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A Modest Proposal for Reparations

 America needs to forgive itself for its original sins of slavery and ghettoization of native Americans. To claim that was a different time and a different set of people is disingenuous. The government aided and abetted these travesties and they need to help alleviate them. So the question is how to do this fairly?

Here’s a simple proposal. First we must make some observations: with DNA tracking, we know exactly who your ancestors were. They were either discriminated against or not. And we know the proportions, so we can base the reparations on a standard legal ground. The idea is to take each grouping of families and compare their wealth to the average. We can figure out what the growth rate would need to be to match the wealth of the groups at any time in the future. Pick a time frame to eliminate this systemic racism. Maybe as long as it was in place? About 350 years? So say we plan to be an egalitarian society at that point? That seems ridiculous! How about reversing the last 55 years of streaky relative decline since the Voting Rights Act was passed? That was almost 3 generations ago, about time to fix it.

What additional revenue would this group need to match wealth in a few centuries? Today’s ratio of wealth white to black is about 7 to 1. [1] So we need approximately 3 doublings to fix this. So to fix it in three generations we have to double it every 20 years. This would mean an extra 3.5% income every year. We can fade it out over the three generations, so start with double that amount and fade it to zero of the half century. How do we get this income to the right people? Tax credits. Give the reparations to the needy as a 7% tax credit, a form of Universal Basic Income for all those who were discriminated against. We can afford it. It would end up costing us less than the Republican’s latest tax scam for the rich. And it would go a far way towards making income inequality disappear. 

thanks for reading,

 -Dr. Mike



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