Equal opportunitiy is one of America’s 10 core values. Almost all Americans endorse this principle. Indeed, America is called the Land of Opportunity.
But, is it?
Americans are divided about how well our economic system is working. Americans are also divided when it comes to the reality of equal opportunities. As I mentioned yesterday, those who believe the system is working cite equal opportunities for all as a reason—while those who believe the system is not working cite the lack of equal opportunities for all.
Is it really such a big deal if we don’t have equal opportunities for all?
A sizable minority of Americans say it isn’t: 39% say “it is not really that big a problem if some people have more of a chance in life than others,” according to a 2013 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). A slim majority of Americans (53%) disagree, saying that “one of the big problems in this country is that we don’t give everyone an equal chance in life.”
Attitudes about this issue vary widely by religious affiliation. At one extreme, black Protestants are the most likely to say that it is a big problem if everyone doesn’t have an equal chance in life. Over three quarters (76%) believe so, compared to only 20% who say it isn’t that big a problem if everyone doesn’t have a fair shot in life.
At the other extreme, white Evangelicals are the least likely to see the lack of an equal chance for all as a big problem. Almost half (47%) say that it isn’t really that big of a problem if some people have more of a chance in life than others, compared to 42% who say that it is.
Where do you come out on this issue?
Do you believe that it really isn’t that big a problem if some people have more of a chance in life than others?
Or, do you believe that one of the big problems in our America is that we don’t give everyone an equal chance in life?
- Capitalism: Is it working for you?
- Capitalism: So what if everyone doesn’t have an equal chance in life?
- Capitalism: Does government help or hurt?
- Capitalism: What values should guide government policy?
- Capitalism: Is dysfunctional government the big problem after all?