Is there a difference between equality and equity?

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Cimarron

It's not dying I'm talking about, it's living.
Jun 28, 2007
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#1
Robby Soave | 11.2.2020 11:00 AM

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris provided narration for a short animated clip that appeared on her Twitter feed Sunday. In the clip, Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law.

"There's a big difference between equality and equity," says Harris. "Equality suggests, 'Oh, everyone should get the same amount.' The problem with that, not everybody's starting in the same place."

Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment, which means "we all end up at the same place."

This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government should be obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. The government cannot deny rights to certain people because they are black, female, Muslim, etc.—this would be unequal treatment.

A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. In accordance with this thinking, the authorities might be justified in giving some people more rights than others. Indeed, this would arguably be strictly necessary, in order to create a society where everyone ends up in the exact same situation.

Conservatives swiftly condemned Harris's tweet in characteristically dramatic fashion: Rep. Liz Cheney (R–Wyo.) accused Harris of sounding "just like Karl Marx." Harris probably isn't a committed Marxist—if anything, her core ideology seems to be whatever the current political moment calls for—but it's probably true that the people on her staff who helped make this video are well-informed about the sort of lingo that appeals to young progressive activists. This cohort is certainly interested in radical ideas like using wealth redistribution to engineer leftist social outcomes.

If the Biden-Harris ticket triumphs on Election Day, expect some of these people to find themselves staffing the vast federal bureaucracy, taking jobs in the Departments of Education, Labor, Housing, and elsewhere. There are a million different ways for these bureaucrats to make marginal, under-the-radar policy changes that support an equity-over-equality worldview. That's a far greater danger than Harris's earnest and clumsy attempts to woo the wokest of the woke.

https://reason.com/2020/11/02/kamala-harris-equality-equity-outcomes/

"staffing the vast federal bureaucracy, taking jobs in the Departments of Education, Labor, Housing, and elsewhere" (the swamp)
 
Feb 25, 2008
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#3
Already exists - since 1990 (at least), my coworker's/contractor's company must be minority owned.

https://www.americanexpress.com/en-...ting-for-small-and-minority-owned-businesses/
SUMMARY
If you qualify, government money is available for minority-owned businesses.

Federal law mandates that the government allocate 23 percent of its contracting work to small businesses. Of this portion, 5 percent is meant for businesses with economically or socially disadvantaged owners. These are essentially minority-owned businesses.
It isn't chump change. Total federal contracting in its 2011 fiscal year (ending September 30, 2011) was $477 billion, so 5 percent works out to $23.85 billion.
 

Rack

Legendary Cowboy
Oct 13, 2004
24,283
10,130
1,743
Earth
#5
People will never reach their potential if you remove all obstacles. In my own life I lost a job 25 years ago...it angered me and it focused me...I made changes necessary to become more successful and reach a higher potential. You take away that obstacle and I don't reach my potential. In my faith in the past year we had something happen in our immediate family that has rocked me to my core...I needed it in order to grow in my faith. Take that away, as bad as it still sucks for me personally, and I don't grow in my faith relationship with my God. Just something to think about. Great outcomes cannot be achieved without hardship. Gold has to be refined in the fire....or it's impure.
 

CocoCincinnati

Federal Marshal
Feb 7, 2007
16,165
17,014
1,743
Tulsa, OK
#6
Already exists - since 1990 (at least), my coworker's/contractor's company must be minority owned.

https://www.americanexpress.com/en-...ting-for-small-and-minority-owned-businesses/
SUMMARY
If you qualify, government money is available for minority-owned businesses.

Federal law mandates that the government allocate 23 percent of its contracting work to small businesses. Of this portion, 5 percent is meant for businesses with economically or socially disadvantaged owners. These are essentially minority-owned businesses.
It isn't chump change. Total federal contracting in its 2011 fiscal year (ending September 30, 2011) was $477 billion, so 5 percent works out to $23.85 billion.
Wow, I guess there really is systemic racism in this country.
 

CocoCincinnati

Federal Marshal
Feb 7, 2007
16,165
17,014
1,743
Tulsa, OK
#7
The problem with equality of results is that it is impossible to put everybody at the highest level, meaning you have to force everybody down to the lowest level. That's not freedom and it's certainly not leaving the country a better place for our children. And these people accused Trump of wanting to be a dictator.... LOL
 

Midnight Toker

Territorial Marshal
May 28, 2010
9,017
1,770
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#8
I am all about equal opportunity, but not equal outcomes (equity). She has a bit of a point in that not everyone has access to the same opportunities as others. I can dig that. But not a big fan of forcing equitable outcomes, does not seem feasible.
 
Jul 25, 2018
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#9
I am all about equal opportunity, but not equal outcomes (equity). She has a bit of a point in that not everyone has access to the same opportunities as others. I can dig that. But not a big fan of forcing equitable outcomes, does not seem feasible.
It's not feasible because why? People are different, & they always will be.

I use the analogy all the time of the rule of 10 people. Take a workplace, for instance. Out of 10 people, you're gonna have 6 or 7 that take an expected level of pride in performance in how they do their jobs. You're gonna have another 1 or 2 that just exist at a level below that, but still show up & at least go through the motions. Then another 1 or so that are a drag on their department or workplace, use sick leave at the drop of a hat, etc...

This is life. We're not all the same & thank god, we never will be, yet some still cling to the notion that if we just try hard enough, implement one more thing, we'll get there collectively.
 

Midnight Toker

Territorial Marshal
May 28, 2010
9,017
1,770
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#10
It's not feasible because why? People are different, & they always will be.

I use the analogy all the time of the rule of 10 people. Take a workplace, for instance. Out of 10 people, you're gonna have 6 or 7 that take an expected level of pride in performance in how they do their jobs. You're gonna have another 1 or 2 that just exist at a level below that, but still show up & at least go through the motions. Then another 1 or so that are a drag on their department or workplace, use sick leave at the drop of a hat, etc...

This is life. We're not all the same & thank god, we never will be, yet some still cling to the notion that if we just try hard enough, implement one more thing, we'll get there collectively.
Yep, very true. The biggest issue is the starting point, we dont all start at the same place in life. Some people born on third base go through life thinking they hit a triple. So I do like the idea of at least trying to level the actual playing field, which is a separate concept from the aim of equitable outcomes.
 
Jul 25, 2018
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#11
Yep, very true. The biggest issue is the starting point, we dont all start at the same place in life. Some people born on third base go through life thinking they hit a triple. So I do like the idea of at least trying to level the actual playing field, which is a separate concept from the aim of equitable outcomes.
I think one of the factors, though, in the starting point is that some of the discussion surrounding it simply ignores the desires & efforts of people to provide a better starting point for their kids, & so on. It ignores some of the sacrifices made to make that possible.

My parents, for instance, were first generation college grads who both came from rural backgrounds, but their parents drilled it into them that college was their ticket in life, & made tremendous sacrifices to make that possible. As a result of that, I lived in a frugal household in a trailer until they bought their first real house, then started their own business & spent countless hours building it, sold it & continued to rise economically in their careers.

Now, take a friend of mine from an Ohio town. The Ford plant has been the major employer & economic driver there for decades, so his dad's worked there since he graduated high school & all the kids grew up counting on doing the same. They've planned on the same career path of someone who started that journey 35 years ago & really have no other great options, & never really explored things beyond their dad's option.

So you can definitely argue that their starting point, with one major employer locally whose jobs have steadily gone away for over a decade, wasn't the same as mine in a college town & that's probably fair. Whose fault is that, though? Is it my grandparents for making higher education a priority a generation before me? Is it his parents' & his for basically planning no other option than the Ford plant?
 

Midnight Toker

Territorial Marshal
May 28, 2010
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#12
I think one of the factors, though, in the starting point is that some of the discussion surrounding it simply ignores the desires & efforts of people to provide a better starting point for their kids, & so on. It ignores some of the sacrifices made to make that possible.
only partially. It's not the kid's fault that some people are born in a nice part of the country, and are raised in multi income, two educated parent households, with rides to soccer practice, books to read, musical instruments to play, and a safe neighborhood full of friends, whose parents set proper expectations from life. Or that others who only ever knew struggle. Who are raised by stressed out, underpaid single mothers in a 1 bed apartment on the bad side of town, who cant always afford to pay the electric bill. whose car isnt dependable, and even if it was dependable, cant afford to get you into sports to take you to practice anyway.

So in some circumstances, we can try to give a young person a helping hand and level that playing field a bit. I benefited from this as I was raised by a poor single mother and can now provide the kind of lifestyle for myself and my family that was never even something i thought was possible growing up. I did all the work, but i got some help and I wouldnt be here if i didnt.


My parents, for instance, were first generation college grads who both came from rural backgrounds, but their parents drilled it into them that college was their ticket in life, & made tremendous sacrifices to make that possible. As a result of that, I lived in a frugal household in a trailer until they bought their first real house, then started their own business & spent countless hours building it, sold it & continued to rise economically in their careers.

Now, take a friend of mine from an Ohio town. The Ford plant has been the major employer & economic driver there for decades, so his dad's worked there since he graduated high school & all the kids grew up counting on doing the same. They've planned on the same career path of someone who started that journey 35 years ago & really have no other great options, & never really explored things beyond their dad's option.

So you can definitely argue that their starting point, with one major employer locally whose jobs have steadily gone away for over a decade, wasn't the same as mine in a college town & that's probably fair. Whose fault is that, though? Is it my grandparents for making higher education a priority a generation before me? Is it his parents' & his for basically planning no other option than the Ford plant?
Yeah, people should also learn the value of hard work smart decision making, and sacrifice- concepts that most parents dont teach their children unfortunately. I think that working and trying hard alone isnt necessarily getting out out of an unfortunate start to life.
 
Jul 25, 2018
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Boulder, CO
#13
only partially. It's not the kid's fault that some people are born in a nice part of the country, and are raised in multi income, two educated parent households, with rides to soccer practice, books to read, musical instruments to play, and a safe neighborhood full of friends, whose parents set proper expectations from life. Or that others who only ever knew struggle. Who are raised by stressed out, underpaid single mothers in a 1 bed apartment on the bad side of town, who cant always afford to pay the electric bill. whose car isnt dependable, and even if it was dependable, cant afford to get you into sports to take you to practice anyway.

So in some circumstances, we can try to give a young person a helping hand and level that playing field a bit. I benefited from this as I was raised by a poor single mother and can now provide the kind of lifestyle for myself and my family that was never even something i thought was possible growing up. I did all the work, but i got some help and I wouldnt be here if i didnt.




Yeah, people should also learn the value of hard work smart decision making, and sacrifice- concepts that most parents dont teach their children unfortunately. I think that working and trying hard alone isnt necessarily getting out out of an unfortunate start to life.

Yeah, there are various examples of circumstances we could throw out there, no doubt.

The crux of the debate about this, for decades, is how do you recognize & reward effort & desire from you, & the next kid starting from there whose effort & desire isn't the same? Where do we draw the line ?
 

OSUCowboy787

Territorial Marshal
Dec 31, 2008
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Keller, Texas
#14
I think one of the factors, though, in the starting point is that some of the discussion surrounding it simply ignores the desires & efforts of people to provide a better starting point for their kids, & so on. It ignores some of the sacrifices made to make that possible.

My parents, for instance, were first generation college grads who both came from rural backgrounds, but their parents drilled it into them that college was their ticket in life, & made tremendous sacrifices to make that possible. As a result of that, I lived in a frugal household in a trailer until they bought their first real house, then started their own business & spent countless hours building it, sold it & continued to rise economically in their careers.

Now, take a friend of mine from an Ohio town. The Ford plant has been the major employer & economic driver there for decades, so his dad's worked there since he graduated high school & all the kids grew up counting on doing the same. They've planned on the same career path of someone who started that journey 35 years ago & really have no other great options, & never really explored things beyond their dad's option.

So you can definitely argue that their starting point, with one major employer locally whose jobs have steadily gone away for over a decade, wasn't the same as mine in a college town & that's probably fair. Whose fault is that, though? Is it my grandparents for making higher education a priority a generation before me? Is it his parents' & his for basically planning no other option than the Ford plant?
I'm sure there is no right answer but culturally we need to put more value on education. I believe a lot of lower income people including a lot of African American see athletics or the music industry as their only way out. Think a shift to prioritizing and realizing education is the best way out is the way to go. Though then you have the debate that not everyone is meant for college. We could have the trade school argument at that point.
 
Jul 25, 2018
4,247
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Boulder, CO
#15
I'm sure there is no right answer but culturally we need to put more value on education. I believe a lot of lower income people including a lot of African American see athletics or the music industry as their only way out. Think a shift to prioritizing and realizing education is the best way out is the way to go. Though then you have the debate that not everyone is meant for college. We could have the trade school argument at that point.
Don't get me started on the 'everyone needs college' model & lack of promotion of trades. Oklahoma's CareerTech system is a model that other states could definitely benefit from imitating.
 

Midnight Toker

Territorial Marshal
May 28, 2010
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#16
only partially. It's not the kid's fault that some people are born in a nice part of the country, and are raised in multi income, two educated parent households, with rides to soccer practice, books to read, musical instruments to play, and a safe neighborhood full of friends, whose parents set proper expectations from life. Or that others who only ever knew struggle. Who are raised by stressed out, underpaid single mothers in a 1 bed apartment on the bad side of town, who cant always afford to pay the electric bill. whose car isnt dependable, and even if it was dependable, cant afford to get you into sports to take you to practice anyway.

So in some circumstances, we can try to give a young person a helping hand and level that playing field a bit. I benefited from this as I was raised by a poor single mother and can now provide the kind of lifestyle for myself and my family that was never even something i thought was possible growing up. I did all the work, but i got some help and I wouldnt be here if i didnt.




Yeah, people should also learn the value of hard work smart decision making, and sacrifice- concepts that most parents dont teach their children unfortunately. I think that working and trying hard alone isnt necessarily getting out out of an unfortunate start to life.

Yeah, there are various examples of circumstances we could throw out there, no doubt.

The crux of the debate about this, for decades, is how do you recognize & reward effort & desire from you, & the next kid starting from there whose effort & desire isn't the same? Where do we draw the line ?

I mean do you get those rewards by what kind of work you can do for a living. I suppose you’re basically paid by how replaceable you are.
 

Rack

Legendary Cowboy
Oct 13, 2004
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#17
Did we ever stop to think that equal starting points could be exactly the opposite of what we need?

How many kids come out of poverty and climb wealth simply because of that poverty? Read about Andrew Carnegie and many many others.
How many people rise above incidents in their lives simply because of those incidents. History is literally defined by these people...the very fact that they had to learn how to overcome things in their lives IS the reason they have risen so high.

Some of the richest and most successful, by the worlds standards people, started with nothing, sometimes less than nothing and far surpassed people who had MUCH higher starting places than they did.

Attempts at changing of society by government in attempt to make starting places the same is not a good thing...it can and often does end up causing a dependence on the government that only can be solved by more of the government...this, instead of learning self reliance and self sufficiency despite our starting places or challenges along the way. This is, in fact, the American experience and has defined our greatness as a generator of wealth and self reliance for our entire history. My own family experience is one of these stories...not me, but my father. I won't bore you with that, but suffice it to say that IF we take away all low starting places we may just inadvertently remove the highest levels of achievement that come with those who overcome them.

Diamonds are created under extreme pressure.
 

ScooberJake

Territorial Marshal
Jul 13, 2004
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#18
As a Biden voter, this is admittedly what I fear. I am an independent, and although I hate where the Republican party is now, I fear where the Democrats are headed as well.

But the fact is that economic inequality has been growing steadily for the past 4 decades. The rich have gotten richer. The poor have also raised their standard of living, but not their financial security. The middle class is shrinking, while both upper and lower income groups are growing. Even within the upper tier of wealth, income growth has been fastest for the top 5% of households. Recent economic gains have gone almost entirely to investors, and the average American sees almost nothing when the stock market goes up, neither in terms of direct asset appreciation or in their paycheck. If this continues, we are heading toward a country of haves and have-nots, where the haves are way outnumbered. Throughout human history, that has always led to one thing: revolution.

If we want to avoid a full on socialist revolution in this country, we need to find a way to reverse these trends. Although I think any kind of guarantee of individual outcome is a terrible idea, we do need to measure and track outcomes for both the lower and middle economic groups as a whole. And we need to see improvements. I hope the upper economic groups can see what these trends mean for the future of our country. It's time to acknowledge the difficulties in growing up poor in this country and "throw them a bone". I don't know what the answer is. We already have a number of socialist policies in this country that most Americans favor (Social Security, welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.). I see the problem with the slow slide toward socialism, but I see a bigger problem with diving in head first. If we can make significant progress with more capitalist solutions I am all for it, but progress has to be made. Shouting about American ideals without reversing these trends, in my opinion, will also push us closer to a big socialist takeover.
 
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steross

he/him
A/V Subscriber
Mar 31, 2004
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#19
Did we ever stop to think that equal starting points could be exactly the opposite of what we need?

How many kids come out of poverty and climb wealth simply because of that poverty? Read about Andrew Carnegie and many many others.
How many people rise above incidents in their lives simply because of those incidents. History is literally defined by these people...the very fact that they had to learn how to overcome things in their lives IS the reason they have risen so high.

Some of the richest and most successful, by the worlds standards people, started with nothing, sometimes less than nothing and far surpassed people who had MUCH higher starting places than they did.

Attempts at changing of society by government in attempt to make starting places the same is not a good thing...it can and often does end up causing a dependence on the government that only can be solved by more of the government...this, instead of learning self reliance and self sufficiency despite our starting places or challenges along the way. This is, in fact, the American experience and has defined our greatness as a generator of wealth and self reliance for our entire history. My own family experience is one of these stories...not me, but my father. I won't bore you with that, but suffice it to say that IF we take away all low starting places we may just inadvertently remove the highest levels of achievement that come with those who overcome them.

Diamonds are created under extreme pressure.
Just numbers, far more kids become wealthy from wealth than from poverty. Sure, you can point to the outliers, but the data shows that being wealthy as a child greatly enhances your likelihood of being a wealthy adult. Nice theory, it just isn't true. The people that start with nothing and become wildly successful probably would be wildly successful if they started with more. At least, there isn't evidence that wealth hinders the accumulation of wealth.
 

ScooberJake

Territorial Marshal
Jul 13, 2004
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#20
Diamonds are created under extreme pressure.
Although I think what you say is true, these are stories of the exceptions, not the rule. They are notable because they are so unlikely and uncommon.

But I do agree with you that trying to create an equal starting point won't work, because it's not really possible without full-on socialism. The government cannot create an equal starting point without creating equal outcomes because your starting point is tied directly to the outcomes of your parents.

Ultimately, what we want to lift up is not necessarily outcomes or starting points, what we want is to reward effort. That is what is ultimately American and anti-socialist. You don't get rewarded because of who you are or who your parents are or just because you are, you get rewarded because you work hard. This is why I hate the low capital gains tax rate. It benefits the trust fund hippies in Boulder who do nothing but were born into millions, but does nothing for the neurosurgeon in Denver who spent a thousand years in medical school to hone his incredibly rare skills and works 18 hour surgeries to save lives regardless of the economic status of the person on his table. I understand the reasoning behind encouraging investment, but I find the capital gains policy decidedly un-American.

If it were up to me, I would try to find a way to make sure every kid who did well in school and wanted to go to college could do it. I don't know exactly what that means, but I would pay for it by raising capital gains taxes or even eliminating that tax break altogether. I think over time this would significantly help with the economic inequality problem, would solve the issue with Buffet's secretary, would reward kids who work hard rather than just those who start out at a lower position, and I would target some of the money to minority scholarships or minority schools (who statistically do need more help) and call that part reparations for slavery. I think you kill a lot of birds with one stone. And I think we would all much rather see something like that than this talk of "guaranteed income".