Economists working with California's Reparations Task Force said Wednesday that Black residents in the Golden State are owed $800 billion instead of an initial estimate of $640 billion because of mass incarceration, over-policing, and housing discrimination.
The preliminary estimate is more than 2.5 times the state's $300 billion annual budget and does not include a recommended total of about $1 million per older Black resident for health disparities that have shortened their average life span. It also doesn't account for compensating people for property unjustly taken by the state or devaluing Black businesses, two other harms the task force said the state perpetuated.
In a draft report before a Wednesday meeting in Sacramento, the economists said the task force should 'err on the side of generosity' and consider a down payment with more money to come as more evidence becomes available.
"We've got to go in with an open mind and come up with some creative ways to deal with this," said Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, according to The Daily Mail. Jones-Sawyer is one of two lawmakers on the task force who are responsible for gaining support from state legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom before any reparations can be distributed.
The numbers are approximate, based on modeling and population estimates. The economists included $569 billion in their report to make up for the discriminatory practice of redlining in housing loans. Redlining began in 1933, when the federal government started backing mortgages to support homebuying but excluded majority black neighborhoods by marking them red on internal maps. It ended with the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977.
"Redlining was federal law but, at the initiative of Southern Democrats, almost complete discretion was given to the states to guarantee application of Jim Crow Laws in the Southern states," the report said. "Thus, California could have gone another direction, but chose not to. This makes redlining reparations California's moral responsibility."
The economists said each Black resident who qualifies would receive $223,239, under the assumption they lived in the state from 1930-1980 or are the heir of someone who did.
The economists also concluded because of biased law enforcement and mass incarceration, $246 million should be distributed among Black residents who lived in the state in 2020, or about $124,678 per resident. It would be $2,494 for each year of residency in California from 1970-2020.
"These reparations could be paid out to individuals deemed eligible under the Reparation Task Force's definition," the report said. "Individuals that would otherwise be eligible but who left the state because of race-targeted policing, or other Americans affected by disproportional incarceration [for example, Hispanics of any race or African Americans not descending from people enslaved in the U.S.] could file claims separately following the same computational strategy."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.