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Friday, September 30, 2011


The Advantages of Inequality

The Goodwill is a nonprofit organization that provides rehabilitation for and hires disabled people. They have created a very unique niche in the nonprofit sector by creating a sustainable way to help the disabled. They collect used items and sell them, which not only creates jobs, but raises funds for rehabilitation costs.

Disabled people are a very unique, but valuable workforce. They are a good investment in the workforce because many people can be rehabilitated when joining the workforce, they have higher retention rates, there are tax breaks (which the libertarians don’t favor, but businesses appreciate) and the hiring of disabled people portrays companies with an image of social responsibility.

This example illustrates the statement that people are not created equal. While it seems like most inequalities create major life challenges, they can also be used as an advantage. An extremely successful organization like The Goodwill wouldn’t exist without inequality. People that value social responsibility shop at The Goodwill to support their cause. The Goodwill also has very low prices that frugal people can afford. Poor families can buy their children winter coats at an affordable price because the Goodwill exists. College kids can furnish their apartments.

I once volunteered at The ARC, a similar organization, on a Saturday as a school project and learned a lot about these organizations. They are there to reach out to people who desperately need it. Mentally ill people are often left to fend for themselves, but the ARC finds them and helps them. They provide jobs, food, clothing, and most importantly rehabilitation. They are able to refresh and renew people that have not been productive members of society and turn them into a valuable part of the workforce. Every person has something valuable to contribute to the economy. It’s important to highlight that uniqueness and use those advantages to increase production. Inequality makes life unique, exciting, and dynamic. It creates new challenges and spurs innovation.

“Even between brothers there exist the most marked differences in physical and mental attributes. Nature never repeats itself in its creations; it produces nothing by the dozens, nor are its products standardized. Each man who leaves her workshop bears the imprint of the individual, the unique, the never-to-recur” (Mises 28).

While I do not disagree with a single claim you have made about the beneficial nature of The Goodwill and the things that they do for surrounding communities, I would like to ask an opinion-based question: Do you feel that, rather than achieving great advantages in spite of inequality, that we are actually more capable, and are at an even more advantageous position, because of inequality?
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