What’s More Important: Equality or the Absolute Standard of Living?
According to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, every person has necessary needs that they must fulfil before they can have luxury items in their life. For example, food, clothing, and shelter. In America, we strive to provide people with their needs of a basic level of necessities and decent housing. Yet some groups are still far more likely than others to experience poverty, to lack access to financial products, or to live in substandard housing. From this gap in economic equality raises the question whether the absolute standard of living or equality is more important. An absolute standard of living would allow every person to have basic needs. Like in America there is housing available for everyone and food stamps given out to poorer families. This extra boost that is provided to lower income families helps the American society to emphasize the importance of economic equality and to have more equality of opportunity. Equality of opportunity is where everyone is presented with the same opportunity to make something of themselves. Free primary education the U.S. gives all of its citizens the opportunity to become educated. Some people will be able to afford a private school education or have the funds to attend college or another type of secondary education but the chances of success for someone who cannot afford schooling at all is significantly increased with free education. So perfect equality is never possible but equality is more even with the idea of equal opportunity.
Perfect equality is never possible with an absolute standard of living because there are only a few people who are rich and many that are poor. The guarantee of equal opportunity does not guarantee that one will make it to the top 1%. Success and wealth depend on the persons talents and how they take advantage of their opportunities. Equality of opportunity and absolute standard of living allows for people who work harder to be rewarded for that extra work. The absolute standard of living is where there is equality based on people’s needs. On the other side of the spectrum from the absolute standard of living is having equality. Equality in this sense is where everyone is provided with the same things, like having equality of result. The best example of a society with equality of result is Soviet Russia. With this equality everyone is not only presented with the same opportunities but they can only go so far with those opportunities so that no one group of people gets ahead of others. This ensures that every single person is not above or below anyone else, so they all are equal. Another word for this is perfect equality because economic output is distributed