Fair Is Fair? Not Exactly

28 Apr

The single most amazing thing to me about this “fairness” rhetoric coming from the Democrats is that they are never challenged to reveal exactly what fairness means to them.   I have never heard one question posed to the president, the one KEY question for anyone really wanting to be constructive — “Mr. President, please define exactly what you mean by fairness?”  Talk about getting a free ride — I would think this would prove to everyone how gingerly the press treats him.

As a matter of fact, the term “fair” carries with it a highly SUBjective meaning, not OBjective at all.  And what’s funny is that we all know that — unless we specifically define what “fair” means in a particular circumstance, we all know that it will mean different things to you and to me.  At my regular Thursday morning breakfast meeting, we often debate the meaning of “fair”, especially as regards a tax collection system.

Yet Obama gets a “bye” on his extremely loose use of the term, obviously just using the term to get people fired up — because we may not really know what “fairness” is, but we really do want it, don’t we?  And when our president tells us we are NOT being treated fairly, we want it “in spades”.

But, regarding our tax system, is it REALLY fair that the average effective tax rate for top earners is 30% (which it is — approximately), and that for the lowest earners is something like -12% (yes, the tax system actually pays them money).  Maybe you think so.  Or not.  But the point can be logically and passionately argued among intelligent people.

And we could list dozens of examples where “Fair” is not a broadly understood criteria.  Without a clear definition of the term from the user of the term, it should not be used.  Not even in the dirty world of politics.

Your thoughts?


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