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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

Meritocracy vs. Equality: The Dilemma of Tackling Income Inequality

In the discourse surrounding the pursuit of a more fair society, the concepts of meritocracy and equality often find themselves at odds. This discussion delves into the complexities of addressing income inequality through interventionist policies. This article focuses on the inherent challenges and unintended consequences of attempts to impose equity, particularly through the lens of real-world examples.

The philosophical underpinnings of this debate are deeply rooted in the contrasting views of justice and fairness. On one hand, the notion of meritocracy emphasises rewards based on individual effort and talent, suggesting that a fair society is one where individuals have the freedom to rise according to their abilities. On the other hand, ideological interventionists believe that the principle of equality calls for a more direct intervention in the distribution of resources and opportunities, aiming to level the playing field for all members of society, regardless of their starting points.

Economists have long debated the impact of interventionist policies on economic efficiency and individual liberty. The consensus among the most prominent and knowledgeable is that while the intentions behind such policies are promoted as noble, their execution in every setting leads to adverse outcomes, including reduced incentives for productivity, innovation, and economic growth. The experiences of the Northern Territory, with its unique socio-economic challenges and diverse population, offer a microcosm through which to explore these issues.

Psychological insights further complicate the picture, The evidence on this matter is sound and settled, and interventionist policies aimed at imposing equity inadvertently affect individual motivation, self-efficacy, and the development of resilience. Policies that prioritise equality of outcomes over equality of opportunities undermine the intrinsic motivation to strive for excellence and the sense of personal achievement.

The unintended consequences of such interventionism are not limited to economic and psychological dimensions. They also extend to the realm of social cohesion and trust. In attempts to redress income inequality through redistributive policies, governments inadvertently foster divisions and resentment between different segments of society. This is particularly pertinent in the context of Australia's diverse society, where policies aimed at promoting equality must navigate the complexities of cultural, regional, and economic differences. In every situation, they fail, yet the financial incentives to continue these policies under the guise of benevolence consistently impose malevolence.

Real-world examples from Australia, including the Northern Territory, illustrate the challenges of interventionist approaches to income inequality. Policies such as income support programs and targeted welfare initiatives, while designed to support the most vulnerable, consistently come under scrutiny for their long-term lack of effectiveness and sustainability. In the Northern Territory, where remote Indigenous communities face significant socio-economic disadvantages, the impact of such policies is a subject of ongoing debate. Yet, the evidence was reportedly clear in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and the last two decades. Ultimately, after over 70 years of evidence and constant validation, the robust industries of both government and taxpayer funded NGOs that profit from the pain and suffering caused by these policies—the billions spent and thousands harmed and killed - is marketed as a crisis that only "they' have the solutions for.

In the realm of public policy, a frequently echoed sentiment is the purported necessity to strike a precarious equilibrium between providing immediate relief and cultivating enduring self-sufficiency and economic engagement. This notion, while elegantly packaged, harbours an implicit optimism that these initiatives will somehow alleviate the very distress they perpetuate. Entrusting the resolution of these issues to individuals whose pecuniary and emotional dividends are tethered to the perpetuation of failure is as misguided as commissioning a cabal of paedophiles to plan and construct a sanctuary for children. In this scenario, expectations of safety and security would not only be profoundly misplaced but dangerously naïve.

The concept of democide, or the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder, emerges as an extreme illustration of the ultimate failure of interventionist policies when taken to their logical extremes. The term serves as a stark reminder of the potential for government actions, however well-intentioned, to lead to destructive outcomes when they infringe upon individual freedoms and responsibilities.

The delicate balance between meritocracy and equality continues to be a pivotal issue in policy discussions across the globe, with Australia and the Northern Territory providing valuable case studies. The pursuit of equality, particularly in the form of economic equity, often involves a series of interventionist measures designed to redistribute resources and opportunities. However, the efficacy and consequences of these measures must be critically examined, not only in terms of their immediate impact but also in terms of the long-term effects they harbour on societal structures, economic vitality, and individual agency.

The economic framework of a society is intricately linked to its policies on meritocracy and equality. Interventionist policies, while aimed at reducing disparities, stifle economic dynamism. The case of the Northern Territory, with its significant reliance on government funding and interventions, highlights how such policies inadvertently create dependencies rather than empower communities. The challenge lies in fostering an environment that encourages entrepreneurship, innovation, and self-reliance, which are essential for sustainable economic growth.

In multi-ethnic and culturally diverse societies like Australia, the impact of interventionist policies on social cohesion can be devastating. The Northern Territory, home to a rich tapestry of Indigenous cultures, faced unique challenges in balancing the need for economic equity with the preservation of cultural identity. Over the past 70 years, it has failed, and many tribal customs, languages, and beliefs have been lost as a result. The unintended consequences of the imposed policies created a sense of alienation and a loss of cultural autonomy, underscoring the need today for a more inclusive approach to policy formulation.

In a lamentable turn of events, those driven by a malevolent ideology, particularly those intoxicated by the corridors of power in Canberra, alongside numerous adherents of Australia's communist and socialist factions, have evidently turned a blind eye to the countless lives obliterated under the very doctrines they espouse. Far from championing inclusivity, their actions betray an intent to enforce a brand of elitism, erecting a new apartheid, not dismantling barriers. Their failed vehicle "the Voice" campaign.

I have lived and worked in the Northern Territory for over 4 decades. I have extensively explored the social and economic policies affecting society, particularly focusing on welfare, education, and the concept of human achievement. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to outline the potential harm imposed by certain interventionist policies, especially those related to welfare and attempts to engineer social outcomes.

Well-intentioned welfare programs inadvertently create a dependency culture. By providing aid without requiring employment, education, or other forms of personal development, these programs reduce individuals' motivation to seek employment or improve their economic situation, leading to long-term dependency on government assistance. This dependency undermines the principles of self-reliance and personal responsibility, which are crucial for individual and societal prosperity.

When welfare benefits approach or exceed what one can earn through entry-level or low-skilled jobs, there is little financial incentive for individuals to seek employment. This disincentive leads to a decrease inlabourr force participation, which not only affects the economic productivity of a society but also the sense of purpose and self-worth that individuals derive from work.

When people are not employed, they can not attain social capital, that is the networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate cooperation within or among groups. Expansive welfare and entitlement programs erode social capital by weakening the family unit, community structures, and the impetus for mutual aid. As the state (or Territory) assumes roles traditionally filled by families and communities, the bonds that hold these units together weaken, leading to a decline in social cohesion and an increase in social isolation and social detsruction (crime).

Policies that aim to equalise outcomes without regard to individual effort or talent undermine meritocratic principles that drive innovation and progress. By not rewarding merit adequately, society loses its competitive edge and discourages high achievers from pursuing excellence. This has led to a general decline in societal standards and achievements as the incentives for hard work and innovation are diminished.

Welfare programs and entitlement programs stigmatise recipients, making them feel like they are not contributing members of society. This stigmatisation affect individuals' self-esteem and their perceived agency over their lives. By being cast as passive recipients of aid rather than active agents capable of improving their circumstances, individuals lose the motivation to change their situation, further entrenching the cycle of dependency.

Australian and many localised NT government policies have created cultures of dependency, disincentivized work, eroded social capital, undermined meritocracy, and led to stigmatisation and loss of individual agency. The only way to trade out of such a dilemma is by removing harmful policies and creating new policies that encourage personal responsibility, self-reliance, and active participation in the workforce as means to foster individual and societal prosperity.

Yet, when the machinery of government finds its gears greased by the crises spawned from its own policies, and a myriad of NGOs draw their sustenance from the perpetuated anguish and misfortune of others for profit, the impetus for resistance must originate from the citizenry. It is against the political elite and these NGOs that the public must rally, for without such pushback, the cycle of suffering is doomed to persist indefinitely. Those most acutely afflicted by this engineered distress lack the resources or influence to extricate themselves from the quagmire of policies that tax their existence without offering respite. From the author.

The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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