In our Philosophy class, we discussed the idea of equal opportunity and if it truly exists, especially within the United States. The general consensus was that people are born into conditions very different from one another, giving some a head start to success and others some setbacks. An idea discussed to make this system more fair and have more equal opportunity is higher taxes on the rich and smaller taxes on the poor. While I completely agree that this effort is correct, I also believe that there needs to be a more equal distribution of said taxes. Many of the taxes in nice neighborhoods contribute to nicer schools, but the smaller taxes in worse neighborhoods contribute to schools that have worse resources, further continuing the vicious cycle of poverty. If there was a more equal distribution of taxes across a state, region, or town, then the schooling system would be more fair, resulting in a better chance of equal opportunity.

8 thoughts on “Fairness

  1. A more equal distribution of taxes is certainly in order but it is very difficult to enact these changes. Four types of tax systems exist: progressive, regressive, proportional, and lump-sum. In the progressive tax system which is what the United States uses, taxes are paid based on what income bracket one falls under. So lower income earning individuals pay smaller taxes than those that make higher incomes. In the regressive tax system, individuals that have lower incomes pay a greater amount of tax than individuals with higher incomes, this system is also dependent on income brackets. In the proportional tax system (flat tax) each individual pays say for example 5% of whatever they make. And lastly the lump-sum is where each individual pays the same amount of money regardless of income and bracket. Each of these systems hurts one group one way or another. In one system those that make more suffer and in other those that make less. Reforming the tax system is therefore no easy task.

    Smaller taxes in worse neighborhoods might actually be better to stay the way they are in the sense that even if by increasing taxes, education got better, a family might not have enough food to put on the table. The argument against this might be that it is the educated that are the future of tomorrow and it is therefore important they get the opportunities they need to succeed. Income inequality is huge problem facing America today and unless a solution can be found the gap between the richer and poor will continue to grow.

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