Patterico's Pontifications

5/3/2023

Updating the California Reparations Racket Recommendations

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:26 pm



[guest post by JVW]

The California Reparations Task Force, convened by Gelatinous Governor Gavin Gnusom, is finalizing the report it intends to deliver to the state legislature sometime next month. As the task force has been gallivanting up and down the state holding “listening sessions” and essentially trying to gin up support for its mission, some details about what they plan to recommend are beginning to leak. Here is what the CalMatters news site reports:

The California Reparations Task Force published documents Monday indicating it plans to recommend the state apologize for racism and slavery and consider “down payments” of varying amounts to eligible African American residents.

The documents, numbering more than 500 pages, do not contain an overall price tag for reparations, but they do include ways the state could calculate how much money African Americans in California have lost since 1850, when the state was established, through today due to certain government practices.

Those ways of calculation are quite stunning. Here are some of them, as reported in the CalMatters write-up:

* For mass incarceration and the over-policing of Black communities, it estimates a loss per person of $115,260, or $2,352 for each year they lived in California from 1971 to 2020, corresponding to the national War on Drugs.

* For housing discrimination, it offers two methods of loss calculation. One method based on gaps between Black and white “housing wealth” would peg losses at $145,847 per person. The other method, based on governments’ “redlining” history, including discriminatory lending and zoning, would calculate Black residents’ losses at $148,099 per person — or $3,366 for each year they lived in California from 1933 to 1977.

* For injustices and discrimination in health, it estimates $13,619 per person for each year lived in California, or $966,921 total for someone living about 71 years — the average life expectancy of Black residents in California in 2021.

The task force members, understanding that the average non-woke Californian with the slightest modicum of financial awareness would blanche at the idea of sending $350,000 to $1.2 million to each adult black resident who claims some sort of historical discrimination, are quick to insist that the dollar figures aren’t the real issue here. The real issue is that the state recognize its collective guilt and accept “dozens of policy recommendations aimed at preventing further discrimination and harm against Black residents.” These will no doubt be a toxic stew of racial grievance priorities such as race-based affirmative action (currently illegal under state law) with unspoken set-asides and quotas, billions or even trillions of dollars in state “investment” in black communities which will be administered by local politicians and community activists, and left-wing policies regarding policing, environmental justice, legal system reform, welfare policies, and the like.

This puts Greasy Governor Gavin in a sort of bind. The state is currently projected to run a $22.5 billion deficit in the budget year beginning on July 1, a number which will likely trend worse as employment in the tech sector dips and more and more upper-income residents leave the state. California Democrats relied heavily upon the strength of the tech sector and the entertainment industries during the pandemic, and that combined with the Federal Government’s blanketing all of the states with funny money gave progressives an unrealistic expectation of financial health.

Democrats now face the prospect of having to trim back the lavish promises that they so confidently made just last fall. To forestall this, leftist legislators have gone to the old standby of “borrowing” money from reserve funds and raising taxes (on corporations for now, but income tax increases won’t be far behind). The governor, who has ambitions much higher than Sacramento, has thus far rejected raising taxes and is instead courting dissent from his radical flank by going back on a promise to lower health insurance costs and reapportioning that money elsewhere.

So what I’m getting at here is that there is pretty much zero money to play Santa Clause of Reparations, yet progressives such as the grossly irresponsible Newsom have inflated expectations which they will now be called upon to meet. Republicans, a distinct minority in the capitol, can simply sit back and let the super-majority Democrats sort all of this out. If this causes heartburn for Gavin Newsom, Joe Biden, or Kamala Harris, then it is well-deserved.

– JVW

33 Responses to “Updating the California Reparations Racket Recommendations”

  1. The other thing that this task force report is going to do is put pressure on Biden/Harris to incorporate some sort of national reparations plan into their 2024 campaign platform. How in the world are they going to navigate through those rocky shoals?

    JVW (8d546f)

  2. The other interesting thing that this has done is inflate expectations for direct payments to members of the black community, when I think what progressives were really after is massive government spending on schools, hospitals, roads, and other infrastructure in black neighborhoods, as well as lots of money for community activists for various programs and to create government-sponsored jobs which can be handed out as patronage. What is the average black citizen going to think when Democrats negotiate his million dollar check down into funding for a new community center, a new school with impressive technology, 200 more hospital beds, and some government-paid jobs for members of the racial grievance lobby? You think he’s going to consider that a fair trade?

    JVW (8d546f)

  3. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas are ground zero slave states that profited greatly from slavery, except today, these states are filled with broke ass white and black people and have been since reconstruction. We have people from Jamaica, Dominica, Haiti etc whose check should come from France, England and Spain. We have a huge population of Mexican immigrants who don’t owe a penny, same goes for our Chinese immigrants. There are Irish who came to New York who were immediately drafted to fight in the Civil war, as were European immigrants who went immediately to farmlands in the mid west states and then off to the war.
    I am in favor of righting wrong like was done at Bruce’s Beach in LA. Pay the family fair market value for unjustly seized property.

    steveg (933713)

  4. San Francisco has been leading the way in CA on reparations. This comes at a time when the SF tax base is voting with its feet. Taxpayers who do not use city schools, call the police, fire, ambulance, daily leave, while the people who use all the resources stay. So the demand for city provided resources stay constant or may rises, the revenues drops off a cliff. SF will need massive federal money and it will not fix the core problem.
    My other cynical take is that within hours, days, a few months, most reparations money will wind up in the hands of our richest people and businesses. Businesses yes, but very little will be placed into investment business accounts, most will be spent and it will cause massive inflation

    steveg (933713)

  5. Reparations for people far removed from slavery, living in a state that did NOT support slavery, where slavery was not practiced, paid by taxpayers that never owned a slave.

    F.F.S.

    Colonel Haiku (901900)

  6. I suppose that pointing out that California entered the Union as a free state in 1850 is racist or something. Any slavery that existed at that time was illegal and the courts generally released anyone held to service in the state.

    For CA to apologize for slavery is like apologizing for rapists.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  7. The California Republic’s 1849 Consitution said: “Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this State.”

    A year later, under the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted to the Union as a free state.

    There are those who point to illegal slaveholding in the 1850’s as evidence that slavery was tolerated. It wasn’t.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  8. Reparations should go like this: For 50 years, each black person who can show one or more ancestors having been enslaved in America, and attaining the age of 25, shall be given $________. An advance on this payment may be requested for attendance at 4-year college.

    Even this would be costly. If the amount is $100,000 it would cost about $30 billion a year. $300,000 and it’s $100 billion a year ($5 trillion over time in 2023 dollars).

    There IS an argument for a federal program of reparations. Really, there is. But it needs to be done with clear understanding of the costs. And an understanding that a line will form for other grievances.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  9. * $350,000 and it’s $100 billion a year

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  10. How to generate the money for the CA Reparations program:

    1. Sue the state over Prop 13.
    2. The state refuses to defend, and no one else can.
    3. Jump property taxes up to 4%.

    This may cause a decrease in property values, but this is about EQUITY!!!

    /sarc

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  11. I suppose that pointing out that California entered the Union as a free state in 1850 is racist or something. Any slavery that existed at that time was illegal and the courts generally released anyone held to service in the state.

    As you probably know, the racial grievances crowd gets around this uncomfortable fact by claiming that the real economic damage was done to black Americans through restrictive housing covenants, redlining of mortgage applications, discriminatory practices in college admissions and in hiring, active efforts to “underfund” public schools in minority neighborhoods, unequal prosecutorial treatment and sentencing of blacks in relation to whites, etc. That’s why you can see that so much of the reparations demands have to do with more recent claims, rather than going all the way back to the era of slavery.

    JVW (8d546f)

  12. active efforts to “underfund” public schools in minority neighborhoods

    Active overfunding doesn’t seem to be much different.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  13. In any event, this is not a state-level issue. Were California to get close to doing this, the influx of black folks to California would be something amazing. As would the outflow of everyone who might pay taxes.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  14. Were California to get close to doing this, the influx of black folks to California would be something amazing. As would the outflow of everyone who might pay taxes.

    I think the commission has accounted for the first part by limiting eligibility to black Californians who established residency here before 2022. And the second part is absolutely 100% correct.

    JVW (8d546f)

  15. The 1850 compromise was the fugitive slave act. California as free state was a small price to pay for it. Rich white people no longer make the rules for black people to live under. Harsh sentence for crack cocaine light sentence for white use of powder cocaine.

    asset (b4a560)

  16. There is zero argument for reparations. It is theft and racism.

    When you rob from Peter to give to Paul you can always count on Paul’s support.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  17. As far as I know, this summary of the part California played in the Civil War is reasonably accurate:

    California’s involvement in the American Civil War included sending gold east to support the war effort, recruiting volunteer combat units to replace regular U.S. Army units sent east, in the area west of the Rocky Mountains, maintaining and building numerous camps and fortifications, suppressing secessionist activity (many of these secessionists went east to fight for the Confederacy) and securing the New Mexico Territory against the Confederacy. The State of California did not send its units east, but many citizens traveled east and joined the Union Army there, some of whom became famous.

    (Links omitted.)

    Note that:

    When California was admitted as a state under the Compromise of 1850, Californians had already decided it was to be a free state—the constitutional convention of 1849 unanimously abolished slavery. As a result, Southerners in Congress voted against admission in 1850 while Northerners pushed it through, pointing to its population of 93,000 and its vast wealth in gold.

    (Emphasis added.)

    California gold did much to finance the war, making it possible for the Union to borrow in foreign markets.

    Jim Miller (0e46f9)

  18. The 1850 compromise was the fugitive slave act.

    That was only a part of it, and a rather small part of it.

    The real conflict — which threatened a civil war 10 years early — was the disposition of the lands “won” from Mexico. The old Compromise or 1820 allowed slavery below 36° 30′ latitude. Most of the Mexican Cession was below that and the free states did not want to give that many (actually any) new Senate seats to the Slave Power.

    After the House narrowly defeated the Wilmot Proviso (that would have outlawed slavery in all the new territories), both the Democrats and Whigs split into North and South factions. It was only through President Fillmore’s tireless efforts that the Union held together.

    The resulting Compromise allowed slavery in Texas and New Mexico territory (now Arizona and New Mexico) and nowhere else in the new lands. And, indeed, it contained the fugitive slave clause as part of the compromise. It should be noted that the free states mostly ignored it, much like California ignores immigration law.

    This destroyed the Whigs, which split into a number of short-lived parties (e.g. Free Soil), which then reformed into the abolitionist Republican Party. And when the Compromise broke down, since neither side was very happy with it, and the national mood turned towards abolition and Lincoln, Civil War happened anyway.

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  19. There is zero argument for reparations. It is theft and racism.

    Much of the wealth of this country was build by slave labor. That wealth, and the interest and other accruals it obtained, are stolen goods. The racism was built into this cake by the slaveholders, and the theft is historic.

    Do you object to returning wealth stolen by the Nazis to the heirs of murdered Jews?

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  20. JVW, I agree with you here and think its a slippery slope for CA and nationally

    “the racial grievances crowd gets around this uncomfortable fact by claiming that the real economic damage was done to black Americans through restrictive housing covenants, redlining of mortgage applications, discriminatory practices in college admissions and in hiring, active efforts to “underfund” public schools in minority neighborhoods, unequal prosecutorial treatment and sentencing of blacks in relation to whites, etc. That’s why you can see that so much of the reparations demands have to do with more recent claims, rather than going all the way back to the era of slavery.”

    The Irish, the Chinese, the Native Americans and likely others, Italians, Eastern Europeans, Hispanics, Jews suffered through “restrictive housing covenants, redlining of mortgage applications, discriminatory practices in college admissions and in hiring, active efforts to “underfund” public schools in minority neighborhoods, unequal prosecutorial treatment and sentencing” for periods of time, and although Blacks, Native Americans likely suffered the longest, the other races and ethnicities would have fair claims for shorter time periods and smaller amounts.

    The human condition requires constant adaptations to get around a-holes and has for all time.

    steveg (933713)

  21. asset
    I understand the argument that crack cocaine vs. powdered form sentencing can be broken down on racial lines as you have done, but that response wasn’t all about white people, it was a response to the way crack was devasting black urban communities. Even now, the black community refers pejoratively to wild young people as “crack babies”. The higher sentences could be seen as an attempt to help the black community to deal with the crack scourge by removing the most detrimental parasites within that community or as simply white justice system finding another route to oppress black people. I believe both things may be true because humans are involved, but it is my belief that the intentions on the journey down this hellish crack, were good, but the 1% of idiots will always have an outsized negative impact

    steveg (933713)

  22. @19. Today’s living ‘heirs’ in the United States -seeking “reparations” for past societal and moral transience’s, now viewed by the living as abhorrent transgressions by those long dead, have certainly not been denied access to live and flourish off the very fruits of those labors by their ancestors. Returning stolen property by the Nazis- valued artwork– to rightful heirs is hardly comparable; but if you want to compare the motives of the Founding Fathers and the daily commerce of 18th century colonial society to 20th century Third Reich thievery, go for it. By your logic, Russia had every right to claim half of Germany as ‘reparations’ for the 20 million of their citizens slaughtered by the Nazis.

    DCSCA (e0d050)

  23. @18 You forgot to mention with the help of my personel hero Capt. John Brown of Kansas. Who shows what one person can do when they really try. No Harpers Ferry and no president lincoln as democrat party doesn’t split over slavery and john brown’s support in the north.

    asset (94c402)

  24. 3. steveg (933713) — 5/3/2023 @ 5:26 pm

    We have people from Jamaica, Dominica, Haiti etc whose check should come from France, England and Spain.

    Doesn’t this proposal only apply to people who can trace their ancestry to people who were held in bondage in the United States prior to 1865?

    Not people from the Caribbean or who came in freedom from Africa (in recent decades)

    A lot of the loss was in a reduced standard of living 2 to 4 generations ago till money was saved up.

    And there is, of course, the different family history caused by slavery and discrimination, including not taking crime seriously, or education etc…

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  25. If certain groups commit a disproportionate share of crime, and are thus incarcerated at a higher rate, that is neither racism nor a basis for reparations.

    When the police focus on areas with higher crime, is that “over-policing”?

    norcal (15fce4)

  26. I’ve asked this question before of Patterico, Dana, and JVW, but have never seen an answer.

    Why don’t you escape the Titanic California?

    It would really be nice to get JVW’s response, because he seems to clearly sense California’s direction.

    Any other Californians are welcome to weigh in. (Not you, Nic. You were gracious enough to explain your reasons long ago.)

    norcal (15fce4)

  27. It would really be nice to get JVW’s response, because he seems to clearly sense California’s direction.

    Respectfully, I think I’ve answered this before, perhaps not directly to you but to others who have asked. But for the record, here we go:

    I’m here because I live in a sleepy beach town which is pretty much insulated from the greater Los Angeles rot. Our public schools are reasonably good, our crime rate is far better than (for example) the town I grew up in, we do have something of a homeless problem (being close to the beach) but it’s not like Skid Row or Venice or Santa Monica, it’s an upper-middle class neighborhood which is, alas, trending wealthy, the weather is damn near perfect, the Mexican food is excellent, the young women are beautiful, and the sunsets are breathtaking. I own my residence and have locked in a low interest rate on my mortgage (thank Heavens), and thus I can put up with a whole lot of garbage in order to enjoy California life as it should be and as it probably once was before the utopians started ruining things.

    I recognize that this might not last forever. I would love to ride this out until I am too damn old to walk the 3/4 of a mile to the sand, or until the nonsense which comes from the dominant political party drives me out. We’re not there yet. And despite my general curmudgeonliness, I’ve seen some silver linings here and there which suggest that perhaps we’ve reached peak progressiveness. But I’m also smart enough in that I am making escape plans should things here get rapidly worse. But I’m hoping that’s not until after we host the 2028 Summer Olympics.

    JVW (4106a3)

  28. A most generous answer, JVW. Thanks.

    norcal (15fce4)

  29. Just hope that California doesn’t enact one of those we’re-going-to-tax-you-if-you-leave-and-even-after-you-leave proposals.

    norcal (15fce4)

  30. Just hope that California doesn’t enact one of those we’re-going-to-tax-you-if-you-leave-and-even-after-you-leave proposals.

    Maybe I’m overly-optimistic, but I can’t imagine this sort of law would ever pass Constitutional muster. I think state Dems know it too, but this is just boob-bait for the more ignorant and angry members of their base, the ones who have had zero civics education and tend to believe that government can take whatever they want from people they do not like.

    JVW (0bbd4c)

  31. I’m here because I live in a sleepy beach town which is pretty much insulated from the greater Los Angeles rot. Our public schools are reasonably good, our crime rate is far better than (for example) the town I grew up in, we do have something of a homeless problem (being close to the beach) but it’s not like Skid Row or Venice or Santa Monica, it’s an upper-middle class neighborhood which is, alas, trending wealthy, the weather is damn near perfect, the Mexican food is excellent, the young women are beautiful, and the sunsets are breathtaking. I own my residence and have locked in a low interest rate on my mortgage (thank Heavens), and thus I can put up with a whole lot of garbage in order to enjoy California life as it should be and as it probably once was before the utopians started ruining things.

    I would love to ride this out until I am too damn old to walk the 3/4 of a mile to the sand

    JVW (4106a3) — 5/4/2023 @ 5:26 pm

    I just looked at the clock. It’s Devil’s Advocate time!

    Sleepy beach towns exist outside of California, and some even have good schools and low crime rates. 😛 The same goes for beautiful women and sunsets.

    You may have a point about combining all of that with perfect weather and excellent Mexican food, if your definition of perfect weather is not too hot or humid. As for me, I’d be content with warmer, more humid weather at a small beach town on the southeastern seaboard or Gulf coast, and a cuisine other than Mexican. Small concessions for a saner, less rapacious state government.

    norcal (15fce4)

  32. Aw, you know how it goes for us old men: we get situated and used to a certain place and inertia makes it hard to relocate. Pretty women and great Mexican food go a long way towards making up for having a four-flusher like Greasy Gavin for my governor.

    JVW (e89b17)

  33. Arizona democrats should pay reparations in tucson. (run by democrats) Az was part of new mexico territory before the civil war which was a slave area. The battle of picacho peak republican union troops defeated confederates north of tucson and drove the slave holder out!

    asset (fbffcb)


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