Rise of the Equalities Industry
By Peter Saunders
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
$23.50 Paper original
To be against equality is to support unfair treatment, and who wants to be unfair? We now have a considerable body of legislation, regulation, monitoring and investigation to ensure that our society respects equality. But what sort of equality do we mean? Peter Saunders identifies three types. Formal equality - equality before the law and equal political rights - is uncontroversial. So is the second sort of equality - equality of opportunity. We should all have a fair chance to pursue our goals. But the third sort - equality of outcomes - is not of the same nature.
We all have different capacities and are motivated to pursue different objectives. Deploying the powers of government to impose equal results suppresses the diversity of talents, aspirations and ideals that make us human. However, public policy is based on what Peter Saunders calls the 'fallacy of proportionate outcomes', which assumes that any average difference between groups of people must result from the operation of systematic bias. The Equalities Industry, which Peter Saunders shows to be vast and almost unopposed, sets out to eradicate bias that is often non-existent and sometimes invented. Consequently, its remedies are not only costly but threaten the freedoms we value in a liberal democracy.
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