for men to enroll in and succeed in nursing programs?
No, it's indicative of flaws in our patriarchal culture that put (unfair!) limits on what careers are considered "masculine" or otherwise appropriate for men. That's an example of something that's unfair in our society.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:33 PM
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Even with equal education, there is still a gap in motivation and work ethic.
Which races are on the lesser end of motivation and work ethic, so we shouldn't expect people of that color to be proportionally represented at the top?
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:36 PM
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You are misstating the liberal position. Nobody, and I mean nobody literally believes that if every human started out with the exact same opportunities, then everyone would have the exact same outcomes. Nobody argues that, nobody asserts that, it is the very definition of a straw man.

This is closer:

If we can help make every person able to have the same opportunity for success (access to medicine, education, food, stable home etc), then we would, as a society, expect to see on average better outcomes for everyone. This does *not* mean everyone would have a great outcome, it just means terrible outcomes wouldn't be guaranteed by having zero opportunity to succeed.

If you don't think we have many people in this country that have never had an opportunity to succeed in life, then you are living on a different planet. Bad choices can lead to failure in life, but someone failing in life does not mean that they made bad choices that caused that to happen. Some people are just screwed from birth. Trying to fix that would tend to lead to better outcomes for those people.
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I don't believe equality of opportunity would lead to equality of outcome for every individual -- there are indeed different levels of talent, drive, etc. But I do believe it would lead to no gross, massive differences in outcome for things like race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, etc.

But this would be impossible to test without actual equality of opportunity. Since we're obviously not there yet, then I think we can focus on trying to achieve true equality of opportunity, and then we can see what kinds of outcomes it leads to.
You are misstating the OP. He is not saying that some liberals believe that every single individual would have the same outcome, he is saying that some liberals believe that given equal opportunity there would not be a disparity in outcomes between races.

The reason that he thinks some liberals believe this is because some of them flat out say so, some of them support policies to give more opportunity to one race over another based on disparity in outcome, the notion that if there is a racial disparity, then it must be a result of a difference in opportunities.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:43 PM
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It's not a straw man at all. Look at some of the quotes in the other thread:
Did you ask to see TimeWinder's liberal card when he said that? Remember, it doesn't count as an official statement of the liberal position if he doesn't show the card.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:46 PM
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You are absolutely right-We should never have appointed TimeWinder to be our official spokesperson. If you could ask the Mods to put a hold on this conversation until the General Liberal Convention in Dubuque on May 17th it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Also Sterling Archer

"with large populations it should be safe to assume that opportunity and results would be extremely closely aligned."

To some extent Airbeck:

"If you believe that all people have potential and that one type of person is on average equal to other types of people, then you would expect equality of opportunity across all types of people to lead to a closer equality of outcome for everyone."

To echo Kearsen1 "We STRIVE for equality of opportunity. We can NEVER reach equality of outcome."

Nobody is saying things are perfectly fair right now but much of the policy coming from the woke SJW crowd is not interested in equality of opportunity, they are interested in equality of outcome.

We can have fairly wide disparities in outcome between racial groups despite even opportunities. Culture plays into it a lot. Culture can affect your choices and some cultures promote better choices than others.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:50 PM
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You are misstating the OP. He is not saying that some liberals believe that every single individual would have the same outcome, he is saying that some liberals believe that given equal opportunity there would not be a disparity in outcomes between races.

The reason that he thinks some liberals believe this is because some of them flat out say so, some of them support policies to give more opportunity to one race over another based on disparity in outcome, the notion that if there is a racial disparity, then it must be a result of a difference in opportunities.
Oh, well then I'm okay with that. I'm not the spokesman for the liberal position but, speaking for myself, I believe that there's no inherent racial connection to merit. I don't believe that any racial group is inherently better or worse on average than any other racial group. So if one racial group is achieving significantly more or less than the average, I think the answer is outside factors affecting that group rather than inherent traits within the group.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:50 PM
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so an unequal outcome on group level, means equal opportunity hasn't been achieved.
And another person who believes that we don't have equality of opportunity until we have equality of outcome

Maybe this sentiment isn't as rare as you guys think (especially when some of you are the same ones holding this view).
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:52 PM
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You are misstating the OP. He is not saying that some liberals believe that every single individual would have the same outcome, he is saying that some liberals believe that given equal opportunity there would not be a disparity in outcomes between races.

The reason that he thinks some liberals believe this is because some of them flat out say so, some of them support policies to give more opportunity to one race over another based on disparity in outcome, the notion that if there is a racial disparity, then it must be a result of a difference in opportunities.
I will own this. When the disparity of outcomes is radically different and it closely follows the arbitrary social distinction between races, I very strongly believe that it's highly suggestive that there was not true or meaningful equality of opportunity. I think it's a pretty extraordinary claim to say otherwise.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:54 PM
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And another person who believes that we don't have equality of opportunity until we have equality of outcome

Maybe this sentiment isn't as rare as you guys think (especially when some of you are the same ones holding this view).
How do you know some cultures promote poor choices, or something like that, if we don't have a fair society with equality of opportunity to test this in? In an equal society, yes, if some groups appeared to be left behind, then culture (or some other group-specific, rather than society-wide thing) must be to blame. But if our society is very unequal in opportunity (as I believe it to be), then how do we know if some group is "behind" due to culture or due to that widespread unfairness?
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:56 PM
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How can you tell whether there has been equal opportunity? If there were truly equal opportunity, then you would expect equal outcomes, regardless of income level, race, ethnicity, etc. But, we don't have equal outcomes, right? Poor people don't succeed as often as rich people, for example. So, one way to measure whether there really has been equal opportunity is to look at outcomes -- if poor people or black people or first generation people, or urbanites, or suburbanites, or whatever, don't do as well, then why should we assume they had equal opportunities?

I don't even know how you could guarantee equal opportunities across all those groups other than randomly assigning kids at birth to different parents or something. Then, on average, maybe you get equal opportunity across races and ethnicity, at least. (Note, this isn't something I'm advocating or am willing to defend)

So, of course there's a gap in talent and motivation, but why do we see a gap in talent and motivation between, say, poor people vs. rich people? Shouldn't they be roughly evenly distributed among groups? Shouldn't we expect roughly the same number of poor people as rich people in Harvard, if there's equal opportunity?
It's not purely driven by wealth. The poorest racial group in NYC has higher academic achievement than the richest racial group in NYC.

If you include how people parent their children as a form of opportunity then you are effectively including culture as part of someone's opportunity. But people don't usually say having good parents is a form of opportunity disparity because they think it's racist to say one group is better at parenting than another.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:57 PM
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I think it's almost impossible, if not entirely impossible, to separate such things from the question of fairness and equality of opportunity.



No, it's indicative of flaws in our patriarchal culture that put (unfair!) limits on what careers are considered "masculine" or otherwise appropriate for men. That's an example of something that's unfair in our society.
That's reasonable, though I'd only consider certain aspects of society's cultural baggage to be "unfair". To me, if individual men are facing barriers to becoming nurses, or women are facing barriers to becoming computer scientists (IMO, barriers would include discriminatory treatment from teachers/professors/hiring managers, scorn from peers or elders, not being taken seriously, etc.), then that is unfair - but men not wanting to be nurses, or women not wanting to be computer scientists, in disproportionate numbers, is not IMO unfair. Of course, it's tricky because maybe a lot of people don't want to be X because of the barriers that they face - but I think we can work towards removing barriers without having equality of outcome as the goal in mind.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:57 PM
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You should be asking TimeWinder to explain himself rather than asking why all liberals believe something that we're all telling you that we don't believe.
He said some.

some/= all
  #35  
Old 12-19-2019, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Chingon View Post
Conservative thought is based on:

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Just_world_hypothesis

Unequal outcomes are the just/correct result for them.

If black people have lower academic achievement it's because there is something inherent in their "blackness" which is justifiably causing it. That could be genetics (as our racial realists think) or "cultural" (but ONLY culture which is embued with "blackness"), but either way fighting against the proper nature of the world is a mistake.
So if culture doesn't make a difference, how do you explain the poorest racial group in NYC outperforming the richest racial group in NYC? Should we be throwing a little affirmative action towards rich white kids to equalize their opportunities?
  #36  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:01 PM
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We'll never have equal opportunity until we have equal education, free to all up to college level. There's no reason only the elite and those willing to go into long term debt should have a proper education. There's no reason poor black kids and immigrants should have a worse education than anyone else K-12. Properly fund the schools instead of using those funds for another bullshit war.
I'm not so sure it's all funding though. My kids go to a magnet school that's 44% black, 23% white, 24% hispanic and the balance being asian and multiracial. The school has a 12.6 student-teacher ratio, and is pretty well funded by the district since it's one of 3 magnet schools. It's located in a historically black housing development (not apartments, but rather single-family homes) that's squarely middle-class, and where the local kids are not subject to the magnet admissions process (i.e. if you live nearby, you go to that school).

But for some reason, the same exact pattern seems to come out there that you see elsewhere- the white and asian kids blow away the others on testing and in-class performance in pretty much all grades.

I suspect there are serious cultural issues that cause this- another thing I've noticed is that despite the fact that the school is somewhere around 75% minority, nearly all the parental organizations (PTA, Dad's Club, watchdogs, etc...) are overwhelmingly white parent dominated, as are the actual volunteers for those organizations' events.

I think there's going to have to be some kind of cultural sea change in the black and hispanic communities before we're going to see similar outcomes w.r.t. education to white people.
  #37  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:16 PM
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Nobody is saying things are perfectly fair right now but much of the policy coming from the woke SJW crowd is not interested in equality of opportunity, they are interested in equality of outcome.

We can have fairly wide disparities in outcome between racial groups despite even opportunities. Culture plays into it a lot. Culture can affect your choices and some cultures promote better choices than others.
I would like you to elaborate your views on this.

To keep it simple, let's focus on just two racial groups in the United States; black Americans and white Americans.

Let's take it as a given that neutral statistics tell us that black Americans are (on a per capita basis) more likely to be convicted of a crime than white Americans; more likely to be incarcerated than white Americans; more likely to be unemployed than white Americans; more likely to collect public assistance than white Americans; more likely to not have a high school diploma white Americans; and more likely to live below the poverty line than white Americans.

So what do you, personally, attribute these statistics to? Do you feel they are the result of social factors that affect black Americans and that do not affect white Americans? Or do you feel they are the result of inherent differences between black Americans and white Americans? In other words, do you feel that if black Americans grew up in an identical environment to white Americans, they would still on average be more likely to commit crimes, not have a job, drop out of school, and be poor?
  #38  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:21 PM
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Which races are on the lesser end of motivation and work ethic, so we shouldn't expect people of that color to be proportionally represented at the top?
Some cultures value education more than others. It's not the color of their skin but the culture of their community. That culture affects their choices. Their choices affect their outcomes.

Do you have anything to say about the overall thesis or are you just looking for particular sentences you can criticize?

Is there a belief among some liberals that you do not have equality of opportunity unless you have equality of outcome?

Noone is saying that we have achieved equality of opportunity but in some policy arguments where there is no identifiable disparity in opportunity, the argument for intervention is that the disparity in outcomes is proof of disparity in opportunity and we need to provide more opportunity to some groups over others.
  #39  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:21 PM
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I think there's going to have to be some kind of cultural sea change in the black and hispanic communities before we're going to see similar outcomes w.r.t. education to white people.
Sure, but it's not like the entire change has to occur within those communities.

It's a separate debate, but there's pretty good evidence going back....oh centuries now that the way those communities are viewed, pre-judged, and treated by people outside those communities has its own significant and lasting impact. It's well and good to say some change has to come from within those communities (which is true and does happen) but I would hope it is not simply used to absolve other communities of any responsibility for their own roles in the state of affairs or excuse them from taking any additional action.
  #40  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:23 PM
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Innate sexual disparity in interests and abilities makes much more sense than racial disparity, since 'race' is 99% social, and we're all mixing genes all the time anyway. However, this is the way that I think this pans out:

There are four abilities/decisions that will help you get paid well in this world.

1) Work hard
2) Take on a job which has a skillset that not many people have
3) Be willing to do jobs that are unappealing to most people
4) Never do any work for the needy, helpless or disadvantaged - they can't afford you

I'm pretty sure that the group of people who are shit at task #4 contains an extremely large proportion of women. I wouldn't be hoping anyone got better at it though.

At a societal level, whether or not there are differences in particular interests and skills between men and women on average (and I actually believe there are, though I believe they're small) the fact that men tend to get more money than women is unfair unless you believe that men are contributing more to society.

I think it's illogical to believe that.

Why?

Because we believe in evolution. People have always divided themselves into societies with equal numbers of men and women, and we're all the descendants of the most successful societies. If it was useful to the success of a society to have the distribution of skills and abilities of women be the same as that of men ... well, evolution knows how to do that. The only reason for it not to happen is that this is not actually optimal for the success of a society.

Logically, whatever the group "men" and the group "women" are doing, they ought to, on average, be equally valuable. If they're not, on average, being equally rewarded, then something has gone wrong
  #41  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:35 PM
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Oh, well then I'm okay with that. I'm not the spokesman for the liberal position but, speaking for myself, I believe that there's no inherent racial connection to merit. I don't believe that any racial group is inherently better or worse on average than any other racial group. So if one racial group is achieving significantly more or less than the average, I think the answer is outside factors affecting that group rather than inherent traits within the group.
Assuming you consider "culture" to be an inherent trait...
Let me ask you what "outside" factor you think might be causing the poorest racial group in NYC to significantly outperform the richest racial group in NYC?
  #42  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:36 PM
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I will own this. When the disparity of outcomes is radically different and it closely follows the arbitrary social distinction between races, I very strongly believe that it's highly suggestive that there was not true or meaningful equality of opportunity. I think it's a pretty extraordinary claim to say otherwise.
I will ask you the same question:

What lack of opportunities do the wealthier white children of NYC suffer that the poor asian children of NYC do not?
  #43  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
I'm not so sure it's all funding though. My kids go to a magnet school that's 44% black, 23% white, 24% hispanic and the balance being asian and multiracial. The school has a 12.6 student-teacher ratio, and is pretty well funded by the district since it's one of 3 magnet schools. It's located in a historically black housing development (not apartments, but rather single-family homes) that's squarely middle-class, and where the local kids are not subject to the magnet admissions process (i.e. if you live nearby, you go to that school).

But for some reason, the same exact pattern seems to come out there that you see elsewhere- the white and asian kids blow away the others on testing and in-class performance in pretty much all grades.

I suspect there are serious cultural issues that cause this- another thing I've noticed is that despite the fact that the school is somewhere around 75% minority, nearly all the parental organizations (PTA, Dad's Club, watchdogs, etc...) are overwhelmingly white parent dominated, as are the actual volunteers for those organizations' events.

I think there's going to have to be some kind of cultural sea change in the black and hispanic communities before we're going to see similar outcomes w.r.t. education to white people.
There is one very important statistic missing from your post: What each group of people earns per job held. If group A gets paid so much, and group B has to work 2 or three jobs to get the same amount, then group A will have the free time to join the organizations and volunteer while Group B doesn't.

Last edited by Czarcasm; 12-19-2019 at 03:42 PM.
  #44  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
I will ask you the same question:

What lack of opportunities do the wealthier white children of NYC suffer that the poor asian children of NYC do not?
Maybe they suffer from having *too many* opportunities? They know they have it made no matter how they do in school. Whereas poorer kids may know that this is their only shot. No Daddy money bags to bail them out, get them into Yale etc...
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Last edited by Airbeck; 12-19-2019 at 03:53 PM.
  #45  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:53 PM
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How do you know some cultures promote poor choices, or something like that, if we don't have a fair society with equality of opportunity to test this in? In an equal society, yes, if some groups appeared to be left behind, then culture (or some other group-specific, rather than society-wide thing) must be to blame. But if our society is very unequal in opportunity (as I believe it to be), then how do we know if some group is "behind" due to culture or due to that widespread unfairness?
We don't. There is nothing we can do to make every man love his fellow man like his brother. We can only make fair laws and prohibit discrimination in education and labor. We can't change the rules of society to correct for private discrimination that exists in the hearts of men, can we?
  #46  
Old 12-19-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
We don't. There is nothing we can do to make every man love his fellow man like his brother. We can only make fair laws and prohibit discrimination in education and labor. We can't change the rules of society to correct for private discrimination that exists in the hearts of men, can we?
I'm all in favor of fair laws, fighting discrimination, etc. I want a fair society with real equality of opportunity. Institutional discrimination is much more harmful than private feelings of bigotry. We haven't come close to eliminating either one.
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Old 12-19-2019, 03:58 PM
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If we use sports as an example, we can compare Canada and Germany in men's soccer. Both nations are racially similar (in case someone wants to cite some sports-genetics argument.) Yet Germany has been one of the world's best soccer nations for 70 years, while Canada has only ever qualified for a World Cup once (in the 1980s, then never again). It's not because of lack of opportunity - Canada has every FIFA opportunity to qualify for the men's World Cup - indeed, the CONCACAF structure actually makes it even easier for Canada to get to the World Cup than in Europe's. It's not lack of resources - both nations are wealthy, have a talent pool of many thousands of potential athletes they could recruit from, etc.

The main argument would be culture; Canada has long been a hockey nation while Germany loves soccer.
  #48  
Old 12-19-2019, 04:04 PM
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I would like you to elaborate your views on this.

To keep it simple, let's focus on just two racial groups in the United States; black Americans and white Americans.
Well, that's probably the worst example to use because discrimination is probably a much larger factor in explaining the disparity there than between any two other groups.

If you live in a black and white world then the liberal perspective is much easier to understand. But there are other races and the theory starts to implode a bit when you add the other races.

Quote:
Let's take it as a given that neutral statistics tell us that black Americans are (on a per capita basis) more likely to be convicted of a crime than white Americans; more likely to be incarcerated than white Americans; more likely to be unemployed than white Americans; more likely to collect public assistance than white Americans; more likely to not have a high school diploma white Americans; and more likely to live below the poverty line than white Americans.

So what do you, personally, attribute these statistics to? Do you feel they are the result of social factors that affect black Americans and that do not affect white Americans? Or do you feel they are the result of inherent differences between black Americans and white Americans? In other words, do you feel that if black Americans grew up in an identical environment to white Americans, they would still on average be more likely to commit crimes, not have a job, drop out of school, and be poor?
I think that if discrimination did not exist, then the black community would have a different culture that would lead to a much smaller disparity.

I think that discrimination and second class citizenship can lead to criminality, poverty, lower IQ, unemployment, looser morals, low academic achievement. It is hard to overcome, especially if you are black in America.

But let me ask you what you think of the fact that the poorest racial group in NYC academically outperforms the richest racial group in NYC. Does that disparity in outcome necessarily mean that poor asians have more opportunities in NYC or that wealthy whites have less opportunity?
  #49  
Old 12-19-2019, 04:07 PM
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If we use sports as an example, we can compare Canada and Germany in men's soccer. Both nations are racially similar (in case someone wants to cite some sports-genetics argument.) Yet Germany has been one of the world's best soccer nations for 70 years, while Canada has only ever qualified for a World Cup once (in the 1980s, then never again). It's not because of lack of opportunity - Canada has every FIFA opportunity to qualify for the men's World Cup - indeed, the CONCACAF structure actually makes it even easier for Canada to get to the World Cup than in Europe's. It's not lack of resources - both nations are wealthy, have a talent pool of many thousands of potential athletes they could recruit from, etc.

The main argument would be culture; Canada has long been a hockey nation while Germany loves soccer.
That makes sense for sports, but I don't think it makes sense for things like poverty, lower life expectancy, lead poisoning, breathing problems, etc. No culture has a preference for these things over their lack.
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Old 12-19-2019, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post

But let me ask you what you think of the fact that the poorest racial group in NYC academically outperforms the richest racial group in NYC. Does that disparity in outcome necessarily mean that poor asians have more opportunities in NYC or that wealthy whites have less opportunity?
I wouldn't look at just one statistic to make this kind of judgement. Do whites in NYC have lower incomes, worse health and life expectancy outcomes, lesser representation among high executives and officials, etc.? Do Asians? If we had all that kind of information, we might be able to determine if there's any inequality of opportunity relating to these groups.
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