Are we better off with Equity or Equality?


A number of people on the left, progressives and the Press, (redundant I know), are making a point of transposing Equity and Equality.  Seems reasonable right?  Not really, Equity involves a sense of fair play, parity, evenhandedness.  With Equity, you have similar results regardless of the prevailing conditions.  This may appear to be reasonable when you just look at the surface statistics, for example, the average median household income of white males between the ages of 25 & 35 is $76,057, whereas the average for black males between 25 & 35 is $46,438.

With no other input than the color of your skin, this doesn’t seem fair at all.  Where is the parity? We should push for a law or regulation which brings the salaries more in line.  Clearly, the black males are being repressed, surely it isn’t because they aren’t smart enough to do whatever the job is.  Yet this is exactly what the politicians like Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Reverend Al Sharpton as well as members of BLM have argued for years.  But does this make sense?  Does it account for all the mitigating factors?

What is Equity? Who is good enough to decide when equity has been achieved?  Does equity occur when every 25 yr old earns a salary of $95,000?  In today’s dollars, that’s roughly what I earned when I was 25. Or does it depend on the education and what the individual is able to do with that education, (some 25 yr olds are more “savvy” than others due to how they were brought up, or their environment, or maybe their genetic makeup)?  Should we have a panel of judges to determine when equity is achieved?  Perhaps we should base the evaluation on how much social good a person actually does.  We could re-task the fact-checkers to watch our Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts, Parler and Gettr accounts to make sure our actions and ideas comport with the overall norm of society.  I understand China is assigning everyone a score based on what other people observe them doing, maybe this is the way to “guide” people to think correctly.  How else would you gauge equity?  Is equity reached when your local professional basketball team substitutes the man on the street for anyone else on the team and still ends up with the same record at the end of the season?  And don’t forget, if they’re 25 yrs old they would earn $95,000/yr regardless of their athletic ability.  Maybe it’s the English teacher for your child’s Junior year in high school.  They may not know traditional English but they’re the “bomb” on Ebonics.  Your son or daughter will be able to apply all the Ebonics they learned in high school to that paper on quantum physics they’ve prepared for their doctorate dissertation in Physics at MIT.  Now that would be interesting!  Taking the argument to the extreme illustrates how absurd, (actually, how utterly stupid), some solutions are.  Perhaps, it’s time to call a spade, a spade, and begin ridiculing our protected press when they don’t tell us the entire story, keeping some facts out of the story because those facts don’t fit the narrative they want to project.  After all, many of them got degrees in journalism so they could drink and party in college.  They never learned how to critically think because anything remotely challenging sent them to their safe spaces and their professors rewarded them with good grades for recognizing they were victims of micro-aggression.  That’s unfair to a few real journalists but not many that I’ve heard.  As critically thinking adults we don’t have to follow their lead, we can think for ourselves.

A theme I try to carry through my articles is this idea of critical thinking because it is such an important concept that many people fail to apply or apply poorly.  I’m sure I’m not successful at doing this all the time either but I keep working at it.  A technique I’ve used successfully to check myself is to take the apparent logical conclusion to an argument and apply it to the illogical or extreme condition of the argument and if the conclusion still holds up then I know I’ve reached a valid conclusion.  If, however, the conclusion no longer makes sense then I know there are countervailing circumstances that I haven’t taken into consideration.   The conclusion might make sense for the specific case but if the argument no longer holds up in the extreme then I know there is a better answer.   In the example above, my conclusion that equity was served by bringing parity to the median household incomes then I should be a billionaire because I understand economics at least as well as Mark Cuban or at least a millionaire because I believe I understand economics better than Austin Goolsbee.  Obviously, that didn’t happen and I would argue it shouldn’t happen because of so many other conditions, but because Equality exists in this country and because it is such an important factor I know I, at least, had the opportunity to become a millionaire.  Read the back story behind Thomas Sowell & Walter Williams and you’ll understand exactly how equality works.  It is an example of how they had different outcomes from their childhood friends, but everyone had the same opportunities to begin with. 

This country was built on the principle of equality not equity.  Equality of opportunity regardless of race, religion, gender, or belief systems.  What we do with that opportunity is a matter of personal choice.  Many of the original settlers in America had no opportunity where they were from, except what the ruling class chose to bestow on them and as a matter of self-preservation, the ruling class did not bestow much opportunity on anyone outside their circle.  By coming to America they were able to create their own opportunity, if they wanted to work hard it was to their benefit and there was no single individual to decide how much of the fruits of that hard work they could keep.   In today’s society, we elect people to represent us in deciding how much of our hard work we want to donate to maintain a government.  A government whose main function is to protect us from other countries and provide a means of structure for commerce.  This structure is set up to provide an equal opportunity for everyone so the poor don’t have to remain poor forever, likewise the rich may not remain rich forever either.  Listening to statements of a few of our representatives like Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, or Nancy Pelosi we cannot allow this idea to remain.  It has been suggested there be a commission to decide who has enough money and who doesn’t.  As of this writing, we have yet to implement a plan of social fairness for everyone, perhaps it will look like what China has done. 

The United States was founded on the idea of Equality of Opportunity for everyone and this is very different from Equity.  Equity will always be achieved at the lowest common denominator, which makes sense if you think about it.  Whatever the best is that someone can achieve, then to achieve “Equity” everyone else will fall to that level because you cannot achieve more than your best.  It’s time to step out of our safe spaces and learn to embrace our differences.  We need to rejoice when someone reaches new goals and not pout or blame someone else because we didn’t.   After all, if we continually do our best we can celebrate the achievement, if we can rejoice in someone else’s accomplishments perhaps we can learn from them and achieve more next time.  This is an amazing country full of opportunity like few others.  Thanks for taking the time to read this article, I appreciate all feedback.  Please pass this on to your friends and sign up for e-mail updates when the next article is published.

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