Inequality and freedom mean different things to different people; whether inequality should encapsulate ethical concepts such as the desirability of a particular system of rewards or simply mean differences in income appears to be the subject of much debate. The World Bank conceptualises inequality as the dispersion of a distribution, whether that is income, consumption or some other welfare indicator or attribute of a population. When Lawrence Reed introduced his seven principles of sound public policy at a presentation at the Economic Club of Detroit, one item that stood out was his principle which stated that “free people are not equal and equal people are not free“. He was not addressing the foundation of equality in society but about income and material wealth a person may earn in the marketplace, essentially he was addressing “economic equality”. Hofstede touches on a number of postulates when he speaks of inequality within a society and how it is visible in the existence of different social classes: upper, the middle, and lower. According to Hofstede, classes differ in their access to and their opportunities to benefit from the advantages of society. He cites education and the benefits derived by advanced education. The World Bank has concluded that inequality in intelligence is part of the human condition and inescapably contributes to a substantial degree of income inequality that greater equality of opportunity cannot circumvent. This article examines a number of concepts which dispel formal equality theory and the belief that equality is achieved if the law treat likes alike is faulted.
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