Re: Reparations

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Wed Aug 01 2001 - 07:37:34 MDT

Zero Powers wrote:
> >From: Greg Burch <>
> >BTW, regarding the question of the historical burden of slavery, I like to
> >say that the current cost in the U.S. of slavery is the present value of
> >the
> >price of 40 acres and a mule in 1865.
> Which, at first glance, may seem like a decent-sized chunk of dough.
> However I assume that it was only freed black men living during 1865 who
> were supposed to get that bounty. Assuming that group numbered ~600,000 at
> the time, dividing their share amongst their millions of present day black
> decendants would amount to about 40 cents and a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey
> game each.

A couple food stamps and a bottle of ripple.

Well, farmland runs between $20-$500 an acre, generally, and you can buy
a mule for about $200 or less, so this prices out at $1000-$20,200 in
current dollars.

Why does this seem like so little? Well, slaves didn't necessarily get
paid 'nothing'. They did get free food and lodging, as well as health
care (the mastuh didn't wanna lose the value of his stock) and clothing.
In return, their productivity was generally worse than that of a paid

The purpose of the '40 acres and a mule' settlement was an attempt to
make instant citizens out of the freed slaves, i.e. landed gentry, which
was naively thought to be all that was needed to make a man into a
thoughtful and concerned citizen.

Now, there is still a group that DIDN'T get even this much
consideration: escaped and previously freed slaves didn't qualify under
this settlement, yet they certainly deserve a settlement as well.

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