A Duke University professor of economics called for $14 trillion in reparations for the descendants of American slavery this past week, which equates to approximately $350,000 per recipient.
Appearing on the “Dr. Phil” show, William Darity said cash reparations should be designed to reduce the wealth gap between white and black Americans, which currently stands “in excess of $840,000 per household,” according to Fox News.
As for where that prodigious amount of money would come from, Darity said the feds.
“It would be paid by the federal government in the same way in which the federal government has met the expenses that were paid out for the purposes of trying to deal with the great recession and also, most recently, with the economic downturn associated with the great pandemic,” Darity said.
The professor previously estimated that a total of $10 to $12 trillion would be necessary for reparations.
Darity (pictured), who also is a professor of public policy and African/African American Studies, responded to Dr. Phil’s worries about financial mismanagement by noting no one ever worries about that when it comes to payments to other communities.
Phil had said that “from a psychological perspective that if you take $350,000 or $840,000, and you write a check to any group of people […] and say, ‘There you go. Best of luck.’ You come back in six months. They’re going to be broke.”
As part of his point, Phil pointed to how much money was squandered during the COVID pandemic.
“There is a substantial history of the United States government providing financial assets to white citizens, when it did not provide similar assets to Black citizens. Let’s go back to the period in which there was a promise made of 40 acre land grants to Black Americans,” [Darity] added. “At the same time, when that promise was not fulfilled, the U.S. government gave one and a half million White families in the United States 160 acre land grants in the western territories, under the Homestead Act of 1860. …
Political writer Joshua Ferguson responded, “First of all, the U.S. government doesn’t have money. All of their money comes from taxes. To say you’re not going to take it from people today, you’re right. You’re going to take it from future generations. That’s what’s going to happen.”
Author and civil rights activist Bob Woodson also criticized the plan, “I cannot think of any group of people who have been made wealthy by just transferring money to them.”
According to his faculty page, Darity was the founding director of Duke’s Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality. Amazon.com says that “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century,” Darity’s most recent book, “makes the most comprehensive case to date for economic reparations for U.S. descendants of slavery.”
In early 2021, Darity was one of several researchers who claimed slavery reparations would have reduced the number of black COVID deaths during the pandemic.
IMAGE: Duke U. screencap