"Why reparations for slavery could help boost the economy"
Imagine we have decided yes, as a society we must pay a price for these injustices, and it must be large. Those payments could well constitute the stimulus that the U.S. economy needs to take it into the next century.
To the economy, stimulus is stimulus, as long as it’s done right. Whether it is paid to a group of people based on where they live, their ethnicity or their religion might matter to politics, but to the economy, it doesn’t matter – as long as the money is put to work through either consumption or investment. The reparations-as-stimulus idea gets a short mention from Coates, who writes that:
Today reparations would affect 44.5 million Americans, most of whom are in a position, or could eventually be in a position, to do far more than spend. The stimulus would lead to both entrepreneurship and investment and potential direct poverty alleviation for 3.2 percent of the total population, assuming that cash-based reparations payments would be large enough to lift even the poorest recipient above the poverty line. This would affect the roughly 27 percent of African-Americans who were below the poverty line in 2012.
Put those elements together and there is a prime case for stimulus that would both alleviate poverty directly, and provide payments to people who can either grow their investments or start or expand businesses.
I think poverty should be alleviated because it is poverty, which is why I support both a Jobs Guarantee and a Guaranteed Annual Income. However, I've got no objection to a line item for reparations, as long as there's some kind of process where those to whom the amends are made can speak directly (which is why I suggest a Truth and Reconciliation Commission), and the form in which the reparations are made is under the control of those to whom they are made. (For example, the tribes might prefer land, to money. On the other hand, money could be given for land.)