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Posts Tagged ‘Reparations’

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: When Reparations for Slavery Become Just Another Welfare Program

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2020

This has now become the standard policy formula for reparations. It’s not about payments to specific victims. It’s about increasing funding for the usual package of social programs around housing, cash transfers, and healthcare. In other words, in its form and administration, the “reparations state” is now indistinguishable from the “welfare state.”
But this doesn’t mean the idea of cash payments to specific descendants of slaves has been completely abandoned.

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2020/08/when-reparations-for-slavery-become.html

By Ryan McMaken
The idea that former slaves and their descendants ought to receive reparations for the wrongs committed against them is not new. Having grasped the fact that slavery is nothing less than kidnapping and theft committed against the enslaved, abolitionists long advocated for some form of redress for freed slaves.
The most famous early attempt to create a reparation program of sorts is likely General Sherman’s Field Order #15. Issued as a wartime measure, Sherman’s order—which never became widespread policy—divided plantations along the Atlantic Coast into forty-acre parcels to be distributed to forty thousand emancipated workers. Sherman’s motivation was likely military expediency rather than an attempt to compensate victims. Nonetheless, the idea that former slaves would receive “forty acres and a mule” became a symbol of an unfulfilled promise to provide compensation for lives of forced servitude. This variety of reparations, of course—as noted by Murray Rothbard—is morally and legally desirable:
On the libertarian homesteading principle, the plantations should have reverted to the ownership of the slaves, those who were forced to work them, and not have remained in the hands of their criminal masters. That is the fourth alternative. But there is a fifth alternative that is even more just: the punishment of the criminal masters for the benefit of their former slaves—in short, the imposition of reparations or damages upon the former criminal class, for the benefit of their victims. All this recalls the excellent statement of the Manchester Liberal, Benjamin Pearson, who, when he heard the argument that the masters should be compensated replied that “he had thought it was the slaves who should have been compensated.”
Demands for this this style of reparations—to be paid to specific victims by specific perpetrators—continued for a time. During Reconstruction, efforts to distribute former plantations lands to victims were proposed by the Freedmen’s Bureau but quashed by President Andrew Johnson.  The first organization devoted specifically to reparations was formed in 1896, when Callie House and Isaiah Dickerson founded the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association. Other early efforts include a plan from Henry McNeal Turner, a prominent African Methodist Episcopal (AME) bishop, calling for $40 billion in reparations.
As time went on, however, it became increasingly clear that this was not going to happen soon enough for the former slaves themselves to enjoy any sort of compensation for labor and freedoms previously stolen.
Attempts to recover reparations became more geared toward general taxpayer-funded efforts and less reliant on one-time payments as a form of restitution.
For example, beginning during the 1940s, the Nation of Islam urged reparations for slavery and “called on the federal government to cede several southern states to become the territory of an African American nation” (Biondi, p. 7).
More elaborate plans followed. In 1969, James Forman presented his Black Manifesto to the National Black Economic Development Conference, in which he demanded $500 million in reparations, which would be used to finance the institutional and infrastructural elaboration of a “Black Socialist State”:
Foremost among the proposals of the Manifesto was the use of $200,000,000 to fund the creation of a “Southern land bank” to protect tenant farmers evicted from their homes in retaliation for political activism and to support the efforts of those wishing to establish cooperative farms. There were proposals for the establishment of publishing houses, television stations, and “a Black University in the South.”
By 1969, more than a century since emancipation, the idea of compensating specific former slaves (or their heirs) had clearly given way to what was to resemble what the National Urban League would call a domestic “Marshall plan for Negro Citizens” as early as 1963. In 1990, for instance, the Urban League again called for this “Marshall Plan” at the end of the Cold War, arguing that the end of the Soviet threat had freed the US up to engage in “rebuilding” its urban centers. In 2018, the the Congressional Black Caucus introduced new legislation deemed a “Marshall Plan for Black America.”
Today, the idea of reparations is geared toward the sorts of policy options that are now quite familiar: more spending on programs that resemble traditional welfare programs of recent decades. Kamala Harris, for example, supports more spending on health programs “as a form of reparations for slavery.”
This April 2020 report from the Brookings Institution suggests that reparations take the form of student loan forgiveness, free college tuition, and down payment grants for potential homeowners.
This has now become the standard policy formula for reparations. It’s not about payments to specific victims. It’s about increasing funding for the usual package of social programs around housing, cash transfers, and healthcare. In other words, in its form and administration, the “reparations state” is now indistinguishable from the “welfare state.”
But this doesn’t mean the idea of cash payments to specific descendants of slaves has been completely abandoned.
The idea has been revived in recent decades by new legal and legislative developments. This includes 1988 legislation adopted by Congress in which victims of Japanese internment during World War II received $20,000 each. And in 1994, the State of Florida agreed to pay reparations to the survivors of the 1923 Rosewood massacre.
These events revived interest in the old idea of direct reparation, but naturally complications were immediately apparent. The payments to victims of internment and the Rosewood massacre were to specific individuals. Moreover, their numbers were far smaller than the millions of descendants of formers slaves currently residing in the US today.
Nonetheless, the Brookings report implies that a grant of more than $100,000 to each household would be necessary to close the “wealth gap” between whites and blacks. Economist William Darity suggests that closing this wealth gap requires transfers of up to $12 trillion. Other proposals claim totals in excess of $16 trillion, a sum approaching the size of the entire US gross domestic product.
Needless to say, a reparations program of this magnitude is exceedingly unlikely to happen. Even in our current era of trillion-dollar bailouts, handing over $10 trillion dollars to satisfy a single interest group is unlikely. Not even New York bankers have managed that feat.
However, the reparations issue is unlikely to disappear any time soon, because it will remain useful to the debate over taxpayer funding of the welfare state. As such, calls for reparations remain part of a toolbox for demanding that ever greater sums be poured into social programs. That’s an important tool that no savvy fundraiser, politician, or lobbyist is likely to give up.
 
Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. 
 
The above originally appeared at mises.org.

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Shakedown: BLM Demands Cut of Louisville Business Profits for Protection

Posted by M. C. on August 3, 2020

Seems oddly familiar.

We are here to win your hearts and minds…or else we will burn your village down.

https://www.breitbart.com/crime/2020/08/02/blm-demands-cut-louisville-businesses-profits-protection/

by Robert Kraychik

Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters issued “social justice” and “black liberation” demands regarding “diversity” to a restaurant owner in Louisville, KY, including a directive for “donations” to organizations run by non-whites.

Listed demands from a BLM affiliate in Louisville include racial quotas for staff and ownership of business suppliers, donations to organizations run by non-whites, and adjustment to dress codes. The posters used the acronym “BIPOC” (“black or indigenous persons of color”) as a euphemism for non-white persons:

23% of Staff is BIPOC in Front of House

23% of inventory is from BIPOC retailer(s)

Regular donations to BIPOC organization

Dress code policy does not discriminate against BIPOC patrons of employees.

Additional demands issued via the letter included the option to give 1.5 percent of revenues to a local “black nonprofit or organization” in lieu of purchasing a minimum of 23 percent of the business’s inventory from “black retailers,” mandated “diversity and inclusion training” for all employees, and displaying of left-wing messaging to support “reparations.”…

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Beyond Reparations – Taki’s Magazine – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on July 18, 2020

This is unfair, but as Thomas Sowell has long pointed out, the quest for cosmic justice is both totalitarian in implication and can lead only to continual sifting of the entrails of group and individual disparities, a sifting that itself promotes resentment in both individuals and groups, as well as conflict.

When American blacks go to Africa, not a few of them are inclined to thank their lucky stars that their ancestors were taken into slavery.

https://www.takimag.com/article/beyond-reparations/

Theodore Dalrymple

There is no proposal so foolish that it has no advocates, or sometimes even its fanatics. If hope springs eternal in the human breast, delusion springs eternal from the human head.

Recently I was scrolling through The Guardian looking for easy targets—The Guardian is an inexhaustible source of these, which are, of course, any journalist’s best friends—when I came across an article by Dedrick Asante-Muhammad. I don’t know whether this was the name he had at birth, but whether it was given or assumed, it seems perfect for a monomaniac, a fanatic, or a mere political entrepreneur.

The idea propounded in the article was that every black person in the United States with an identifiable slave ancestor should be given, as of right, $20,000 a year for 20 years. Those younger than 25 should have it put in trust for them till they reach that age. Thus—only thus?—will the difference in wealth between blacks and whites in America be annihilated.

Needless to say, the average reader of The Guardian, ever on the lookout for yet another reason to feel good about himself and morally superior to the rest of benighted mankind (or should I say humankind?), will not dismiss this idea with the snort of derision that it deserves, but roll it round in his mind as an oenophile rolls a mouthful of wine round in his mouth. For such a person, the prospect of economic confiscation—of others, of course—acts as the presence of blood in the sea is said to act upon sharks.

“Open societies have this great disadvantage: that they force you to look at your own part in your situation.”

The objections to the proposal are so many and so obvious that it is difficult to know where to begin. When American blacks go to Africa, not a few of them are inclined to thank their lucky stars that their ancestors were taken into slavery. No one, I presume, would suggest that they had incurred a financial debt to the descendants of those who took their ancestors into slavery, and to those who created and maintained the demand for slaves.

Large gifts of money do not always benefit those who receive them. This is true of groups as it is of individuals. I think it distinctly possible that if I had received a large sum at the age of 25 (or at any rate a sum that seemed to me at that age to be very large), I might have used it so unwisely that I would never have recovered from it. Naturally, individuals vary and some would benefit. But in general, good fortune is a more difficult test of character than bad, in part because bad fortune is apt to reduce the scope of choice—and choice is often disastrous for those of bad, juvenile, or even merely weak character.

Long ago, I visited a small island in the Central Pacific called Nauru a few times. Its population, about 4,000, had once been subsistence cultivators and fishermen. Their island was a source of valuable phosphate rock, which was mined by an organization called the British Phosphate Commission, the profits of which went almost entirely to Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

When Nauru gained its independence, the assets—the phosphate rock—were transferred to Nauru, and the Nauruans went almost overnight from being poor to rich, their country being at one time the richest, or among the richest, in the world.

The sudden accession to wealth did not have an altogether happy result for the Nauruans. They did not have to work; indeed, there was very little work for them to do. They ate and drank instead. In a way, the country was in the avant-garde of Western civilization, for half of its population began to suffer from Type 2 diabetes and became the object of medical study by, among others, the distinguished Australian physician Professor Paul Zimmet. Overall, the effects of money for nothing were not good.

It is hardly necessary to go into other objections to the scheme proposed in The Guardian, moral and practical. To do so would be like trying to refute the idea that the moon is made of marshmallow.

Is it very far-fetched to see a great deal of anxiety and even self-contempt, albeit unstated or subliminal, as well as condescension, in this proposal? After all, it is not deemed necessary to assist any other group in the way proposed, not even women. In other words, there is in it the suspicion that in an open society (and no society can be open without also being unequal), such as America has long been, blacks are doomed to end up, on average and as a group, at the bottom of the pile unless they are given special privileges.

No one doubts that prejudice exists against blacks (and not only, incidentally, among whites) in America. But prejudice by itself, provided it is not universal and there are people who do not share it, does not prevent ascension on the social scale, unpleasant as it must be for those who suffer it. It is not a lifetime ago that some of the elite education institutions in America placed limits—and very low limits—on the number of Jews admitted to them. No one would say, however, that (lamentable or disgraceful as this was) the Jews in America were impeded from advancement. And something similar is true of many other groups, some of which started off poorer than American blacks today, and whose members did not require immense subsidies to advance themselves.

It is obviously true that in any unequal society, life is easier for some people than for others, both as groups and as individuals. This is unfair, but as Thomas Sowell has long pointed out, the quest for cosmic justice is both totalitarian in implication and can lead only to continual sifting of the entrails of group and individual disparities, a sifting that itself promotes resentment in both individuals and groups, as well as conflict.

Open societies have this great disadvantage: that they force you to look at your own part in your situation. Unless you are a rip-roaring success, which very few of us are (and those few are often not very attractive as people), you are forced to confront your own ineptitude, lack of talent, bad choices from an early age, etc., etc. It is much easier to deny that your society is an open one, and then sink back into a mixture of apathy, politicking, and continuation of immediately gratifying but ultimately self-destructive bad habits.

Theodore Dalrymple’s latest book is Embargo and Other Stories, Mirabeau Press

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To Understand BLM – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 30, 2020

Why is it BLM’s aim to disrupt ordinary families, and not to promote families with fathers?

Why does BLM focus on black women and largely ignore black men?

Why is BLM’s leadership Marxist and trained to be Marxist?

Why is BLM willing to attack images of Jesus and religious places of worship?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/michael-s-rozeff/to-understand-blm/

By

“The Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) casts itself as a spontaneous uprising born of inner city frustration, but is, in fact, the latest and most dangerous face of a web of well-funded communist/socialist organizations that have been agitating against America for decades.”

However, if you do not believe that conclusion and the evidence leading to it, then to understand the true nature of BLM, ask questions like the following and reach your own conclusion.

Why is the BLM aim to defund police, and not to defund the War on Drugs? The latter is what fills the prisons with black lives.

Why is BLM willing to defund police without having a viable alternative system?

Why does BLM aim to tear down the policing of black communities, including that which is directed at violent crimes?

Why does BLM want to release violent criminals from prisons?

Why is BLM so dead set against people who have built up wealth?

Why does BLM want reparations from whites, whoever they may be, when they cannot possibly identify past perpetrators and link them to victims in the present?

Why does BLM blame everything relating to black people on racism, when this case cannot be rationally sustained?

Why does BLM disregard rational argument and replace it with rhetoric, slogans and demands?

Why is it BLM’s aim to disrupt ordinary families, and not to promote families with fathers?

Why does BLM focus on black women and largely ignore black men?

Why is BLM’s leadership Marxist and trained to be Marxist?

Why does BLM paint today’s society as systemically racist when it is not?

Why does BLM promote the fiction that faulty theories of race that used to be prevalent generations ago are at work discriminating against black people today?

Why does BLM attack capitalism, free enterprise and free markets?

Why does BLM violently attack speech that opposes their views?

Why doesn’t BLM dissociate itself from antifa and its violence?

Why doesn’t BLM condemn rioting and looting, especially that which destroys black businesses and communities?

Why is BLM willing to burn down the system?

Why is BLM willing to attack images of Jesus and religious places of worship?

Why is BLM not transparent financially? Why do they conceal their financial statements?

Why does a BLM leader speak of forming a military arm?

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Biden’s Basement Strategy: Just Say Nothing – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 27, 2020

If Biden emerges, then he will have to answer why all these
institutions where his party and people are predominant — the media,
Hollywood, the academic community, public schools, big-city governments,
the big foundations, the federal bureaucracy — are apparently shot
through with systemic racism after decades of Democratic dominance.

And, more precisely, what he intends to do about it.

Perhaps it’s better to shelter in place in the basement.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/patrick-j-buchanan/bidens-basement-strategy-just-say-nothing/

Some polls now have Joe Biden running ahead of Donald Trump by 10 points and sweeping the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. This vindicates the strategy Biden’s advisers have adopted:

Confine Joe to his basement, no press conferences. Trot him out to recite carefully scripted messages for the cameras. Then lead him back to his stall.

This enables Biden to avoid the blazing questions that are dividing not only Democrats and Republicans but liberals and leftists. And most of these issues touch on the explosive subject of race.

Consider. California’s legislature just voted to put to a statewide ballot in November a return to the racial preferences that were banned as discriminatory in a statewide referendum, 25 years ago.

The proposal would reverse the 1995 constitutional amendment, approved by 55% of voters, which outlawed “preferential treatment” based on “race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”

If the measure carries, California returns to a racial spoils system.

Race preferences are being pushed because they are needed to bring about greater representation of Blacks and Hispanics in the student bodies of elite schools of the state university system like UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley.

Asian students are today “overrepresented” in these prestigious schools, because of their superior test scores.

Where does Biden stand on anti-Asian discrimination?

Earlier this June, the California Assembly voted to establish a task force to make recommendations for reparations for slavery.

Now, California did not enter the Union until 1850, and slavery was outlawed in the state constitution, though several thousand slaves were brought there during the 1849 Gold Rush.

Where does Biden stand on reparations for slavery?

Many of the recent protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death have involved the desecration and destruction of monuments.

What does Biden think about tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus and Robert E. Lee? Where does Biden stand on destroying statues of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, Grant and Theodore Roosevelt?

What did Biden think of the removal of the statue of Caesar Rodney, Delaware statesman and slave owner, who, despite a grave illness, rode to Philadelphia to sign Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and cast his lot with the American Revolution?

Understandably, Biden would prefer not having to choose between Caesar Rodney and BLM.

Black men are arrested and incarcerated more often than whites because of the systemic racism of law enforcement officials, we are told.

Does Biden believe white cops are congenital racists?

In the great cities where the killing of Black men is today all too common, the regimes that have ruled them for decades have been almost wholly Democratic.

Does Biden believe there is systemic racism in the ruling circles of all these Democratic-run cities?

Over the last month, there has been an explosion of shootings and killings. In Chicago, over Memorial Day, 84 people were shot, 24 mortally.

Last weekend in Chicago, 106 people were shot and 14 killed. New York City is experiencing the worst shooting violence in a quarter century.

Is there systemic racism in the police departments of our great cities? Again, who has been running those cities, if not Democrats?

Is there inequality in wealth between Black and white America because of systemic racism? If so, why did that inequality persist through two terms of our first Black president, with Biden as his VP?

Does Biden believe, with Elizabeth Warren, in wealth taxes on the rich and wealth transfers to close the Black-white wealth gap?

Is there systemic racism in American media?

Our dominant media institutions include The Washington Post, New York Times, ABC, CBS and NBC. All are controlled by liberals.

Is there systemic racism in our great universities and colleges? Yet, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and the rest of the Ivy League have long been run by an entrenched liberal elite.

Is our huge federal workforce permeated by racism?

Though African Americans are 13% of the U.S. population, they occupy 18% of all federal jobs.

Is there systemic racism in our public schools? Who controls the teachers unions? Who fills almost all of the teaching positions?

Is there systemic racism in California? If so, who is at fault? The governor, both senators, both houses of the legislature, all statewide offices, and 46 of 53 U.S. House seats in California are held by Democrats.

If Biden emerges, then he will have to answer why all these institutions where his party and people are predominant — the media, Hollywood, the academic community, public schools, big-city governments, the big foundations, the federal bureaucracy — are apparently shot through with systemic racism after decades of Democratic dominance.

And, more precisely, what he intends to do about it.

Perhaps it’s better to shelter in place in the basement.

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Scott Adams has had a brilliant insight about the demand for reparations – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on June 15, 2020

Keith Richburg’s Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, about his job as the Washington Post’s bureau chief in the 1990s, proves it.  Richburg’s painful realization as he witnessed the daily horrors of life in Africa, whether from nature’s or man’s cruelty, was how lucky he was that his ancestors were enslaved:

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/06/scott_adams_has_had_a_brilliant_insight_about_the_demand_for_reparations.html

By Andrea Widburg

Whenever Democrats push race to the forefront of the news, reparations pop up.  The theory is that, because their forebears were kidnapped from Africa and enslaved in America, blacks will never catch up economically to whites.  It doesn’t matter that there are no slaves or slave-owners today; that most whites are not descended from slave-owners; or that racism impoverished, rather than enriched the South.

Scott Adams’s brilliant insight cuts through all this: the comparison isn’t between black wealth and white wealth in America.  Instead, the comparison must be the difference between blacks’ average net worth in America and blacks’ average net worth in Africa.  After all, the act of stealing blacks from Africa is the “but for cause” of all wrongs done to blacks.

Adams imagines a neutral space alien calculating reparations.  He informs earthlings that black versus white net worth in America isn’t the correct calculation:

“If I’m going to calculate the, let’s say, the theft from the black community, if you were to measure the theft — let’s say just theft — that this slavery was. In other words, you stole the productive part of their lives, etc., and you used it for yourself. So here’s the number I need: I need how does the average economic situation for the average black person in this country and then, to compare it, I want to compare it to the average life of a black African.”

And you say, “What?”

And the space alien says, “Yeah that’s the comparison. So, you want to compare what would happen to the average black person if they had stayed unmolested in Africa and there had never been a slave trade. Because that’s what you’re comparing to. Because if the people who were brought to America as slaves, and then their descendants, are doing much worse than if they’ve never been brought with slavery, then that’s the amount of reparations. That’s how much they lost is all the money they would have made if they just stay in Africa.

You know what the problem is, right? They would owe money to white people.

Adams is correct.  Keith Richburg’s Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, about his job as the Washington Post’s bureau chief in the 1990s, proves it.  Richburg’s painful realization as he witnessed the daily horrors of life in Africa, whether from nature’s or man’s cruelty, was how lucky he was that his ancestors were enslaved:

Sometime, maybe four hundred or so years ago, one of my ancestors was taken from his village, probably by a local chieftain. He was shackled in leg irons, kept in a holding pen or a dark pit, possibly at Goree Island off the coast of Senegal. And then he was put in the crowded, filthy cargo hold of a ship for the long and treacherous voyage across the Atlantic to the New World.

Many of the slaves died on that voyage. But not my ancestor. Maybe it was because he was strong, maybe just stubborn, or maybe he had an irrepressible will to live. But he survived, and ended up in forced slavery working on plantations in the Caribbean. Generations on down the line, one of his descendants was taken to South Carolina. Finally, a more recent descendant, my father, moved to Detroit to find a job in an auto plant during the Second World War.

And so it was that I came to be born in Detroit and that thirty-five years later, a black man born in white America, I was in Africa, birthplace of my ancestors, standing at the edge of a river not as an African but as an American journalist — a mere spectator — watching the bloated bodies of black Africans cascading over a waterfall. And that’s when I thought about how, if things had been different, I might have been one of them — or might have met some similarly anonymous fate in one of the countless ongoing civil wars or tribal clashes on this brutal continent. And so I thank God my ancestor survived that voyage.

Does that sound shocking? Does it sound almost like a justification for the terrible crime of slavery? Does it sound like this black man has forgotten his African roots? Of course it does, all that and more. And that is precisely why I have tried to keep this emotion buried so deep for so long, and why it pains me so now to put these words in print, for all the world to see. But I’m writing this so you will understand better what I’m trying to say.

It might have been easier for me to just keep all of these emotions bottled up inside. Maybe I should have just written a standard book on Africa that would have talked broadly about the politics, the possibilities, the prospects for change.

But I’m tired of lying. And I’m tired of all the ignorance and hypocrisy and the double standards I hear and read about Africa, much of it from people who’ve never been there, let alone spent three years walking around amid the corpses. Talk to me about Africa and my black roots and my kinship with my African brothers and I’ll throw it back in your face, and then I’ll rub your nose in the images of the rotting flesh.

Here’s more information about life in Africa.  And here’s the world Black Lives Matter wants, one without functional police (warning: graphic violence):

UPDATE: It turns out that others with less prominence than Scott Adams have been thinking along the same lines. Back in 2015, Blue Collar Perspective already suggested that the comparison should always be between people’s ancestral lands and their lives in America. It strikes me as very American for lots of independent thinkers to arrive at similar out-of-the-box solutions. This is another reason to reject Big Government, statism, and other collectivism: They force everyone’s thoughts down the same funnel, preventing new ideas.

 

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Reparations for Slavery – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 26, 2019

I’d like to see lawyers bring class-action suits against public school systems in cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Detroit and Los Angeles for conferring fraudulent high school diplomas.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/06/walter-e-williams/reparations-for-slavery/

By

…Let’s pretend for a moment that the reparations issue makes a modicum of sense. There’s the question of responsibility. More explicitly, should we compensate a black person of today by punishing a white person of today, by taking his money, for what a white person of yesteryear did to a black person of yesteryear? If we believe in individual accountability, we should find that doing so is unjust. In other words, are the tens millions of Europeans, Asian and Latin Americans who immigrated to the U.S. in the late 19th and 20th centuries responsible for slavery, and should they be forced to cough up reparations? What about descendants of Northern whites who fought and died in the name of freeing slaves? Should they pay reparations to black Americans? What about non-slave-owning Southern whites — who were a majority of Southern whites — should their descendants be made to pay reparations?

Reparations advocates make the unchallenged pronouncement that United States became rich on the backs of free black labor. That’s utter nonsense. While some slave owners became rich, slavery doesn’t have a good record of producing wealth. Slavery existed in the southern states and outlawed in most of the northern states. Buying into the reparations argument suggests that the antebellum South was rich and the slave-starved North was poor. The truth is just the opposite. In fact, the poorest states and regions of our country were places where slavery flourished: Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. And the richest states and regions were those where slavery was absent: Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts.

The reparations movement would be an amusing sideshow were it not for its damaging distractions. It grossly misallocates resources that could be better spent elsewhere. According to the state Department of Education, 75% of black California boys cannot meet state reading standards. In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient on the state’s mathematics exam. In six other high schools, only 1% tested proficient in math. The same story of low education outcomes can be told about most cities with large black populations. I’d like to see lawyers bring class-action suits against public school systems in cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Detroit and Los Angeles for conferring fraudulent high school diplomas. Such diplomas attest a 12th-grade level of academic achievement when in fact those youngsters often cannot perform at sixth- or seventh-grade levels…

As of 2014, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution. If money alone were the answer, the many issues facing a large segment of the black community would have been solved.

There’s another possible reparations issue completely ignored: Blacks as well as whites live on land taken, sometimes brutally, from American Indians. Do blacks and whites owe American Indians anything?

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Envy, Inc. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on May 22, 2019

Why do intellectuals, particularly university professors, resent capitalism? Simple, Mises explains: they resent the higher incomes and prestige of the risk-taking, entrepreneurial widget makers they look down upon.

Why do working class voters resent capitalism? Capitalism provides freedom, Mises tells us, but also imposes responsibility for one’s lot in life (a suggestion for which Jordan Peterson is deeply resented on the Left).

https://mises.org/wire/envy-inc

Presidential aspirant Kamala Harris promises to compel private companies with more than 100 employees to disclose what they pay employees to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Companies that don’t pay women “enough” will pay fines until they demonstrate an acceptable level of gender parity. South Bend, Indiana’s “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg thinks America needs a federal “Equality Act” to make up for past racism, sexism, and homophobia. Senator Elizabeth Warren champions direct cash payments to black Americans as reparations for slavery. And all of the 2020 hopefuls take great pains to characterize income and wealth disparity as the defining issue of our time.

The ostensible thread connecting all of these public policy ideas is equality. Millions of Americans firmly believe the proper role of government is to make us more equal, and thereby make society more just. Old-fashioned liberal ideas about private property and natural rights barely register in this worldview. And it won’t be changed by an election or politician; egalitarianism as an animating political, economic, and social principle is firmly entrenched across the West today.

Are these proposals rooted in justice, or hatred and envy? Are they presented as an appeal for restitutionary justice, however far-fetched and far-removed? Or do they represent a gross display of cynical politics, an appeal meant to divide? We hate to play amateur psychologist. But after more than a century of progressive claims of good intentions, the results speak for themselves: capitalism and markets increase freedom and prosperity, while political engineering is zero-sum and antagonistic.

Ludwig von Mises explained so much of what still plagues us today in his underrated classic The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. Written in the early 1950s, toward the end of Mises’s long career, this short book exhibits easier language and faster pace than his earlier works. Having been in the US for more than a decade at this point, one senses a change in Mises’s written English. He’s more comfortable in his diction and syntax, and utterly unconcerned with staying in his lane as an economist.

For Mises, capitalism is private property and markets. It is the engine of civilization, and the hallmark of any society with a natural and healthy “urge for economic betterment.” It is the only way to organize society that comports with human nature, promotes peace and social cohesion, and advances material well-being.

So what accounts for its constant vilification? Read the rest of this entry »

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Doug Casey: The Democratic Party Is a “Freak Show” – Casey Research

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2019

No, to come up with ideas like hers means that you’re purposefully trying to create a disaster; that’s the definition of an evil person.

You only have to look at John Bolton to know progressives don’t have a on lock on freaks.

https://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/doug-casey-the-democratic-party-is-a-freak-show/

Justin’s note: Elizabeth Warren could cost America trillions of dollars.

Warren is, of course, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. She’s also running for president.

And like many fellow Democrats, she’s full of wacky ideas. Most recently, she made waves by saying she wants to forgive more than $1 trillion worth of student loans if she becomes president. She also wants to issue reparations to African Americans, which could also cost trillions.

These sorts of ideas used to be considered extreme. A candidate would get laughed out of the race for suggesting them. But those days are over.

A recent poll found that just 27% of Americans oppose Warren’s debt forgiveness plan. As for reparations? Well, fellow Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris both support the idea.

Of course, not everyone’s a fan of these ideas. Doug Casey is one of those people. Below, Doug tells me why these ideas are not only ridiculous but destructive. He also tells me why he thinks Warren is part of a much bigger problem.


Justin: Doug, what do you make of Elizabeth Warren’s plan to forgive student loans? Surely, student loans are a major problem.

But I’m not sure this is the best solution. What do you think?

Doug: Well, it makes perverse sense that she’d suggest something like this. After all, a new Democratic presidential candidate enters the race every day now. I think we’re up to 22 candidates now. But who’s counting?

They seem to be competing with each other in an actual freak show. The Evil Party is trotting out its most bizarre nomenklatura, each trying to outdo the other in being socialist, black, queer, transgender friendly, or a professional female. By which I mean a female who parades as a female for a living. They’re vying over who has the most outlandish, rabid and nonsensical ideas about how they’re going to transform the very nature of what’s left of the United States.

Meanwhile, the Stupid Party, the right wing of the Demopublicans, populated by neocons, has-beens, and assorted non-entities, seems mainly interested in hyping the stock market with phony money, and looking for a major war somewhere in the world.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) kind of set the tone for all this. It amazes me that a 29-year-old Puerto Rican bartender comes from out of nowhere, apparently as a result of an actual casting call, and now everybody in the country takes her ideas seriously.

Perhaps the most stupid of her ideas is Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). This basically amounts to unlimited printing of dollars.

All these other candidates have to call her bet, raise it, and wait for the next player to reraise. They all have some signature goofball idea at this point… Read the rest of this entry »

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Corey Booker’s Reparations

Posted by M. C. on April 25, 2019

What about those of Chinese, native American, Irish, Jewish, European, Korean, SE Asian, Hispanic, Catholic heritage that had nothing to do with American slavery and/or are/were victims? Do they get a free pass? Will they get reparations?

Quakers were the first religious organization in the US to condemn slavery. Will they get let off the hook?

Slavery is old as time and remains active among many of our foreign “friends”. Go back far enough and everyone was treated badly by someone. Will you all get a crack at free money?

Answer – NO. Creating the façade of progress as an excuse to redistribute your money to get votes is the whole point.

One thing for sure: This will take A LOT of expensive government administration and nice new buildings.

Commissions and departments will be formed that will massively and unconstitutionally regulate and spend. Credit will be taken, pockets lined. Will anyone that really needs it benefit?

Will Corey Booker’s commission define what victory looks like? Victory is always the next increased budget away. Too many jobs and too much of someone else’s money is at stake.

The winners – Washington paper shufflers. The losers…

Be seeing you

 

REPARATIONS HAPPY HOUR – The Burning Platform

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