Tag Archives: inequality

Body Inequality Requires Government Intervention

While sweating off a third set of bicep curls this morning, it struck me that rapidly widening body inequality screams out for government intervention – a realization clearly sharpened by our weekend family cookie exchange.

I left for the exchange with double batches each of carrot cake and pumpkin-chocolate cookies and returned after over-indulging in beer, Sloppy Joes and turkey salad with what must be 20,000 calories on a pure pleasure platter. Nearly 15,000 of these calories remain screaming at me, demanding continuous consumption from their unconcealed perch on our kitchen counter.

Less than 48 hours after the cookie exchange concluded, I’ve already gained six-tenths of a pound. Undoubtedly, I will gain more weight before I rid the house of the platter and its constant temptation. My futility now clear, I realize that diet and exercise is an illusion – perhaps even a delusion intended to distract me from my rightful demand that we all should appear equal. Under our current laws, I will never achieve full body equality with the many Americans who are always able to look great regardless of their behavior. I diet and exercise more than at least some of these people, though admittedly that hasn’t always been the case. Given this inequity, I am launching a campaign to demand that new laws be passed to ensure body equality.

Even with the efforts I’ve made, it’s clear there are other people who have less belly fat, fewer chins and zero evidence of unattractive man boobs in the post-shower mirror. Add to this body inequality tufts of back hair, white spots in my meek beard growth and a two-inch vertical leap and it’s clear that we live in a world with body unfairness so deep that government must step in to eradicate these discrepancies.

The new laws must force people who are thin and muscular to immediately cut their exercise levels and adjust their food consumption until their body mass index reaches the average. If stopping exercise and expanding fat intake doesn’t bring down the top 20 percent – and particularly the best-looking one percent – to average appearance, then government may need to intervene to inject fat from volunteers directly into these former body elites. Once we’ve brought the top 20 percent to the average, we’ll need to reset the target and push the body fortunate down to this new and further-lowered average to ensure we keep moving closer and closer to true body equality.

Of course, body equality can’t all be fixed with a simple body mass index adjustment. Good teeth are an element of attractiveness and I don’t have them. Government could easily step in to fix this inequality by requiring those with good teeth to wear sugar caps on their teeth until each person reaches an appropriate number of cavities. I would have had fewer cavities if I had flossed and brushed my teeth more as a child, but there are plenty of people who have far fewer cavities with substantially less devotion to dental hygiene than I have had so this cavity-expansion requirement makes eminent sense. Fixing this element of body inequality will create a better-balanced appearance playing field, a critical element of creating global fairness.

Tall men historically advance faster in the business world than short men, as Malcolm Gladwell points out in his book Blink. Thirty percent of male Fortune 500 CEOs, according to Gladwell’s research, are over 6’2” tall, while less than four percent of American males achieve this height. I’m only 5’11”, so the legislation I’m advocating requires the government to develop surgical techniques to ensure that no American male is taller than 6’0”. The average American male is 5’9”, so this is a particularly generous provision of my proposed legislative package, allowing for some people to remain taller than others simply because of the DNA they were fortunate to inherit at birth. Of course, surgical techniques must also be developed to allow the shortest Americans to have their height adjusted upward. It is essential that this aspect of the height adjustment be done painlessly for those at the lowest end of the height scale.

Clearly, I am no supporter of equal body outcomes ideology, the body equivalent of communist political ideology. If I did believe in equal body outcomes, I would adjust my legislative proposal to demand that plastic surgery be mandated to ensure that we are all perceived as equally attractive to a panel of innocent children. This move, though, would require all Americans to go through a constant series of appearance adjustments until we achieve this equity utopia. However, experts tell me that transferring some redistributable appearance assets from the good looking to those at the bottom end of the appearance scale may not be enough to sustainably bring some of us up to the appearance average. Change of this magnitude doesn’t seem necessary at this point, but I do believe we need to keep the option open in case too many body inequalities remain and a majority of Americans feel less than body equal after this first legislative package is adopted and fully implemented.

I hope you’ll consider joining me in my legislative quest for better body equality in the United States. I am far from the first to recognize the inequities of our current system, which allows individuals to maintain full rights to the DNA they receive at birth and to benefit individually from their own diet and exercise. Government must step in to force the transfer of appearance assets to create a fair society in which I feel more comfortable. If you join me in my effort, a world where no one has a beautiful body for us to covet or envy is within our reach.

Nearly 13,000 calories are still screaming my name. If we succeed, my consumption will have only modest impact on the new body equality average index, so don’t expect the platter to last long.

Race, Gays, Gender and Segregation

Fifty years after Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech came to describe a nation that might someday no longer face torment from racial segregation, identifying the appropriate government role in facilitating equality remains subject to intense, ongoing debate.

It isn’t always easy to discern which political issues are truly about establishing equal rights versus increasingly common efforts to use equality as a cloak for old-fashioned political payoffs that confer advantages on a favored voting bloc.

Skin color, gender and sexual orientation don't change how the Garden of the Gods appears. Our laws should follow suit.
Skin color, gender and sexual orientation don’t change how the Garden of the Gods appears. Our laws should follow suit.

I’ve been giving these subjects a great deal of thought and study as I work on the third book in the “Melting Point” series, “Doing Unto Others,” because it suggests our policies need to be developed around the concept of “doing unto others as we would have done unto ourselves.” This concept was spoken by Muhammad, is written in the Bible’s Book of Matthew, was taught by Rabbi Hillel and is contained in the teachings of Confucius as well as in Buddhist and Hindu scriptures.

The “Golden Rule,” as it is often called, is a core unifying concept in mankind, yet is frequently ignored in governing the United States and other nations, with the Congressional and IRS exemptions from Obamacare just the latest affront to the concept that government shouldn’t do to its people what it is unwilling to live itself.

To determine which rights should be pursued because they are truly about establishing equal opportunities, I suggest that a simple question leads to the answer: “Does the imposition of equal treatment harm others in a manner they cannot mitigate?”

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Language Segregation a Tough Barrier, Study Finds

Growing racial diversity in the U.S. student population is not preventing a spread of segregation, with African American and Hispanic students attending “more segregated schools than at any time in the past 20 years,” notes University of Texas at Austin Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig in his Cloaking Inequity blog post referencing his new co-authored study: “Nearly 50 years post-Jim Crow: Persisting and Expansive School Segregation for African American, Latina/o and ELL students in Texas.”

One finding of the study highlights the risks of language isolation, an issue that drives societal upset in my novel Melting Point 2040:

“Some policies that have been adopted with the intent of improving language acquisition, as in the past, have the effect of increasing linguistic isolation: for example, research has found that school systems that are racially diverse often adopt “clustered bilingual” programs in an effort to best serve the linguistic needs of ELL students. As in the past, a linguistic rationale used by school districts in terms of meeting the needs of ELL has the effect (intentionally or unintentionally) of increasing isolation of ELL students and reducing exposure to native speakers during the school day.”

Creating a melting pot society in which immigrants integrate into the broader community is an important component of creating national stability, longevity and, ultimately, elements of unity. It turns out that integration also improves success rates for individuals integrating into broader society, making the efforts of some to promote racial, ethnic, religious or language segregation as part of self-serving political agendas all the more troubling.

See the link below for more on this study’s findings:

Troubling Segregation Trends Continue

 

Thoughtful concerns about re-segregation

In Melting Point 2040 and Secession 2041, I focus on the consequences to the nation from re-segregation and politically exploited division. The attached article does a nice job of explaining the nearer-term consequences of re-segregation on America’s children.

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/04/19/4191812/school-inequality-hurts-all-kids.html