“He got more than me. Mommy, make him give me some of his.” Does that sound like childish whining? Whining, certainly. But, as childish as it may sound, it’s the basis of the most devastatingly destructive politico-economic folly of the modern age. When you take that same concept and translate it into adult language, it comes out as the redistribution of wealth. Wars have been fought, hundreds of thousands of people killed, lives destroyed, property confiscated, free speech banned, totalitarian regimes established, all in the noble name of “fairness.”
Some people are born rich; others are born poor. That’s not fair! So let’s even it out. Of course, not everybody who’s rich was born rich. Many people become rich through their own hard work, intelligence, talent, skill, and enterprise. But that’s not fair, either. Intelligence and natural talent are a result of good genes. Hard work and enterprise are a result of good upbringing. That gives people with good genes and a good upbringing an unfair advantage. So the only way to level the playing field is for everybody to contribute according to their abilities, and everybody to receive according to their needs. What could possibly be more fair than that?
And, if those who have more to contribute don’t want to give up what’s theirs, that’s not fair! So the government should step in and take it by force to redistribute among those who just don’t have the talent, skill, or motivation to produce more for themselves. After all, isn’t the role of government to ensure fairness?
But the problem is bigger than any one government can solve. People all over the world are born into vastly different circumstances, with different opportunities. Some people are born in third world countries with corrupt dictatorships and little technological advancement. Other people are born in America, where generations of individual and economic freedom have created a culture where even the poorest of the poor, who live on government subsidies, are rich by the standards of most third world countries. How do we make that fair?
We would have to redistribute the wealth from America, and all the other first world countries, to all the third world countries. If all the wealth in the world were redistributed evenly, we’d all be living at barely above subsistence level, and nobody would be able to afford to invest in (or even to buy) technology, science, or medicine. When the whole word’s standard of living was reduced to the lowest common denominator, and all progress and advancement was beyond everybody’s reach, perhaps it would finally be fair.
However, once that was accomplished, there would still be people with ingenious minds and obsessive-compulsive work ethics, and some who are unfairly gifted with various sorts of talents. Those people would still be inherently driven to produce things that provide unique value to others. And those who value what they produce would inevitably find ways to pay them for it. Then the people with superior minds or talents or skills would start to amass more than others. And that just wouldn’t be fair. So what do you do with the ones who are too intelligent or too talented or too industrious to support the paradigm of universal equality in all things? You would just have to get rid of them (which is exactly what they did in the Russian and Chinese revolutions). The problem is that there will always be more of those people. They will keep cropping up, because life is not fair.
Observing the natural world, is survival of the fittest fair? No! And there’s a reason for that. Nature is intensely competitive. And human nature, being part of nature, follows the laws of nature. That’s why the most successful economies are those based on free enterprise. Because capitalism is based on human nature. The redistribution of wealth is an attempt to ensure the survival of the least fit at the expense of the fittest. It’s a recipe for reverse evolution. It has never succeeded. It will always fail. Because you can’t reverse or repeal a law of nature.
What those who claim to want “fairness” are really seeking is control. They don’t like the seeming randomness of the free market. They’re disturbed by the negative attitudes sometimes expressed in free speech. Freedom, in general, bothers them.
So, it doesn’t really come as a great surprise that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among other prominent Democrats, seems to think fairness requires the redistribution of public opinion. Conservative talk show hosts apparently have more market share on the “public airwaves” than liberal talk show hosts. That’s not fair! Never mind that the reason they have more market share is because that’s what the market wants. That’s what the listeners have chosen to listen to, of their own free will. In the time-honored tradition of the free market, radio stations book the programs the listeners want to hear.
So, if the liberal lawmakers want the public to listen to liberal radio, but the public isn’t interested, what are the liberal lawmakers to do? Make a law, of course! In the interest of “fairness,” they can legislate that any station that airs conservative views must give equal time to liberals. And if the stations’ profits go down because they can’t sell as much advertising on programs nobody wants to hear, then that’s just tough, isn’t it? After all, we have to be “fair,” don’t we?
The liberals who support the “Fairness Doctrine” will be quick to remind you that the airways are, after all, “public.” But what does that actually mean? Perhaps, if the airwaves are public, it isn’t fair for private enterprises to profit from them at all. Does that mean all radio stations ought to be nationalized? How about television? Perhaps all forms of media should be nationalized, — in the interest of fairness, of course.