Equity and equality are not equal

Equity of outcome should never be the ultimate goal.

Paige (our 4.5 year old) is learning about working to save up to buy things she wants. She asks how she can earn some more coins for her piggy bank. I tell her she can go pick up the sticks in the yard to earn more coins. Paige goes out to do this even though it is a chilly, rainy day. She really wants to save up to buy something with her own money. Ivy sits in the living room, eating apples and having some TV time while Paige works.

Paige comes in after some time has passed, Ivy barely glances at her. Paige is wet and cold with rosy cheeks, after working hard, and is excited to receive her pay. I give her some coins, and she starts to walk away to deposit them. (she’s 4, so she chooses many shiny coins that clank into her piggy over cash 😁)

“Wait! Paige, go give Ivy half of your coins,” I say. Paige looks at me as though she doesn’t understand.

(Fictional scenario, but you get the point)

I feel the EXACT same way every time I hear someone utter nonsense about equity of outcome. Paige and Ivy both have equality of opportunity, but only one of them cared enough to go out and do the work of picking up sticks in the rain. Maybe it is because Ivy is too young to care (she is), or maybe it is because she just didn’t feel like working. It doesn’t matter why. Why should Ivy get an equal portion of Paige’s pay for doing nothing? She lounged around in blankets eating snacks.

Equal opportunity is so important and part of the foundation of our country. This concept is why so many unlikely people have had the chance to succeed. Equity of outcome is some weird, unsustainable idea based on feelings and not logic. When are we going to stop this nonsense?

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