公平、公義與資本主義 Equality, Equity & Capitalism

這部社會實驗影片,視覺化了整個社會有多麼地不平等(inequality)。

字典上的解釋

equality = 平等 = the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc; equity = 公平 = fairness or justice in the way people are treated. 有句俗語解釋道:「Equality is giving everyone a shoe. Equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits」

字典上解釋 equality 是與 equal 有關的。而 equity 則與 justice 有關。這個概念可以用下圖來說明:「在一個正義的世界裡,不管先天狀況如何(高矮),你都應該能享受與他人相同的權力(看棒球)」。

source: google image (unknown author)

話雖如此,現實主義者會認為,能做到大家「都有箱子」可以站就很強了!圖中最右邊的「資本主義 (capitalism)」就是常見的解決方案。先讓一部分精英有錢,接著帶動大家都有錢起來,進而解決 equity 的問題(所有人都能看到棒球賽)。然而此時社會階層 (Hierarchy) 不平等的問題,也就是 equality 似乎變的更嚴重了!?。

追求 Equity 可能帶來社會動盪

TED 演講中,展示了一個對「猴子」不平等的實驗影片。雖然相當搞笑,然而人類,本質上,也不停在各個方面重覆一樣的行為。這故事告訴我們,若沒有 equality 社會將會出現多大的動盪!而追求 equity 的過程,必然導至失去部份 equality,這也是當今全球資本主義社會面臨的重要挑戰。

Ted ED 專門製作了一部影集解釋當代社會各個國家如何面對這個問題。

此為筆者最喜歡的評論家之一,討論美國在資本主義 capitalism 底下,財富不均的問題「financial inequality」。Jordan 提出,目前的狀況已經比帝制時代的不公平好非常多了。而且人性需要 hierarchy 來激勵人們勞動,進而對社會做出貢獻,以避免像社會主義 socialism 的完全平等造成的均貧。

深度探討 Equity & Equality by Thomas Sowell

Quiz

  1. What is the difference between equality and equity? A) Equality means treating everyone the same, while equity means treating people fairly based on their individual needs and circumstances. B) Equality means treating people unfairly based on their individual needs and circumstances, while equity means treating everyone the same. C) Equality means giving everyone the same opportunities, while equity means giving people equal opportunities based on their needs and circumstances. D) There is no difference between equality and equity.
  2. Which of the following best exemplifies the concept of equity? A) Giving everyone in a class the same math book, regardless of their individual reading level. B) Giving each student in a class a math book that is tailored to their individual reading level. C) Giving some students in a class a better math book than others. D) Giving a few students in a class a math book, while denying the rest access to any book.
  3. What is an example of equality that is not equitable? A) Giving everyone in a class the same amount of homework, regardless of their individual workloads. B) Giving each student in a class a different amount of homework based on their individual workloads. C) Giving some students in a class more homework than others. D) Not giving any homework to any student in a class.
  4. Which of the following is an example of unequal treatment that is fair and equitable? A) A school giving the same punishment to two students who broke different school rules. B) A school giving different punishments to two students who broke the same school rule, based on the severity of their actions. C) A school giving the same punishment to two students who broke the same school rule, regardless of their individual circumstances. D) A school giving different punishments to two students who broke different school rules, based on their individual circumstances.
  5. Which of the following is NOT a goal of equity? A) To ensure that everyone has equal access to resources and opportunities. B) To create a level playing field for everyone. C) To give some people an unfair advantage over others. D) To ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with dignity.

Answers:

  1. A
  2. B
  3. A
  4. B
  5. C