A Socialist Idea: Leveling the Playing Field

by CJFosdick on March 2, 2011

Obama wants to level America’s Playing Field. This idea comes up all the time. His idea of how to do this is to take from the wealthy and give the money to the poor, i.e., socialism. Here is some food for thought on the subject:

I get so tired of hearing that we need to level the playing field, I have to ask why? To what purpose? WHAT A HECK OF A MESSAGE TO GIVE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE JUST STARTING OUT IN LIFE.  How can we expect our youth to want to reach for the stars, to be the best they can be, to dare to dream the American dream, when everyone has equal life-experiences, you know, a level-playing field to get to the top? Would anyone even be able to find the top through such a large crowd.? The two are diametrically opposite. Either that, or it’s going to be so crowded at the top, that people will topple off the pinnacle into file 13 in the corner, has-beens before they ever get started. The level playing field is going to crush a lot of hopes and dreams that have stirred Americans for the last two plus centuries to become more than the humble beginnings they were born into.

A level playing field is not the answer to life’s problems. It might make sense to have a level playing field in many sports like football, but this level playing field for every player is only true at the very start of a game. When the whistle blows (birth) the field is not level anymore. The result or outcome of the game depends on the expertise of the players, their teamwork, their coaching, the enthusiasm of the crowds, the weather —you name it. There are so many variables at work in winning or losing, that the levelness of the playing field at the start of the game, becomes entirely incidental. Americans strive to be winners. It’s in our DNA. This is what the core of our greatness is, TO AIM FOR THE TOP. TO STRIVE TO BE THE BEST WE CAN BE.  It certainly isn’t up to the government to level all our playing fields. Just get the heck out of the way, government, and let us Americans have at it! We’ll show what we are made of!

Even at birth we cannot guarantee a level playing field. Someone born of a middleclass parent will have a different start in life than say a baby born of rich parents. Or a single mother on welfare. The health of the baby at birth makes a difference, and this depends partly on how the mother took care of her own body while pregnant. A birth defect will be a strike against a baby, which may or may not affect the rest of this baby’s life, depending on whether or not that defect can be made normal by an operation or other medical procedure. And of course, we cannot neglect to mention the differences genetic structure between babies; even siblings are usually quite different. I mean, the idea of a level playing field gets more and more out of reach all the time.

There are some games people play where it isn’t even desirable to have a level playing field. Skiing is a good example. Another is rock climbing. My point is that the idea of a level playing field is not really pertinent in many of life’s situations. In many more, a level playing field becomes a detriment. No matter how many laws are passed, how much money is thrown at the problem, how many studies are done to see if the playing field can be leveled. Guess what, it is still not possible to arrive at a level playing field for everyone.

It is the bumps and lumps of life that give us challenges to overcome. If our life is so smoothed out all we have to face is a level playing field, what would make us strive to improve, to get better? To have rocks in our way keeps us on our toes. This is what makes us try harder, to seek, to find better ways of rolling those rocks uphill.* This is life. Nobody can give us a level playing field, nor should they. In the end, if life is going to have any meaning, we ultimately have to face our own battles, solve our own problems, and roll our own rocks uphill.* Someone can help, but it still our own load. This is what builds character. A final thought. There is beauty in hills and mountains. Flat gets boring!

*Idea from: Grey’s Anatomy, 1/13/11

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