Modern politics is generally framed as a struggle between freedom and equality. But which is the greater end? Although both are important, in accepting either we’ve lowered our sights from the classical ideal of virtue. The modern mindset can be demonstrated by two examples: taxes and the minimum wage. Opponents of tax hikes often appeal to the right of individuals to keep the fruits of their own labor, while advocates argue the wealthy must “pay their fair share.”
The same applies to the minimum wage. Critics decry government criminalizing arrangements the parties involved have freely agreed to simply because it may not seem “fair” to an outsider, while supporters counter that everyone is entitled to a “living wage.” To be sure, freedom and equality are indispensable to our republic (although equality of opportunity as opposed to equality of outcome), but both fall short of the ideal of virtue.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The Federalist. A few snippets: