My Thoughts on Equality

Photo by Madi Robson on Unsplash
As far as I can remember, the word "equality" wasn't used as much as it is now. My teachers, the grown-ups, anyone in my family never mentioned the word or what it means in some other form.

Maybe I was just young, and I cared more about other things. "Fairness" on the other hand, it's something that was drilled into my psyche way back to my very first memories: "Alan, you HAVE to share".

Being fair is part and parcel the way of leading a good life. The reality is so much different. I sometimes feel like I was lied to.

Another factor to consider I suppose, is the location of where I was living. I currently live in London, UK. I've spent a good portion of my teenage and young adult years living in the Philippines. The more I think about it now, it's quite alarming that equality isn't anywhere near as important as it is here in the UK. This is pretty ironic considering the poverty levels in a third-world country is massive.

Equality is something that I'm passionate about, and I'm writing this blog post hoping to dissect my thoughts on it.

Equity

A friend who leans politically to the right, tells me that "instead of equality, you really should be pursuing equity". Actually, he's spot on.

But that's the end goal at least, especially considering that our lives are so complicated, each and every person on this planet has his/her own set of circumstances that comparing Equality to Equity would be like night and day.

But we need to make a pit-stop first. Equity in itself is too high a goal. Equality on the other hand, at the very least, we'll be able to hopefully raise the floor incrementally to a point where everyone won't be too focused on surviving, and instead working towards making better things.

Talking about Death by Poverty is Taboo

Not a lot of people know, or care, how many lives are lost each year. A lot more people aren't aware how many of those lives are lost due to poverty. And a significantly more do not know how many of those are children. Here's a quick look at the yearly figures:

* Over 50 million people die every year. source
* Over 20 million people die every year because of poverty. source
* Over 8 million children die every year because of poverty. source
* A study showed that the approximate amount needed to drastically reduce that figure is around $200B annually. source
* The "Leader of the Free World" USA spends almost $600B yearly on its military. That's more than the next 8 countries combined. source

Yet with those statistics, the mainstream media covers the death of a celebrity, or a group of people to be more worthy of news. I personally feel that this is extremely perverse. The normalisation of millions of people, children, dying.

This is also one of the main reasons, if not the most important, as to why I push forth the idea of equality.

The Venus Project

"Beyond Politics, Poverty, and War." - That's what The Venus Project advocates. Picture what you know of the world right now, how it works, the number of winners, the number of losers, all the bureaucracy people go through just to get things done, wars started by old men (yet they do not lead their armies into battle), and everything else. Picture all that and throwing it all away. Throw away the rulebook and start from scratch.

That's what Jacque Fresco did. His lifetime's achievement is the pursuit and promotion of his idea: The Venus Project.

While I won't go into detail on what it is as it deserves it's own blog post, I always pitch the idea to people that I converse with. Yes, it's quite the utopian dream which would most likely never materialise; but pursuing it even if we do not reach the goal has its merits. What could go wrong if we don't improve the world by 100%?

At the very least, talking about TVP gets people to think, to start asking questions, to picture in their mind's eye that there may actually be a better way of doing things than where we are now.

Universal Basic Income

The first step to Equality is probably one of the biggest ones, and I believe that it has come under the guise of UBI (Universal Basic Income).

What is UBI? Basically, you get an allowance for existing. That allowance is designed to support you secure your food, shelter, and clothing. It can be a monetary amount, or it can simply be an assurance that you will get those basic necessities for free in some form.

UBI has a lot of critics, and mainly they all claim something along the lines of:

* UBI will remove the incentive for people to work.
* UBI will make people lazy.
* We cannot afford UBI.
* UBI is Communist/Socialist!
* UBI is funded by theft.

All of the aforementioned points have been debunked, or have been proven otherwise. A lot of information can be found on the Basic Income Earth Network. But I'm not here to debate the pros and cons of UBI, save for one point: our capacity as human beings.

Picture this. You're a container. And what's inside the container are things that symbolically represent the things that you need/want to exist in your life. You got food, clothing, family, your home, your vices, and then there's this massive piece that pretty much fills the entire container not leaving room for other things that you would have wanted. This thing represents "making money". Or you can call it "work".

Imagine taking that huge piece away. The worry. The mental capacity. The time. The effort. All those things replaced with a guarantee that you can now fill that space with something else. Something you'd like. Something that you're passionate about.

Wouldn't that be a happier life?

Even the President of the USA has advisers ensuring that he/she doesn't make too many decisions in a day, because the more decisions you make, the less effective you become. To make sure that the important decisions are given full attention, Obama even tells us how he does it.

So imagine one person being unshackled from the worry of having to work, and the myriad of negative circumstances that surround keeping a job (like having a bad boss, being underpaid, etc.), that person becomes productive. That person will be less likely to succumb to mental illnesses. That person will be less likely to commit a crime.

Now imagine multiplying that person to the population of a country. You get a happier country. A more productive country.

Now let's make it worldwide. Then our species can shift the focus from making money to doing something else more important like, I don't know, like curing cancer.

Considering the amount of people living in poverty, playing the rat race, spending so much time working to survive, a UBI is a no-brainer.

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