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Equality of Opportunity

Equality of opportunity – it’s a lovely phrase that’s regularly trotted out by those who wield power in society. Equality in 21st century Australia isn’t a topic many people raise. It’s always “equality of opportunity”. Those people who trot out that phrase with monotonous regularity seem to have forgotten life is a handicap race.

Irrespective of what you think about the horse racing industry, handicapped races are handicapped races. If a horse has won a few races and it’s starting out with a good pedigree, that horse carries more weight than a horse that hasn’t won any races whose parents come from the wrong side of the track. The purpose of a handicap race is to give every horse a chance of winning the race.

Let’s turn our attention to the human handicap race of life. It seems that in the human stakes you do everything you can to stop those who have a Buckley’s and none chance of winning from ever finishing the race of life, let alone win it. It starts from the moment of conception. If your parents are well off and have good jobs it’s highly likely they’ll have the right food and do all the good things money can buy to ensure their offspring have the best start to life.

If your parents are poor, have a psychiatric issue, a drug addiction you start off second best. No brand spanking new private hospital for you. Your chance of birth complications are much higher than those who can access the best care money can buy. It gets worse as you get older, currently 1 in 33 Victorian children are in care. These kids don’t get the same support as those with parents who can look after them. Their rates of incarceration, sexual abuse and poor educational outcomes are much worse than other children.

It gets worse as you get older. In Australia you have to use a public education system that is poorly funded and staffed in comparison to a private education sector that is heavily funded by the public purse. An inability to get a good education has a lifelong impact on children. You know the story – poor job prospects, poor wages, part time insecure work, no chance of buying a home, ongoing problems for your children, the story goes on and on.

The racing industry wouldn’t dream of having a reverse handicap race. When it comes to humans those who own the means of production, exchange, distribution and communication are more than happy to promote reverse handicap races for those who do the work in this community.

Dr. Joseph Toscano