President Biden’s new infrastructure plan consists of spending $2.3 trillion on American jobs and puts a strong emphasis on addressing “racial equity.”
However, the term “equity” is not the same as “equality.” Equality has to do with giving everyone the exact same resources, whereas equity involves distributing resources based on the needs of the recipients. Therefore equity overthrows equality and looks to give advantages to those deemed to suffer from historical disadvantages.
During President Trump’s presidency, poverty rates reached record lows and the gap between white and black unemployment also reached record lows, due to Trump’s economic growth policies and Opportunity Zones.
Trump accomplished those historic landmarks without policies aiming to tax wealthy Americans and then redistribute those funds to impoverished people of color. However, Biden ran for president on a promise to “rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country.”
Biden’s new infrastructure plan mentions racial “equity,” “inequity,” “injustice,” or “inequality” at least nine times (original emphasis):
- Like great projects of the past, the President’s plan will unify and mobilize the country to meet the great challenges of our time: the climate crisis and the ambitions of an autocratic China. It will invest in Americans and deliver the jobs and opportunities they deserve. But unlike past major investments, the plan prioritizes addressing long-standing and persistent racial injustice.
- The President’s plan will ensure that these investments produce good-quality jobs with strong labor standards, prevailing wages, and a free and fair choice to join a union and bargain collectively [sic]. These investments will advance racial equity by providing better jobs and better transportation options to underserved communities.
- President Biden’s … infrastructure investments will mitigate socio-economic disparities, advance racial equity, and promote affordable access to opportunity.
- The President’s plan includes $20 billion for a new program that will reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments and ensure new projects increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access.
- Eliminate racial and gender inequities in research and development and science, technology, engineering, and math. Discrimination leads to less innovation: one study found that innovation in the United States will quadruple if women, people of color, and children from low-income families invented at the rate of groups who are not held back by discrimination and structural barriers.
- In order to ensure workers have ready access to the skills they will need to succeed, and to improve racial and gender equity, President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $100 billion in proven workforce development programs targeted at underserved groups and getting our students on paths to careers before they graduate from high school.
- All of us deserve to enjoy America’s promise in full — and our nation’s leaders have a responsibility to overcome racial, gender, and other inequalities to make it happen. To that end, the President is calling on Congress to create new, good-quality union jobs for American workers by leveraging their grit and ingenuity to address the climate crisis and build a sustainable infrastructure.
- President Biden is calling on Congress to update the social contract that provides workers with a fair shot to get ahead, overcome racial and other inequalities that have been barriers for too many Americans, expand the middle class, and strengthen communities. He is calling on Congress to ensure all workers have a free and fair choice to join a union by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, and guarantee union and bargaining rights for public service workers.
- President Biden is calling on Congress to provide the federal government with the tools it needs to ensure employers are providing workers with good jobs – including jobs with fair and equal pay, safe and healthy workplaces, and workplaces free from racial, gender, and other forms of discrimination and harassment. In addition to a $10 billion investment in enforcement as part of the plan’s workforce proposals, the President is calling for increased penalties when employers violate workplace safety and health rules.