Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Trouble with Fair

It always bothers me when I hear myself or someone else begin an argument with, "It's not fair." I try to avoid it because I've long since given up on fairness as the measure. That doesn't mean that I'm happy with injustice and inequity, quite the opposite, but fairness just seems overrated or even dare one say a little selfish these days.

Fairness is on the agenda today as Public Sector workers take industrial action. We're told it's all about protecting pensions and there will undoubtedly be lots of debates and discussions about the fairness of change or the unfairness of change depending upon your point-of-view.

It seems to me that it would be much more productive to talk about what is equitable rather than fair. Perhaps what is righteous and God-honouring. In our current studies of Isaiah fairness doesn't get mentioned but righteousness and justice are constant companions throughout the text.

To some of us it doesn't seem very just that the very institutions that gave the highest quality rating to very suspect financial practices and instruments which in turn took us into the wort recession we've experienced, should also be dictating the policies of the government of Greece in it's current crisis. To some of us it looks less that righteous for highly paid executives to retire on handsome pensions while others who are significantly less well provided for pick up the pieces and the price-tag.

I'm not at all sure what a more equitable solution might look like, but all the time we debate what is fair I'm not sure we will ever come close to finding it.

I wish I had an answer!

No comments: