Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The 2012 Presidential Race - Equal Opportunity for all?

Like so many on the Right, Jennifer Rubin over at WaPo trots out the equal opportunity line in a post today purporting to tell Mitt Romney how to proceed with his Presidential campaign:

Fifth: We need to make opportunity, not equality of results, our focus. That means supporting school choice, requiring job training for unemployment-benefit recipients, promoting English immersion and ending government subsidization of ever more expensive college tuition.

As yes, the panacea of equal opportunity. To use it means that first, you have to acknowledge that there is NOT equal opportunity in the U.S. right now - which many Republicans do not. Then second, to really give equal opportunity, you have to support a significant government infrastructure, because true, unfettered free market capitalism is all about RESTRAINING opportunity, since profit maximization by private actors is inherently diminished if EVERYONE has the same opportunity to make a buck.

Especially gauling is the required job training approach to welfare. We've actually had a requirement to get training and work in place since Bill Clinto was president, but that requirement is seriously hampered by lack of childcare that ins affordable, lack of effective transportation options in many ares of the country, and the lack of funding at the state level for the training programs themselves.

Oh, and equal opportunity won't put the economy on track, or get more people hired, or get more people educated. Only policies focused on equal outcomes do that, since outcomes mean dollars to spend in the economy. You can buy a house on opportunity.

But boy, it sure SOUNDS good!

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