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Three Kids and a Scooter

What's true equality?

By Will Offensicht  |  February 12, 2010

If you've got a few minutes to think about a social justice issue, please consider the following classic dilemma:

Take three kids and a scooter.  Anne says the scooter should be given to her because she's the only one who knows how to ride it.  Bob says the scooter should be handed to him as he's so poor he has no other toys to play with.  Carla says the scooter is hers because it's the fruit of her labor - she did the research, rounded up the materials, and built it by the sweat of her brow.

How do we decide between these three claims?  They're all equally vehement.  Are they all equally legitimate?

We at Scragged don't believe that there are three legitimate claims.  We recognize only one: Carla's.  The scooter belongs to Carla because she made it; it would equally be hers if she had bought it with her own money.

Our sense of pity and charity speak to the plights of the other two and would lead us to recommend to Carla to put the scooter to the best possible use, but we can't lend the other two claims any sort of inherent legitimacy.  We thought we'd throw this issue out to you for your comments.

We'd particularly like to understand more about the type of thinking that lends some people to believe that the other two claims on the scooter are valid in any sense at all, or should be enforceable somehow.

Our current political climate would appear to say, "Force Carla to make two more scooters and make Anne teach them all how to ride."  Is that representative of current thinking, or would the politically correct notion be to take the scooter from Carla and give it to one of the others?  If so, which one?  And who decides?

Too bad you can't just share the scooter - with Audrey Hepburn.
If only politics were like the movies!