Is equality a social value? For equality before the law, the answer is yes: Laws should be applied uniformly to everyone. Income equality, however, is not a value; individuals should be free to pursue and to keep what they have gained through production and trade in the market.
Racial, ethnic, and sexual equality is a value but not if it is enforced coercively. These articles explore the issues and make the case against egalitarianism.
Food for Thought (1992) - David Kelley
The egalitarian view is adopted without argument. The hallmark of this approach is an obsession with statistics on the distribution of income and wealth: the share going to the top 1 % (or 5% or 20%) as against the share going to lower brackets . . . Despite the use of numbers, this entire discussion is dominated by an image, the image of a pie that has appeared somehow on the table and must now by divided up. It is a false image, a mirage. Wealth, unlike fun, can be tallied numerically, but like fun it is not a collective phenomenon. Wealth is the product of individual thought, ability, and effort. Wealth is not found, but created, and the identity of the creators is a matter of public record. They are the inventors, entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers, and producers in every other line of work, who earn what they receive in voluntary exchange with others.False image of wealth: A single pie that suddenly appeared on a table and that needs to be divided equally among all.
Two Strains of Altruism (1998) - David Kelley
Individualism as a moral doctrine includes the idea that individuals have a right to live for themselves to pursue their own happiness. It says: Each individual is an end in himself. And that means individualism is not compatible with altruism.
"The basic principle of altruism" Ayn Rand said, "is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue, and value." ("Faith and Force: Destroyers of the Modern World" Philosophy: Who Needs It [New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co., Inc., 1982, 74])