An equal opportunity society starts with the children; and it is only government that can make that happen. The child of a poor parent must have the same opportunity as the child of a rich parent to a degree that is reasonable, relative to the taxable wealth of the nation as a whole. Can anyone of wealth inside a given society or nation, in good conscience, say that a child that is without a good home, without adequate nutrition, without good health care, without the opportunity of learning opportunities equal to the wealthy is, himself or herself at fault?
Also, an equal opportunity society ends with the old. Did that person have the opportunity through out his or her working years, the opportunity to have a job or profession that paid a wage that provided for self and family with the living and learning environment described heretofore. And have an adequate retirement income without having to be expert in financial matters due to a required contribution to a social-security program that was provided by the government. A contribution, by the way, that had no income cap.
The government, in addition to providing a healthy climate for goods and services inventiveness and productivity, its role also, is to create and adequately fund an intellectual and physical infrastructure that provides that—the child of poor or middle class parent(s) has an opportunity at upward mobility equal to a child of rich parent(s). This will be accomplished by adequate funding of public schools, extending the school day and removing the assignment of homework, providing adequate numbers of teaching staff, providing a quality school lunch program. The taxation structure–income and all other taxes and fees–must provide for a) access to good nutrition, b) access to adequate housing, c) access to free, quality health care and d) equal access to advanced education to every primary and secondary school graduate that desires it.
“A society good for children will be good for everyone.” From Guerrillas of Peace by Blas Bonepane