Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fairness for everyone

What is fairness? How does one define fairness?

“Fairness” suits Britain’s coalition government so well not just because its meanings are all positive, but also because—like views within the coalition—they are wide-ranging. To one lot of people, fairness means establishing the same rules for everybody, playing by them, and letting the best man win and the winner take all. To another, it means making sure that everybody gets equal shares.
The problem with fairness is that everyone has to agree that something is fair before something is viewed as such. Unfortunately, as the passage points out, fairness is in the eye of the beholder, and it can be used by all sides to mean what they want it to without achieving the same results.

As the economist also says:

We reject the wide, woolly notion of fairness in favour of sharper, narrower words that mean what they say, like just or cruel.
This is a wish that I wish all politicians would or could follow. Too bad it won't happen.

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