Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Follow-up II: On the idiocy of reparations to U.S. Blacks

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In early December 2022, I wrote about the idiocy of reparations to U.S. Blacks (cf. [1], [2]).

Since then, there have been repeated reports (e.g. by CNN) that the already ridiculous prior Californian recommendation of 223 thousand USD had been upped to an amount that must be considered utterly absurd, even literally insane—5 million.* (In addition to which there has been talk of separate on-going payments.) To put this in perspective, consider e.g. that (a) 5 million USD is likely to exceed the life-time income of most individuals even** in the U.S., (b) for most, it is outright and immediate retirement money and, with the right investments, it would be enough to live very comfortably from birth to death of old age, (c) there appears to have been almost 22 million millionaires in the U.S. as of February 2022, while there are currently around twice that many Blacks. Looking at (c), far from all of those Blacks would eligible, even should the scheme be made nationwide, but there would still be a very, very major shift in the demographics of millionaires and the proportion of Black quintuple millionaires would be far higher than for e.g. Whites, showing how correspondingly disproportionate the amount would be, even if we were to accept the (faulty) premise that reparations were a good idea.

*In both cases, per Black fulfilling some set of criteria that are in no proportion to the amount at hand.

**The incomes of high-earners in e.g. Germany, let alone e.g. Sweden, tend to be much smaller than in the U.S. (Moreover, international, and to some part intra-national, comparisons must consider factors like local purchasing power.)

Indeed, the amount is so utterly absurd that I see it as near* sufficient proof of a deliberate attempt to implement one of my items in [2], that the amounts are intended to “(a) driv[e] up enthusiasm among the potential recipients, (b) prevent[] reparations from actually being implemented. This will then create a near perpetual Noble Cause, which the Left could milk for decades.”.

*The level of derangement of the Left must not be underestimated and I cannot rule out that some combination of grave incompetence, derangement, and, indeed, literal insanity is the true explanation. Then again, more than one simultaneous explanation is possible.

From another perspective, there are valid causes for reparations to other groups that are never raised.* Consider e.g. the damage done by politicians through flawed COVID-countermeasures, high taxes with disproportionately small benefits, artificially lowered growth, the recent high inflation, and whatnot. A much more worthy action would be to e.g. demand reparations from Leftist voters to non-Leftist voters; from the likes of Biden, Trudeau, Merkel to their respective peoples; from the likes of Fauci, Birx, Ferguson to those who have been left suffering in the wake of their lies or incompetence;** from those who voted in favor of flawed measures in plebiscites to those who voted against;*** etc.

*Also note remarks in [1] on reparations from Blacks to the rest of the population.

**Of course, even the sum of the private fortunes of these would just be a drop in the ocean, but I speak in principle. (Other practical problems often occur, e.g. how to identify who-voted-how with certainty and without unduly violating the secrecy of the ballot.)

***Consider e.g. the Swedish plebiscite on nuclear power, which resulted in the decision to abolish—contrary to what was reasonable even with the knowledge of the time. While this has still not happened, more than forty years later, there has/have been a severe reduction in prior capacity, a failure to add new capacity, a failure to research new and better nuclear technologies, increased energy costs, increased pollution, and similar (relative a Sweden with a more sensible outcome). (Here and below, I gloss over complications like that the ballots arguably were rigged and that Swedish plebiscites are only advisory. Cf. e.g. parts of [3].)

Excursion on voting and security deposits:
An interesting idea is that some types of vote might be combined with a security deposit* proportionate to the stakes involved. This would reduce the number of voters and might skew the voting demographic, but it would also force the voters to put their money where their mouths are and would give the victims of flawed decisions some recompense. Take Sweden and nuclear power (cf. above footnote): With a deposit of (the equivalent of) a thousand modern USD, the decision might have gone the other way; if it did not, there might have been a considerable sum available to reduce the negative effects, to restart nuclear-power programs, and similar.

*To be repaid immediately to those on the losing side of the vote and at some predefined time, when consequences are expected to be clear, to those on the winning side—unless, of course, the consequences are negative, in which case the deposits are used for damage control, reparations, whatnot.

(Beware that this is a spur of the moment idea that would need considerably more thought before any actual implementation attempt. A particular issue is how to prevent politicians from denying actual consequences and from pushing absurd priorities in the face of problems, as Germany has done with nuclear power after Fukushima.)


Written by michaeleriksson

January 28, 2023 at 2:59 am

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