I'm sure many prior to Milton Freidman used these words, however he is my original exposure to the phrase so he is getting the credit. Milton said this of freedom and equality:
"A country that strives for equality over freedom will end up with neither freedom nor equality. A country that strives for freedom above all, will have a great wealth of both freedom and equality."
This is a bold claim, however it rings very true to me. To understand why this is a truth we have to examine both principles.
Equality is defined as: "The state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities." Seems simple enough 1=1.
So why is it so hard to have both? Because we are human beings. We are by nature NOT equal. The only universal equality from one person to the next is our worth in the eyes of our creator, at the starting line your soul is worth the same to him as every other soul.
At conception we are all equal, but that ends shortly after. As our cells divide, the programming in our DNA decides how to grow this new life form. Some will grow to be 7ft others will grow to be 4ft. Some will have minds capable of solving complex problems while others will have a difficult time performing simple tasks. Some will be able to throw a ball 50 yards with pinpoint accuracy while others will be born not able to throw a ball. Some will be born with attractive features, while others will be born as ugly as can be. And there will be everything in between. This doesn't change our worth in gods eyes, however in the world this drastically changes our worth. Is it fair? No. But unless one wishes for our race to become only as strong or smart as our weakest link, we cannot hold back the gifted to level the playing field.
What some advocate is "equal opportunity". This is folley. In order to give every one an equal opportunity you must smash the rights of others. Take school for example. There are countless after school programs for the challenged. This in and of its self is not fair or equal, this is offering those that are challenged more time to be educated than those that are gifted. So, what most schools do is offer a program for the gifted, which causes them to get further ahead. So what has this accomplished? Nothing. The gap hasn't closed, in fact, it has probably widened since the rate of learning for the gifted is much higher than the rate of learning for the challenged.
Some take equal opportunity into race and gender in the world of careers. They believe that a work place should be required to hire people purely based on their sex or skin color, of course with some qualification. But this steps on the freedom of the employer to hire who is best for the job. Guess who suffers because of it? The consumer. So in the name of equality, someone more qualified and better for the job will be passed by. in mathmatical terms it would look like this 0.9=1 where 1 is the skills required for the job and 0.9 is what the employer had to go with to satisfy his "equal opportunity" clause.
Title IX, Gender Equality:
(The goal of title nine is to allow equal participation for both genders within the education system. For there to be a male athletics scholarship there has to be a female athletics scholarship.) The problem is that men and women are different. It's no secret that men are more physical than women, so naturally there will be more males to participate in sports than there will be to participate in female sports. So when the pool of females who want to and are able to participate in sports there are many males left who are not given the opportunity. The freedoms of the schools has been trampled and the opportunities of the men have been stymied. This is going without mentioning the fact that mens sports pay for the scholarship of the men because they draw the crowd to pay for the scholarship, where womens sports do not.
In each program that strives for equality, not only is freedom lost, but equality is lost as well.
Freedom is defined as: "The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint." This definition goes hand in hand with what the founding fathers of our great American nation tried to guarantee us.
If we strive for freedom, inherently equality will follow.
If the employer from the above scenario was able to hire freely, that is to hire a 1 to fill a position that required a 1, the consumer would benefit. And what would happen to the 0.9? The 0.9 would have to find a job that only required a 0.9, in which the consumer would benefit because now instead of having to hire a 0.75 for a job that required a 0.9. OR the 0.9 would have to complete the education or training necessary to make them a 1. If the employer chooses to hire a white person who is a 0.9 over a black person who is a 1, they do so to their own and their consumers detriment. And the business that does not discriminate will be able to provide the best product or service at a better price, which will drive business away from the racism.
both freedom and equality are preserved.
Another example is sports. The three biggest sports in america are Basketball, Football, and Golf (in no particular order). Basketball and football are dominated by non-white folks. Golf is dominated by white folks. Do the fans complain? No. Why? Because it provides the most competitive experience in the relative fields. Does a white person have less opportunity to become a football player? no. in fact they have more opportunity because as the sport grows more investors will build teams, drawing from the current pool of athletes, providing more opportunity for them in the future.
Now imagine if the NFL required the same number of white people on a football team as they have black people? The competition and skill level would drop dramatically, so we as viewers would become less interested, which would drive their paychecks down, which in turn would make for a smaller pool of athletes to choose from, which in turn would force the skill level down, which in turn viewers would become less interested. And the cycle would so continue.
In freedom, both freedom and equality grow.