Everybody knows: Life is unfair. Some were born rich, some poor; some intelligent, some not; some beautiful, some plain; some healthy and strong, some weak and sickly. It’s the luck of the draw. What can we do about it? If everybody was born equal, then the world would lack any diversity or variety as we know it. Life is unpredictable. You win some and you lose some. We need to be philosophical. That’s the raison d’être for our café-philo.
Nevertheless, inequality has always been the main culprit of turmoil and conflicts. Gross social injustice causes havoc in the world, uprisings, riots, revolutions, wars… No earth-shattering revelations here.
In an attempt to prevent social upheavals, governments adopted a series of measures to deliver “fairness” and minimise “inequality” among different classes so as to alleviate these growing social tensions between the very rich and the very poor. We are impressed by these slogans or promises: “democracy”, “meritocracy”, “equal opportunity”, “political correctness”, “multiculturalism”, “racial and gender equality”, “gay lesbian rights”.
Result: the tip of the balance has tilted towards the other end. Democracy has not given any real power to people but only make the power more concentrated on the top. Jurisprudence has been all but lost as lawyers act in favour of special interest groups. Social welfare systems created opportunities for fraudsters to rob society. Employment policy over-corrected itself by turning the formerly advantageous into disadvantageous. Tax system is controlled by accountants who favour the rich and rip off the salary-earning class.
During the recent two years, we have witnessed the decline and fall of many investment banks and high-street banks found lacking in any self-restraint by speculating in high-risk “investment” futures options. Massive funds have been usurped by hedge fund managers who design new vehicles for their instant gratification. Their bonuses redirected to offshore accounts in Cayman Island and the British Virgin Islands. Government has to rely on the taxpayers’ contribution to rescue banks to maintain their profligacy.
We ask is it “unfair” to pay illegal immigrants social welfare on arrival? Or is it “fairer” to pay bankers unrestricted bonuses by using the tax-payer?