Equality vs. Equity: Kamala sells impossible vision in ad

Vice presidential candidate (and possible president, if the ticket wins), Kamala Harris shared an ad on her social media sites this weekend talking about equality vs equity.

It’s a 50 second spot narrated by Harris which begins: “so there’s a big difference between equality and equity. Equality suggests how everyone should get the same amount. The problem with that, not everybody’s starting out from the same place. So if we’re all getting the same amount, but you started back there and I started out over here – we could get the same amount, but you’re still going to be that far back behind me. It’s about giving people the resources and the support they need, so that everyone can be on equal footing and then compete on equal footing. Equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.” 

It’s the last sentence of that ad that’s especially noteworthy. “Equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place?”

I realize it’s a campaign ad. It’s pandering. 

But really consider the logic of what she’s saying. The government cannot guarantee we all get to the same place because of the uniqueness of people. And the only way to even attempt to make such a thing happen would be for the government to control every aspect of life: education, industries, wages. 

But even if that happened, we can’t all get to the same place. Because we’re different. Some people have better parents than others. You can’t guarantee equity in upbringing. Some people are more attractive than others, which attracts other attractive people. So you can’t guarantee equity in relationships and marriage. We don’t have equal genetics. Some of us are more prone to diseases or obesity. People have different skills, different interests. 

Someone might say, “but it’s a great vision!” 

No it isn’t. 

She’s selling people an idea that the government should take care of every aspect of their lives. That isn’t a great thing for people. It’s dehumanizing. Because the ability to succeed, to take risks, to fail, to learn from failure and overcome adversity is part of what makes us human. Not some utopian vision of everyone having the same results in life. 

It’s also hypocritical. She’s saying we should all get to the same place. Well she’s a vote away from being the vice president. She has the best healthcare a person can have. She has a big staff that tends to her. She has secret service protection.

Reminds me of Orwell’s famous line from “Animal Farm” “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” 

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