"From the very fact that people are very different (as are countries, states and ethnic groups and religions, my comment) if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently.
Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other: or we can achieve one or the other, but not both at the same time." (F.A. Hayek)
Progressives see "equality" as a cultural and moral leveler, as a statement that there can be no "better" or "worse" nations or people---but that is not at all what the Founders intended. John Locke, who perhaps influenced the Founders more than anyone, said that equality simply meant that the government was 'respecting people as equals'. (Glenn Beck's book "Broke".
Of course, that is not true. Those with the most money, the best access to people of power usually do not receive the same equal treatment. That is and always has been, a sad situation with little possibility for an honest cure. Although some people with access to power and with money have been made examples as witness Enron executives.....etc.