Free Money!

And no matter how much money the Fed ‘prints’, it will still go broke.

When it does, someone will pay. In an honest economy, as in life itself, people usually pay for their own errors. But the whole idea of politics is to shift the costs from those who deserve it…to those who don’t.

And so…in the spirit of mischief, which is all it merits, we turn to the latest news from the BBC. In preamble, this is something we can get behind.

‘San Francisco reparations plan proposes $5m for black residents’:

San Francisco could become the first major US city to fund reparations, under a plan that would award $5m (£4m) to each eligible black resident.     

A city-appointed panel also suggests guaranteed annual incomes of $97,000 for qualifying recipients and homes in San Francisco for $1 a family.

Hey, why not? Why shouldn’t the ‘city-appointed panel’ give away US$5 million to everyone with the favoured DNA? It’s not their money. They didn’t earn it. They didn’t save it. It’s not real anyway. And they were careful to say that they didn’t concern themselves with the practicality of the program.

Numbskull programs

That’s right, they didn’t worry about where the money would come from…just so long as it wasn’t from them.

And the recipients? Would they be harmed by free money…including almost US$100,000 per year forever…without having to work another day…for 250 years!? Why bother to study? Why bother to save? Why bother to learn a skill? We’ve seen what small welfare payments can do to people — so let’s try big welfare payments. The panel must not have worried about that either.

What is astonishing is that the panel’s report — which is one of the most numbskull and unworkable programs ever devised by public officials — was approved unanimously. Apparently, there was not a single doubt or misgiving on the panel. Instead, the committee vouchsafed that people with African blood had suffered greatly — and uniquely — 158 years ago…and that the people of San Francisco (the city hardly existed at the time…and had no slaves)…should make amends.

Our heart leaps…thrills…at the thought of blithely correcting injustice, without a care in the world for the real-world costs.

People who did no harm will pay fortunes to other people, who suffered no harm. Taxpayers (a third of whom are Asian) will pay — an estimated US$600,000 per family — so that people with a slightly different DNA will get a US$20 million payday per family of four.

We hope they follow through. We’d love the reality show rights: ‘SanFran Reparations! A real-life cluster!’

How will it turn out? Let’s take a guess. The non-Black population will leave…they’re no fools. The city will borrow the money and then, its tax base undermined, it will default. City services will collapse. And the city residents will be reduced to a remnant of big-spending, shiftless freeloaders.

The Victim Olympics

But what a jolly blabber fest that ‘panel’ must have enjoyed. Perhaps ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ was required reading…or ‘White Fragility’ for a more contemporary spin. Everywhere they looked they saw ‘racism’. They saw people who thought Blacks should take care of themselves — obviously, white supremacists. And other people who thought Blacks were a victim class that needed special help and special rules granted to them by white do-gooders — obviously, racists too. Then, they looked into their own hearts, and like looking into an empty safe…they saw the solution — a big wad of cash was needed.

But what cheapskates. If you’re going to compensate people for the wrongs they never suffered…committed elsewhere…by people who may or may not be in any way related to the current taxpayers, why not toss a penny to the descendants of European Jews? They were systematically exterminated by the Third Reich. And that was during the lifetimes of people still alive in the Bay Area, not a century and a half ago!

Or how about the many Irish…who were slaughtered in their homeland…who died in droves in the Famine…and then who arrived in the US so destitute that they were put to work doing the jobs considered too dangerous for slaves? On the docks of Mobile, Alabama, slaves tossed the bales of cotton into the ships. Down in the hold, Irish deckhands caught the bales and died from breathing the dust. Or, how about the many thousands of indentured White slaves? Black slaves were valuable property and had to be protected. But the White slaves were dispensable…their overseers worked them hard as they could until their indentures expired.

What about survivors of the Armenian genocide? Of gypsy persecutions? Of Bolshevik murders? Of the Wounded Knee Massacre? Of homosexual prejudice? And what about all those with stutters, limps, Downs syndrome? What about people who are too short, too tall, too fat, too thin…too dumb…too ugly…too timid…too lonely…too depressed…too irascible…too sick…too insane…?

Other people’s money

But what fun it must be to hand out other peoples’ money and think you are doing good.

The theory is ridiculous. But it is the implementation that is likely to trip them up. The wrong being righted in SF happened so long ago that the DNA evidence has long since been contaminated. Almost all Black Americans have some white DNA. They may wear the halos of descendants of slaves…but they also bear the stain of enslavers. Should they get only partial payments from the Great White Fathers of San Francisco?

The panel’s recommendation was to give the money to anyone who ‘identified’ as African American…and met some other fishy requirements. But this is the slippery slope that all racist projects eventually slide down. Ultimately, you have to decide who is and who isn’t a member of the favoured group. In other words, you actually have to act like a racist.

A 19th century stage play, which appeared at the same time as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, called The Octaroon. It highlighted the race laws of the Deep South, in which a person with only 1/8th African blood was nevertheless considered ‘Black’ and was put up for auction. Her lily-white lover tried to buy her, but he was outbid by someone who wanted her as his mistress. In her case, having African blood, even a little of it, was a serious problem; the poor girl committed suicide. Now, it is the whole city of San Francisco with a gun to its head. And now, there’s a US$5 million advantage to having African blood!

But how much do you need? How are they going to decide? We think of our own grandchildren. They are marvellous mixtures of Irish, Asian, African, and ‘native American’ DNA; would they qualify? Should we move them to SF forthwith, so they are fixed for life?

Oops. Too late. The panel decided that you had to be resident in the city in 1996…if you moved there afterwards, either you didn’t suffer from slavery or you are just out of luck.


Dan Denning Signature

Bill Bonner,
For The Daily Reckoning Australia

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