Home > Blogging, Christianity, Faith > What Do You Want, Equality Or Freedom?

What Do You Want, Equality Or Freedom?

Maybe, a few months ago, you heard about the business owner who decided to change the way he paid everyone who worked for him.  He decided to basically pay everyone the same.  He brought everyone up to $70,000 per year in salary.  The way he accomplished this was by reducing his own salary from around $1 million per year to $70,000 as well.

He gained a lot of press by doing this.  Several people lauded him for this, while others criticized him for it.  It is interesting to hear about the results.

I read recently that this CEO was having to rent out space in his house in order to make his own house payments.  His business was also losing people because suddenly they were being paid the same as those who did not do the same level of work they did.  For example, an administrative assistant was making the same as a high level leader in the company.

Why did this happen?  Because you can have equality or you can have freedom, but you can’t have both.

When you force equality on people, they lose the incentive to strive for more.  If you are a mid-level manager making $70,000 and upper-level management makes the same, who wants to become an upper-level manager anymore?

People may give lip service to wanting this kind of equality, but what they really want is freedom.  What is this freedom for?  Freedom for opportunity to better oneself.  Freedom to strive and freedom for more incentive in life.  Freedom of accomplishment.

Equality sounds wonderful on the surface.  However, forcing it does not accomplish what it promises.  Instead, it robs of us of the freedom of accomplishment in life.

I believe we are designed to strive for something greater in life.  You can see it in the stories in the Bible.  Abraham sought a land that God would show him.  Israel sought the Promised Land.  David sought to kill a giant after fighting lions and bears.

Take our ability to achieve away from us and we will seek it elsewhere.

  1. robshep
    August 31, 2015 at 9:32 am

    This is so true.

  2. jonstolpe
    August 31, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Great thoughts, Larry.

  3. August 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Good point Larry. While it sounded good on paper, I imagine the CEO now rues the day he decided to do that. That is like putting a man with barely a high school education at the same pay as one with an MBA. Yikes!

  4. September 4, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    ….and if you make below poverty wages and are only hired part time they take away your freedom to achieve anything greater. Equality and Freedom aren’t exclusive. Insuring everyone with a decent standard of living won’t turn the world into Harrison Bergeron. It isn’t about exact literal equality, but about chances and second chances and who deserves them.

    • September 4, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      If I’m forced to raise the wages I pay, I’m going to raise my prices and pass that off to the consumer. Then no one is better off.

      • September 4, 2015 at 10:33 pm

        Not if your a business that was meant to survive. Walmart could easily afford to pay all of it’s employees $11 and still be immensely profitable. Sure many small businesses couldn’t do it but it is weird how the Free Market suddenly isn’t great when it hits the employer and not the employee.

  5. September 4, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Oh and yes, even with that price they could still afford to keep the same prices. Basic Economics shows that much. No one is asking for everyone to make $1 Mill an hour. They are just pointing to you, saying how many second chances you got, (which if you live in a fairly decent environment you did) and asking “don’t we all deserve a decent chance and a standard of living like you got for free from the circumstances of your birth?

    In no way is giving someone else a decent chance taking away people’s abilities to succeed. If they are, take it out on the people trying to play them against each other. The bigtime CEOs who can see the economic realities better than random observers and their employees.

    • September 4, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      In Seattle, where the conpany I referred to is located, a restaurant owner is struggling because minimum wage is $11. The push is for $15 minimum. The only way for that guy to survive is to raise his prices. And so it it is for most business owners. Whether it’s Walnart, who can absorb the higher costs, or the small business, who can’t, they will all raise their prices.

      Now, I think it behooves a business owner to take care of their employees as best they can. But they also have to take care of all of the stakeholders.

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