Equality means equal treatment, unbiased competition and impartially judged outcomes. Equity means equal outcomes, achieved if necessary by unequal treatment, biased competition and preferential judging.
Those who push for equity have hidden these crucial differences for a reason. They aren’t merely unpopular; they challenge America’s bedrock principle that people should be treated equally and judged as individuals, not as members of groups.
The demand for equal outcomes contradicts a millennium of Anglo-Saxon law and political evolution. It undermines the Enlightenment principle of equal treatment for individuals of different social rank and religion. America’s Founders drew on those roots when they declared independence, saying it was “self-evident” that “all men are created equal.”
That heritage, along with the lack of a hereditary aristocracy, is why claims for equal treatment are so deeply rooted in U.S. history. It is why radical claims for unequal treatment must be carefully buried in word salads praising equity and social justice.
Hidden, too, are the extensive measures that would be needed to achieve equal outcomes. Only a powerful central government could impose the intensive—and expensive—programs of social intervention, ideological re-education and economic redistribution. Only an intrusive bureaucracy could specify the rules for every business, public institution and civic organization. Those unhappy implications are why advocates of equity are so determined to hide what the term really means.
Instead of making their case openly and honestly, advocates of equity twist and turn to avoid revealing their radical goal of re-engineering society through coercion. If the results fall short, as they inevitably would, the remedy is obvious: more money, more rules and more indoctrination. Why not tell us who will receive these special benefits and for how long? At whose expense? Who will administer these programs? Who will judge whether the outcomes are fair enough? When will it all end?
Since the ultimate goal is achieving equal outcomes, these evasions raise the hardest question of all. Isn’t equity just a new brand name for the oldest program of achieving equal outcomes? Its name is socialism.
MP: See Venn diagram version above and Perry’s Paradox below:
1. Equality = Everybody is Treated Equally, Regardless of
Census Category. Inequalities of Outcomes Are Natural and Expected Due to
Multiple Explanatory Factors.
2. Equity = Some Census Categories Are MORE Equal Than Others. Any Inequalities of Outcomes Are Based on Systemic Discrimination and Must Be Corrected with Discrimination to Achieve Equity.