What is fair? There seem to be people in this country that are all wrapped up in what is fair.
I think there is some confusion on what the term ‘fair’ actually means. I don’t mean the dictionary version, either.
Fairness is a concept, an idea. In one respect, it means that you do things with regard to being honest and not cheating. People have taken this to mean that you cannot have an advantage over another. They feel that that would be unfair.
But let’s take a look back at what made this country great to start with. It certainly wasn’t advantage. In other words, all of the folks that sailed to this country from England were in the same boat, so to speak. They all started out with the same cargo, close to the same skills (although that is a huge debate in itself), the same ideals. These people were to start a new colony here in America. There was trials, to be sure. Many books have been written on the Jamestown Colony, so I won’t rehash that here. But I will hit the high points.
In the 1500’s England wanted to begin a colonization of what is now America in order to gather the resources on the continent. A group of colonists established a foothold in what was known as Roanoke, in present day North Carolina. That colony subsequently disappeared, and to this day, despite myriad speculation, no one really knows exactly what happened to the Roanoke colonists. The Jamestown settlement fared better and despite numerous tribulation, managed to survive. The stories that came from settlers at this colony tell stories of people not willing to pull their share of the load, breakdowns in leadership, and numerous other tribulations nearly leading to the colony being destroyed. There were colonists in the fort that refused to help with reinforcements or farming. John Smith was forced to make a proclamation that “he who works not, eats not”.
The concept of fairness was that it would not be fair to the colony as a whole for some colonists to do all of the work, while some colonists sat by and still accepted food meant for all, without pitching in to help the colony. This concept was important than as it is now.
Why we have evolved as a society to believe that it is okay for people to sit idly by and collect the benefits of a working society with out actually working for those benefits, is beyond me. We have gone way beyond helping those in need to helping those who refuse to do anything get away with it. The people that work hard in this country and have earned a good life should have it without feeling that they need to give part of that to someone else who refuses to pull their weight. There are plenty of opportunities in this country for people to better themselves. The problem seems to be that people think it’s okay to take something for nothing, that is a clear erosion of moral values. We should address the problems of immorality in America. We don’t need to give people things to do nothing, we need to teach people that it’s wrong to take things you haven’t earned.
If there are those who are willing to work hard and earn more than others, they should not be led to believe that they should have to give up some of what they worked hard to earn. That isn’t what this country was founded on. Even the colonists at Jamestown knew what fair meant.