Re: Blame @ Charles Manning
The analogy is misguided. It relies on a genetic predisposition that could only be realized with copious amounts of training and resource investment and then it used as some kind of benchmark by which we should all somehow measure ourselves against.
Also, your tilt at the mythical equality champion falls a bit flat once people realize that only a small minority subscribe to a Marxist utopia or other similar paradigm. The reality is that equality, even in the loosest of definition, doesn't exist today, even in the richest nations. If it did exist, outside of the equal opportunity we share to have our mortal remains returned to the earth, many of the issues that plague us today might be less prominent.
The problem that a Tom Perkins or other 1% self-made martyr fails to understand is that we don't begin in the same starting blocks. In the 100m sprint of life, to rework your sprinter analogy, most of the 1% began somewhere around or after the 50m mark. Almost all of the richest came from at least a median household, and few who begin in a median household end up back at the starting line. It's an imperfect analogy, as it's a race few ever "complete" before they die, and people run backwards for a variety of reasons. But he's complaining that others are pointing out that he's further along and they think he got an unfair start, they were unduly hampered, etc.
That's not to say he didn't earn his wealth, but who's to say that if he were placed in different circumstances as a child, he would have ever attained what he did? The statistics say he likely wouldn't have advanced as far, and he might have just been a really dedicated coal miner or assembly line worked. Luck of the draw is more to do with the circumstances of your birth than the DNA you acquired during conception.
And finally, we really need to set aside the whole notion that your worth is measured only by what someone else is willing to pay you for a specific set of skills that may have nothing to do with survival or flourishing. We all have basic needs to meet, and if those are met, I don't see how it is anyone's business what I do after that.
I hope that a bit more bipartisan work towards revamping the idea of welfare (individual and corporate) into a basic income or guaranteed income notion, much like what some Swiss are trying to push. Everyone of a certain age and legal status (commonly legal permanent residents and citizens) are given a stipend each year that covers the costs of basic living, and do it as a cash benefit. Whatever that person wants to do with it, they can. This idea has proponents on both the right and left, because it replaces other inefficient forms of welfare, reduces bureaucratic overhead, is easy to implement, and since everyone is getting the same check, no one can whine like a jilted 5 year old on the playground about not getting their fair share. Tax based on income earned beyond that stipend, and keep it roughly equal up the chain. You could also do away with minimum wages or other wage supports and people can move wherever they want for a job without fear of losing benefits (a huge problem in the US today).