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Dr Melissa Derby: Equity or Equality?



Dr Melissa Derby, Ngāti Ranginui, Senior Lecturer Waikato University asks what happens when the focus of government and institutions shifts from providing equal opportunities to equal outcomes? Is attempting to bring about equal outcomes a good idea – or even possible? Dr Derby tests this idea against evidence to see if what we think might be a good idea is actually a good idea in practice.



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87 Comments


The ultimate tall poppy syndrome. Darwin would have seen straight through this.

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Simple answer, there is no answer, some people have the ability and others don't. Who would have been the rocket scientist in the stone age, it would have been the people who figured out how to manipulate stone and turn that stone into hunting tools, cutting tools and tools in general for everyday survival, that knowledge then would have been passed down to the smarter ones in the group, the other scientists would have been the hunters trackers and planners for the hunt, again that knowledge would have been passed onto the smarter ones, everyone in the tribe would have had their station, there would be no free feed, everyone would have done something for their bit of meat. W…

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In reply to vicalborn

You are correct. Melissa is saying that an equal outcome for everyone is impossible. To clarify ... if you have an IQ of 110 you will never be able to achieve the same outcome as someone with an IQ of 145. It doesn't mean you will be disadvantaged in every respect, it just means you will have to work much harder to achieve a reasonable level of living standard and you will need to choose a different kind of life, as you are destined with an IQ of 110 to be eliminated from "Rocket Scientist" status. But hey, the rocket scientist will need someone to look after his kids, mow the lawn, clean the house, cook…

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vic alborn
vic alborn
Feb 15, 2023

I am rather surprised and somewhat disappointed. Either I interpreted her incorrectly or there are a considerable number of commenters who have not taken the time to watch and absorb the whole video message. It appears to me that she is NOT supporting unbalanced "equality" (equal opportunity) to force "equity" (equal outcomes).

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vic alborn
vic alborn
Feb 15, 2023
Replying to

I agree. Personal responsibility is critical and yes, responsible parenting too. I am eternally grateful for my upbringing, but that was 70+ years ago. Times have changed but the effective resolution to today's problems have not. Another major problem is the subversion of the education system by the Socialists. Cheers


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The people that say they are legislating equality and equity are the political elites who beliefe they are superior to the rest of us and entitled to govern us as they decide "for our own good". They say they are promoting equality while imposing systems that bestow different rights, privileges and responsibilities on different groups of people and treating them unequally. The idea of equality in natural law was that each person's life, liberty and property should be respected and protected from being interferred with by other people. "All men are created equal" did not propose that they would be the same but it did mean that there should not be an HEREDITARY RULING CLASS with absolute authority and power over the rest…

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