Some prominent pinheads have recently suggested racial reparations. I think it’s a hard sell, unlikely to happen – but I haven’t seen much talk of the likely consequences, probably because our public intellectuals have no idea what those consequences would be. They just don’t know.
But I do.
One can make a close analogy with the results of that land lottery in Georgia back in 1832, and with the outcomes in families that won the lottery in Scandinavia. David Cesarini’s work strongly suggests that reparations would have no effect on infant health, drug consumption, or scholastic performance. The recipients would be no more literate, their occupational status no higher. There would be economies of scale: because of the size of the pot, swarms of the world’s most skillful and voracious grifters and con-men (Goldman Sachs) would immediately descend upon the black community and begin to extract the winnings, somewhat more rapidly than would have happened to a single individual receiving the same sum. I’m not sure whether more of the capital would simply be wasted or end up in the Cayman islands ( economically preferable).
It might only cost a couple of trillion dollars. A lot like Iraq – but way funnier!