The Friedmans view on fairness can be summarized in one simple phrase of theirs: "Life is not fair." That's just how things are. Some are born with natural talents in areas where most people lack endowment. Some are more successful and have more luck than the average Joe. The Friedmans believed that although all people are equal before God and should be equal before the law, the freedom to succeed and pursue your talents is a personal liberty and part of what makes America such a proud country today. Personal freedom is interrupted when the freedom to succeed is taken away in the name of fairness. The Friedmans see the idea of fair shares as being far too simplistic, essentially impossible, and ultimately not what people want.
The Friedmans couldn't be more right. First of all, it is ridiculous to assume that fairness can be implemented for all people. Fairness is only capable of being achieved with cooperation from the individuals involved. If a person who has no talent in basketball chooses not to try no matter how much you push, tutor, and pressure them, how could you possible ensure fairness? Who is to determine what is fair in the first place? Everybody has a different definition for fair. How can it possibly be determined? Lets say there a small group of people who decide what is fair and implement those rules. In that case, the individuals belonging to the small group are not equal to everybody else.
In Lois Lowry's The Giver, there is a community in which the theme is sameness. Among other things, all the children's birthdays are celebrated on the same day and at the age of 12 they are all given job assignments they must keep for the rest of their lives. This is in the effort to keep things fair and equal. Of course this sort of system does not work and obviously all people are not fair because there is a group of community leaders who make the decisions for the entire community.
So then what is to be done? Maybe the small group should no longer be in power and be put on the same level as everybody else. Now there is an even bigger problem. Nobody is defining fairness so everybody is doing what they feel is fair. This of course conflicts with other peoples' definition of fairness and the surroundings become chaotic.
The Friedmans also mentioned that "[it] might be 'fair' to the youngsters lacking in talent, but would it be 'fair' for the talented... ." ? In order to try to ensure fairness for the untalented and unfortunate, it would mean having to hold back those with greater natural born talent and success. How can things be fair when people are restrained from using their natural talents? In this situation, fair shares for all simply translates to mean only the untalented and unfortunate will benefit. Even if the talented and successful felt this was fair, it would still be impossible to ensure fairness among all talents and success for all people. Not only that, but what is the point of fairness when one of the pleasures of life is to see certain individuals do extraordinary things. As the Friedmans say, "It is tempting to believe that government can rectify what nature has spawned." Unfortunately, it simply is not possible.
The Friedmans mention the millions of people who love to watch Muhammad Ali fight. Wouldn't it be unfair to take away this talent that people enjoy watching? Imagine dry cut generic music, art, literature, and sports. Why would anybody want such a thing? Imagine a world without the paintings of Monet, the music of Mozart, the plays of Shakespeare, and the legendary home runs of Babe Ruth. If there was "fairness", Thomas Edison probably wouldn't have invented electricity and Alexander Graham Bell wouldn't have invented the telephone. The opportunity would not be there due to the control of equal distribution of fairness. The Friedmans also mention the distribution of equal wealth at the end of a game of bacarrat.
They are absolutely right in saying that even the loser will not return to play. Why would anybody want to play or gamble if there is always the same equal outcome of the distribution of wealth. Another good example is going to soccer game only to watch both teams be given a point whenever one team makes a goal, making the scores equal at all times. Would there be an audience? In fact, would anybody even want to play on the soccer teams? In the Friedmans essay, "Created Equal", they make a point by suggesting that fair share would infringe upon people's right to freedom of choice and opportunity. By holding back the talented and successful, these rights are violated. Fair share is simply not possible and the Friedmans reasoning behind is something I strongly stand by..