Tuesday, August 18, 2020

On equality of opportunity vs equality of outcome

Back to basics, I very much enjoyed the following timeless piece written by John Mendzela after the 2015 Rugby World Cup:

"We’ve won the Rugby World Cup again! But now it’s time for a resolution to make 2016 better than the year before. Something that matters. Here’s what you can do.

You’ve been hearing that the greatest economic and social problem of our time is inequality. Until now, you might have dismissed that notion. You might have said it was enough to give everyone a fair go – a reasonable chance to compete, and succeed through persistence and hard work. Just create that equality of opportunity.

But think harder. That’s not enough. It can’t be. Life teaches us some people will take those equal opportunities and do something with them, while others simply won’t. In fact, equality of opportunity just encourages individual differences to shine. What we need is equality of outcome – making sure everybody ends up the same.

It’s a big challenge. Where to start? How can Kiwis show we really care, and inspire others? It’s obvious. Start where we’re known best globally – on the rugby pitch. Take the All Blacks – a grotesque example of inequality. They score lots more points than opponents, win almost all their games, and collect far more international awards than other teams. It’s an unequal outcome, and so it’s unfair. A national disgrace!

It’s time to put that right. Please join KAURI – Kiwis Against Unjust Rugby Inequality.To start, KAURI will tackle inequality of “income” – the points that get scored in rugby.To ensure the teams have equal outcomes, we just need to total up the points scored in a game and share them out evenly at the end. 25-15 becomes 20-20. Simple!

Achieving equal outcomes for players will be harder. Luckily, we have all those TV statistics. Take the 20 shared points for the team, divide them up in proportion to the time players spent on the pitch, and credit each one with scoring that many. It gets complicated. We’ll need computers. But it’ll be equal – maybe 1.17 points per hour.

That will ensure equal outcomes going forward. But KAURI can’t stop there. There’s inequality of “wealth” to deal with too. New Zealand can set an example to combat injustice and achieve equal outcomes for all. It won’t be easy, but let’s find a way to hand back those Rugby World Cups – especially the latest - and equalise World Cup outcomes for all teams everywhere. And then we can re-write all the record books…

KAURI needs your support. Please join us. These famous Kiwi rugby names have:

“It felt good at the time, winning all those games. But it was wrong. I know that now. I’ll dedicate my new career to equal rugby outcomes with KAURI.” (Richie McCaw)

“When I think back to all my World Cup tries, I feel really ashamed. Opponents tried hard too, and never scored any. KAURI can redistribute all mine.” (Julian Savea)

“KAURI will lead rugby into a fairer future. Things will change, but we’ll still have challenges. Future All Black teams will be famous for kind tackles.” (Steve Hansen) "

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