The Friedmans on Equality of Outcome
By David Henderson
The ethical issues [in equality of outcome] involved are subtle and complex. They are not to be resolved by such simplistic formulas as “fair shares for all.” Indeed, if we took that seriously, youngsters with less musical skill should be given the greatest amount of musical training in order to compensate for their inherited disadvantage, and those with greater musical aptitude should be prevented from having access to good musical training; and similarly with all other categories of inherited personal qualities. That might be “fair” to the youngsters lacking in talent, but would it be “fair” to the talented, let alone to those who had to work to pay for training the youngsters lacking talent, or to the persons deprived of the benefits that might have come from the cultivation of the talents of the gifted?
This is from Milton and Rose Friedman, Free to Choose, p. 136.
When I read that, I was reminded of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s “Harrison Bergeron,” his short story that is a reductio ad absurdum of equality of outcome.