Jim Burns: ‘Which Equality?’

Email message from James Libertarian Burns, a candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination:

Dear Paul,

249 words one minute approximate reading time

Equality is a powerful force. Equality may bring conflict, poverty, and decline or equality may bring peace, prosperity, and progress. The question is which equality will prevail?

One type of equality is the equality of outcome: The idea is that the government should be used to require an equal outcome for all people. Implementation requires a big government with enough power to enforce its ideals of “from each according to their ability to each according to their need.”

Another type of equality is equality of rights under the law: The idea is that people should be treated equally by government. Implementation requires government to be limited and resist corruption, especially corruption by special interests: “rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”

These ideas have been implemented imperfectly but enough to show what would happen should they be adopted. The equality of outcome with its motto of “from each according to their ability to each according to their need” was attempted by governments such as the USSR and the Peoples Republic of China. The results were upheaval, poverty, starvation and death for tens of millions of people. Equality of rights under the law as been attempted by the USA and the results show an unparalleled prosperity and progress.

The choice has not been so obvious for some time. The forces of “social justice” have spoken clearly if you but listen. The question is what will we do?


Jim Burns
PO Box 1139
Beatty, NV 89003

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