“I happen to have a talent for allocating capital.

But my ability to use that talent is completely dependent on the society I was born into.

If I’d been born into a tribe of hunters, this talent of mine would be pretty worthless.”

Source: Warren Buffet

Random chance – our genes, our countries of birth, the socioeconomic backgrounds we grow up in – and not effort, hugely influence the opportunities available for us to pursue. Due to these factors that are outside our control, we have unequal starting points.

A fair and just environment, then, perhaps would address these inevitable inequalities by providing equality of opportunity, so that each of us can reach our potential.

But just as we have unequal starting points, we also have unequal end points. Some just have greater potential – and will run faster, lift heavier weights, produce more.

So while we might provide equality of opportunity, it’s not clear we should provide equality in reward, because of the inevitable disparities in performance. There’s got to be a carrot for those who are able to be rewarded for their efforts.

“…he strenuously disputed that we start off being unequal.

But some people can run 100 yards in 10 seconds, others will take 15 seconds, and you can do nothing about it.

If you try to give all the same results, then nobody will make the effort to run in 10 seconds.”

Source: Lee Kuan Yew