Most of you are familiar with "minority set-aside" programs. These are Government (Fed, State, local) programs which make certain that Government money is spent on minority-owned firms.
Why do we refer to them as "equity" projects?
Because they are structured to allow (or force) Governments to pay MORE money to 'minority-owned' outfits.
In other words, they are not in place to enforce equality; instead, they force equity.
Under State of Wisconsin set-aside rules, the minority-owned vendor is awarded a contract even it its prices are 5% higher than that of its "non-minority" competitor. And in the State of Wisconsin, all municipalities, counties, and State agencies look to the State's 'approved vendor' list for its purchases; so if you're a 'minority-owned' vendor, those entities will purchase from you even if your price is 5% higher.
That's not a big deal if you're buying paper clips or pencils.
It IS a big deal if you're buying cars and trucks, construction equipment, buildings, or computer systems. Five percent of $100,000.00 is $5,000.00.
That's "equity" in practice.
Next time someone flips the "equity" bird at you, remember this. The objective is to take away from some and give to others. And the cost of that?
Paid by you, in more ways than one.