Equity (n.) - Why is equity dangerous?

Equity (n.) - Why is equity dangerous?

I think we’ve come to an equitable arrangement.

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Treating groups differently based on perceived advantages and disadvantages, in an attempt to reach equal representation for the disadvantaged groups.

Also the value of shares of stock in a company, or the amount of principle that has been paid on a mortgage.


History & Etymology:
The Latin word aequitas meant uniformity, symmetry, kindness, conformity or evenness, and is the origin for both equality and equity.

Unlike equality, equity didn’t come directly into English from Latin, it found its way through the Old French word equité.

Equity came into English in its current form in the early 14th century. At that time it meant the “quality of being fair or equal, and impartiality in dealing with others.”

English Equity Courts

Prior to the 14th century English law was governed by what was called Common Law, and by this time the Common Law courts were overly technical and tended to take a long time to come to a judgment. The only other option for someone seeking a legal remedy would be to plead directly to the King. As the Common Law courts became more cumbersome more people started coming to the King for remedies, and as the case load grew for the King he began delegating this task to his Lord Chancellors. These Lord Chancellor were considered the keepers of the King's conscience, they would try and make decisions in these cases according to what the King would decide. These courts became known as the Courts of Chancery or Courts of Equity, and as time went on they began to establish body of law known as Equity Law.

These Equity Courts were the first to first to recognize trusts, A trust is where one person can own property on paper, but the rights to the property belong to another, and they created several new legal remedies such as injunction and specific performance. These remedies after they were applied were referred to as equities.

This appears to me to be the origin of equity in the financial sense.

Equity = Assets - Liabilities

When you get a mortgage to buy a home, you don’t really own your home, the bank hold the mortgage does, but the bank is holding the deed to your home in trust. The portion of the mortgage that you have paid off is your equity in your home, your ownership in your home. It can also refer to the percentage of a business you own when you hold stock in a business.

But when Point Curation, one of my patrons over on Patreon, selected equity as the word for this video I think he may have been referring to its modern usage in the current Social Justice movement.

The use of the word equity has increased in the realm of education and politics lately, and a great example of what is meant by equity in this way is the image of the three people trying to watch a baseball game over a fence. It’s a very simplistic, but effective explanation of what is meant by equity as opposed to equality.

The image works well within a paradigm of resource redistribution. It’s an example of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” If someone is distributing money or things in an attempt to make everyone equal they would need to distribute the boxes in this way.

In the image it’s easy to see where the inequality lies, and it’s easy to see the solution to equalize everyone in the situation. Because the world is much more complicated than this particular situation, many times equity based decision in society now come down to a decision of conscience, just like the Equity Courts of old. It’s about doing what feels right as opposed to following a set of objective rules. Just like an old saying about those old Equity Courts, decision made by based on equity can be like basing the length of a foot on the size of the feet of the chancellor making the decision.

Word (n.) - What is a word?

Word (n.) - What is a word?

Tradition (n.) - With special guest Felton!

Tradition (n.) - With special guest Felton!