Excellent story and great reminder of the importance of focusing on opportunity versus outcome. I remember reading this story in elementary school as my teacher showed us the dystopian future that would come about if we allowed “the Reds” to take over. It’s probably worth noting that the Berlin Wall was already down at that point, but she was still very much committed to the McCarthyism mindset.

All that aside, history has shown us that freedom and equality are often at odds. As Will and Ariel Durant describe in The Lessons of History,

“Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies….Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way.”

With every move to drive equality, we need to sacrifice some amount of freedom. Communism sought to drive equality by sacrificing liberty. Free market capitalism increases freedom at the expense of equality.

I don’t know where the answer should lie on this continuum. But maybe the most important part is to recognize the corresponding trade-off that we make with each decision. And make sure we’re focusing on a concept of fairness. Not just equality for the sake of equality.

Writing helps me realize just how little I know.