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Equality, Equity and Progressive Equity

Equality versus Equity

This image is free to use with attribution: “Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire.” For online use please provide links: and

What story do you think this picture tells? Let me tell you what I think. The box represents the equal opportunity we enjoy as US citizens. Either the man on the left realizes how lucky he is to be tall and gives his box, stacks the boxes and and lifts the shorter person on top so he can see the game or the government has takes (steals) the box from the man and gives it to the shorter person with or without the stacking and lifting. Which is the better solution to the problem? The man's free will decision saves the government money and makes society happier and more productive, reducing the need for more taxes thus reducing the impetus for inflation.

Charity is a no brainer. The way less efficient and coercive government is removed from the picture. All productivity is performed in the free market economy. The man experiences the high one gets when they do something nice that is appreciated. Charity constitutes a robust alternative to government welfare, one that is far more ethical and far more effective.

Equality is defined as the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.

Equity is 1) the quality of being fair and impartial. 2) the monetary value of property or business beyond any amounts owed on it in mortgages, claims, liens, ... etc.

There is a new definition of Equity put out there by the progressive left.

Social Equity involves trying to understand and give people what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives. It states that each person has different circumstances and we should allocate the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome, socialism.

Government started the "War on Poverty" 56 years ago, it has spent $27 trillion on this effort. And yet, it was only the beginning 7 years when poverty rates went down. Why? Well, one likely explanation is that welfare has taught people not to work, as governmental welfare dependency statistics have shown. Indeed, 93% of welfare recipients rely on welfare for more than 2 years. Charity, on the other hand, is not guaranteed (a critical free market thing), so it encourages people to take responsibility and become self-sufficient.

Another problem with government welfare is the bureaucracy. For example, studies have found that 70% of the money spent on budgeting for government assistance gets spent upholding the bureaucracies, with only 30% actually going to the poor.

Private charities, on the other hand, give over 70% of their proceeds to the poor. There are a ton of really good examples of this, like Feeding America, which can turn $1 into a shocking 12 pounds of food for the poor, or ten large meals.

In fact, raising half as much money from voluntary private charity instead of forced taxation is estimated to produce the same impact as the government, if not more.

Americans are a generous people, and we will step up and provide for the poor, especially if taxation is lowered through sensible cuts in welfare. Studies have found that "decreasing government funding increases the number of donors," which makes sense because a decrease in public spending (lower taxes) means the people have more money to spend themselves.

Joel Lim originally published on (Foundation for Economic Education (FEE))

Notice that all three are standing apparently unable to afford a ticket. What would the best solution look like?

Free Market

Just like in the first picture government resources (the boxes), represents the equal opportunity available to all citizens. Equity in the command economy is implemented and achieved widely by rules, regulations and taxes placed on the free market economy, individuals and companies, to accommodate the needs of the needy. Resources are managed and paid for with free market profits that are accounted for as part of the command economy. It comes out of the profits of free enterprise reducing money in the free market economy, socialism.

Of course if the free market economy spends profit on equity needs that are not mandated by the government it is a business expense and part of the free market economy. The government can pass legislative rules and incentives to have individuals and businesses manage and provide the needed progressive Equity to the needy. The equity given to the needy costs 50 % less to give. Furthermore, the needy are more compelled to move more quickly to find a job as charity is not guaranteed unlike Government Welfare.

It is impossible for Government to fairly execute progressive Equity. Equity decisions are complex and subjective. It is impossible to write laws/rules and fairly apply them to individuals who are as unique like a fingerprints. Equity is a feeling about a one-of-a-kind situation. The equity, fairness, of such Progressive Equity is guaranteed to be unequal and unfair without a decision by an informed jury. Kind of sounds like how the Free Market operates does it not?

Progressive Equity is a really great idea that should be implemented bottom up, starting with quality parenting, family, community, business, state and lastly the Federal Government. The Federal Government should not force Progressive Equity with micromanaging laws, regulations and penalties. The Federal Government may use legislation to provide an inclusive broad framework of goals to follow. We have to rely on our Judaeo Christian values at the end of the day.

Responses to Equality vs Equity Question

The following are posts made on Quora. The name of the person writing the comment and a link to them on Quora is provided at the end of each post followed by a PopieTom comment.

Equality is “a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in certain respects, often including civil rights

and equal access to social goods and services” (Social equality)

Fairness, conversely, refers to the “relation[s] between the individual

[, groups] and society

, This [can be] measured by…the distribution of wealth

, opportunities for personal activity and social privileges

[amongst other things]” (Social justice

We often feel we know unfairness when we see it, and have many arguments about it:

Of course, equality and fairness (synonymous with equity) conflict. This is because treating everyone equally is not in practice sensible, because we all have different needs and circumstances. It’s useful to think of equality as the theoretical relationship we have in law and strive towards (although still very short of the mark) whereas fairness is the means by which we can achieve that state. As long as social problems exist (i.e. chronic issues that affect many people in society, such as homelessness, poverty, un[der]employment, corporate tax evasion, climate change, crime, and so on), we need measures to promote fairness.

In short:


Seems to be an attempt to sell us the need for Progressive Equity on steroids, Socialism. This is not what our country is about.

Equality is a level playing field of opportunities. Equity is theft from those that do something with that opportunity by those that didn’t.Robert Collier


It is only theft if the Federal Government taxes and prints money to pay for Progressive Equity.

Equality means treating 2 people the same. Equity means treating each appropriately, according to what they need or deserve.

To give the same amount of food to me and to my kid might mean treating us equally, but not equitably, since my caloric needs are double what hers are.

Likewise, spending the same amount of healthcare money on me as on my 90-year-old grandmother would mean treating us equally (in some sense) but not equitably, since her needs are vastly greater than mine.


Again government should set the rules & incentives and treat everyone equal. Equity should be left up to American individuals and organizations operating in a free market to care for the needs of the people. This is how to maximize smooth operation and stability of our country.

Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful. Equality is treating everyone the same.

Equality aims to promote fairness, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same help. Equity appears unfair, but it actively moves everyone closer to success by “leveling the playing field.”

Equity, as we have seen, involves trying to understand and give people what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives. Equality, in contrast, aims to ensure that everyone gets the same things in order to enjoy full, healthy lives.


Government is not capable of fairly making equity decisions; with our Judaeo Christian values, the free market economy is. The government is good at setting rules and incentives but unfair, wasteful and frankly poor at execution. Government execution of equity is socialism.

Equality means providing everyone with the exact same amount of resources irrespective of whether everyone needs them or not. This doesn’t take into consideration the resources an individual might already possess.

Equity, on the other hand, is sharing of resources based on what an individual needs. This takes into account that while one person may not need something, another person may be in dire need of the said resource. Sharing of resources tries to bridge the existing inequalities holistically.


Again equality is a government thing and government run equity is socialism.

Equity refers to the just and fair provision of resources to all the individuals, which represents impartiality.

Equality denotes provision of same resources to all people, i.e. it is the state of being the same when it comes to status, rights and opportunities.

Equity involves trying to understand and give people what they need. Hence adopts need based approach. Equality, in contrast, aims to ensure that everyone gets the same.

Equity justifies things on the basis of quality but equality justifies things on the basis of quantity.

Equity is subjective. It differs from situation to situation and from person to person. Whereas equality is measurable. It does not vary and neither matter whoever looks at it

Like equity, equality aims to promote fairness and justice, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same things

Hence we can say Equity is the means/process and Equality is the outcome/end result of the process.


I really like what Shruthi writes. The key takeaway here is "Equity is subjective. It differs from situation to situation and from person to person.". Subjective things require a free market to be operated fairly.

Equality is treating everyone the same. Equity is treating everyone as they need to be treated.

Equality would be making everyone take the stairs when the elevator can only take one person at a time. Equity would be allowing the guy in the wheelchair to use the elevator. We aren't treating him the same, but we are treating him as he needs to be treated.

A more controversial example of the line between equity and equality is in quotas. I'll say, for the record, that I don't like quotas, but I can't think of a better solution. Anyway: equality would be saying companies should hire who they want. The hang up here is that we know that companies frequently discriminate against minorities and women. So we created quotas to promote equality through equity.


Government can use rules and incentives through legislation to correct discrimination. However, the rules and incentives can not coerce a company to hire a less qualified person. The government should continuously, accurately and fairly monitor and communicate the progress of the change it is encouraging and remove the rules and incentives when the goal is reached. Let the free market economy be free!

Equity (or justice, fairness ), meaning that every individual has the same opportunities and is subject to the same limitation, which is law. My definition for equity is: the situation when the ratio between the value that any individual in the society creates and the domain that he/she controls equals to the ratio between the value that any other individual in the society creates and the domain that any other individual controls. What I mean by “the domain that he/she controls”and "the domain that any other individual controls" here is the sum of “power” and “wealth”. This definition demonstrates that the individual’s gain will have to be in direct proportion to his/her contribution. The more one works, the more one gains. The less one works, the less one gains. No work, no gain. Question is, though, that “value” as a thing is difficult to measure. What is the value of Einstein’s theory? Newton’s?

Equality means an equal distribution of wealth.


I think what Teng says is a very good reasons to support government rules and incentives to promote as much free market economy as possible.

Not really.

“Equity” is a legal concept best looked at as “neutral fairness” A decision based on “equity” is not necessarily one based on “equality” which is more a term used to state that two parties have “equal standing” before a court. The two terms are thus orthogonal.

In normal life, “equity” still means “overall fairness” but, for example, if an author sues a plagiarist, “equity” generally requires a finding in favor of the author, but “equality” may remove the presumption that a copyright work merits protection if the other party states that he is an equal in right to the author.

the quality of being fair and impartial.

equality definition

the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities


This is a good definition of Equality vs Equity before the progressive movement redefined Equity as Progressive Equity.

Both are different terms.

Equity and Equality both can be differently used ,but by listening both words a general man can understood both are same.

It can be elaborated here with an example:—

Examples of Equality

public schools in a community have computer labs with the same number of computers and hours of operation during school hour.

Examples of Equity

Computer labs in lower income neighbourshoods have more computers and printers, as well as longer hours of operation, as some students don’t have access to computers or internet at home.


A free market solution to schools would size the lab to the exact size needed according to use.

It is very simple:

Equality is a capitalism. Equity is a worst form of communism.

1. Equality.

Equality means that all people, regardless of their race, sex, religion, etc. have the same rights and responsibilities from a legal standpoint. In addition in capitalism there is uneven tax system that helps people who does not make enough money.

2. Equity.

For some reasons Critical Race Theory (CRT) pundits are not able to provide definition of Equity, so they use two pictures below to explain it.

Look at the first picture. Who do we see on this picture (left to right?)

  • A taxpayer who pays a lot of taxes, contribute to charity and receive a “little-to-none” as “free” government services.

  • A taxpayer who pays a little taxes and receives “comparable values” as “free” government services.

  • A Taxpayer that pays almost none taxes, but receives welfare, all kinds of government assistance.

So, what does this picture shows? Our American society. We already have exactly this.

Look at the second picture

What kind of distribution system do we see on this second picture? It is “to each according to his needs”. Just as a reminder: It is the term Karl Marx used to describe Communism: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

At least Marx had a decency to acknowledge that Government will force everybody to work “according to his ability” (whatever it means). So, Equity depicted on the this second picture describes worse form of Communism (if it is even possible). Or, if you convert Marxist terminology to CRT terminology, Communism is “submission and equity”

Conclusion: Here is the real Equity:


I think Tolik is right! Non-Free Market is socialism on a downhill slope to Communism.

Equality — men and women all need public toilets. The men's and woman's both have 20 stalls.

Equity — women have 30 stalls and men only get 10.

Reasoning, men also use urinals. Equity is about making things work out well for everyone, even if that means things are arranged differently or not evenly distributed.


The free market used common sense and solved this one.

Equality as used in American political philosophy means equality under the law. It is a basic principle in the Declaration of Independence (all men are created equal), the Bill of Rights, and the foundation of individual liberty.

Equity is a term being used by progressives to promote the equalization of material things like income, property, services, and jobs. It demands the destruction of individual liberty in favor of this equalization.

The two terms sound similar, but they couldn't be more opposed in their political implications.


The new progressive definition of Equity is socialism.

Suppose you are disabled and have to get around using a wheelchair.

And suppose I am not. I can walk without needing a wheelchair.

Now suppose you and I are at the bottom of a stairway and someone stands at the top of the stairway and says “whichever one of you reaches the top first will get a reward”. That person is treating us equally, but it is not equitable. I would have an unfair advantage over you.

Or suppose you and I have just graduated from school and were tied for having the top grades in our graduating class. So in terms of ability and accomplishments we were equal. After graduation, your father gave you a million dollars to start out your life on your own but my father could not give me anything (financially) but a well meaning “good luck”. Clearly you have an advantage because of our parents’ financial circumstances, not because of our individual abilities or accomplishments.

The basic issue here is that despite what we are told, we are not all “created equal”. We certainly deserve equal opportunity, and equality generally means giving us all equal opportunities. But some of us have a much more favorable set of starting conditions than others. Equity tries to balance out those things as well. So, for example, the healthy young person helps the frail older person to climb the stairs or cross the street or carry their groceries home. And an equitable society does more than just give each person equal opportunity. It assists those that have natural disadvantages.

Of course this can be taken too far. If I am naturally lazy and you are naturally industrious, most people would not consider it right to compensate me for my natural laziness by allowing me to pass tests with lower grades than you are required to have. Or requiring me to work for a living while paying for your living out of my taxes because you are too lazy to work.

A lot of ideological differences turn on this issue of when equity is taken too far.


Dennis offers some good thoughts supporting American individuals and businesses using Judaeo Christian values in the free market economy supported by legislative rules and incentives from government to promote fairness.

Equality is a measurable comparison between to entities.

Equity is a feeling defined by individuals.

The goal should always be equality else you suffer from someone else’s definition of what they believe is equitable.


If Equity is a feeling by individuals there is no better reason for it to be evaluated in the free market and never government.

Equity requires racism, xenophobia or some other external factor to cause unequal result. In racism being the failure of different skin colors to achieve the same result in the same circumstances means either the racist society is depressing their results or that the skin color is either superior or inferior. Equality is a concept under law that says everyone has access to the same resources in the same manners and their result is from individual effort. Personal difference is the reason equity is not achieved and not external effects.


Progressive Equity requires racism, picking winners and losers, if it is a function of Government. Government must always be equal; only the Free Market can decide who gets how much Progressive Equity.

Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.


We need more to understand what is being said here. First of all if "equal outcome" means opportunity, this is OK with me. If it means equal success, I can not agree. Next the exact resources and opportunities must be budgeted and available to everyone. It may be the case that some people may not need some of the equity added resources and opportunities. This is a fair and equitable (non-progressive definition) situation. Overall I think this statement seems to advocate socialism.

Equality aims for equal treatment of individuals regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Equality also aims for equal opportunities for all citizens. Obviously, I am all for equality. My own success is a product of it and my livelihood continues to depend on it.

Equity aims for equal results. Although it sounds good at first I think it is impossible to achieve. Also, I can make the argument that the efforts towards equity is immoral.

Take two people. One is more intelligent and harder-working then the other. It makes sense that one gets to be more successful than the other. Therefore, the more intelligent and harder working one deserves a better quality of life, do they not?

If efforts towards equity forces the same results upon both people, e.g., same income, same quality of life then:

How can you achieve that without unfairly taking from one and giving to the undeserving other?

What incentive does anybody have to work hard and make good life decisions? If any government steps in to ensure the same results among their people regardless of the individual’s effort, then how could that country continue to innovate and effectively compete in the world stage?

I understand that people are born into different socio-economic backgrounds and that being born poor is a huge disadvantage. But why shouldn’t the person who is smart and works hard be able to pass on the advantages that come with it to their children? I think that proponents for equity are not taking human nature into the equation.


Good point from Sacramento SLiM. Government efforts towards progressive equity are immoral. Government has a tendency to resort to heavy handed coercive rules and punishment instead of staying lite handed rules coupled with incentives instead. In addition the rules and penalties are never enforced equally and fairly. The free market is always more more moral than the government.

Equality is the equal opportunity to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". The idea that every person has the right to apply themselves and pursue their dreams in any way they wish without limitation.

Equity is a recently invented liberal term describing an old concept where the government has the authority to seize things from successful people and turn them over to the failures, having the sole decision making power of who deserves what.


I agree, the progressive liberal effort to define government enforced equity is Socialism on a downward slope to Communism.

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