Once again, the people who were responsible and did the right thing get squat, while the selfish and lazy are rewarded.
This time it’s a $100 gift card to those who get vaccinated now, long after the time they should.
It’s a progressive idea that reminds me of the parable of the prodigal son, but the progressives I know don’t like religion, and gift cards aren’t a fattened calf, who took it in the neck to celebrate the return of the son.
The CBS story reveals it’s a bit tricky. People get one of the 20,000 gift cards only after they are fully vaccinated. You don’t get rewarded for the first shot, so that is a minor safeguard. CBS doesn’t say where the $2 million is coming from. Soda tax receipts maybe?
Will those of us who did as was requested for the good of society get anything?
Not even a pat on the back.
Yes, yes, yes. I know why the city is doing it. Even now, the more people who are vaccinated the more safe it is for everyone. So the sloths are being offered a carrot. City workers were offered a stick — vaxx up or lose your job.
Honestly, I didn’t like that any better, and there were earlier incentives.
But the word on everyone’s lips these days is “equity,” which means fairness, freedom from bias. Is this plan equity? Is it free from bias?
Equity sounds good on the surface, but the smiling mask of equity hides an ugly reality — it is not equality.
I wrote about it a year ago.
Scholars at Winston-Salem State University explained it this way:
“The terms equality and equity are often used interchangeably; however, they differ in important ways. Equality is typically defined as treating everyone the same and giving everyone access to the same opportunities.
“Meanwhile, equity refers to proportional representation (by race, class, gender, etc.) in those same opportunities. To achieve equity, policies and procedures may result in an unequal distribution of resources. For example, need-based financial aid reserves money specifically for low-income students. Although unequal, this is considered equitable because it is necessary to provide access to higher education for low-income students.”
There you go. Equality is race blind; equity is race conscious. (Not just race — also on the list might be income, gender, religion, nationality, shoe size.) Equity is almost a synonym for . . . Discrimination, no matter how well intended. If discrimination sounds too pejorative, call it favoring some or “making choices.”
In the case of the gift cards, the city is making a choice to reward (bribe?) those who resist going along with the program. Maybe they think they are rugged individualists.
The net result, we hope, is more people vaccinated, and we get closer to herd immunity.
But no matter how you slice it, the giveaway plan is sure to rankle people who do the right thing. It may have them thinking, next time, why should I do anything until I get something in return?
There used to be a common good in our commonwealth.
Not so much any more.