No ham emoji but this is as close as I could get 🥓🥓🥓🥓 reminds me of my favorite shirt Glenn owns! Great episode as always!

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Many of the main points mentioned in the comments about reparations are summed up nicely on ProCon.org, including dozens of additional references toward the bottom: https://www.procon.org/headlines/reparations-for-slavery-top-3-pros-and-cons/

My take: The 2% Solution by Billionaire Robert Smith is on the right track, along with organizations like Project H.O.O.D. on a local level. Reparations shouldn't be paid by tax dollars, but from private corporations and donations. This would take away much of the animosity, and would prevent siphoning from other government programs. The money is there, Americans donated $471 billion in 2020, much of it to inefficient causes. Even more people would donate if they were confident it was getting into the right hands. Corporations drove much of the wealth gap by closing down manufacturing facilities, and now most of them can't find enough trained employees to fill positions. Possibly direct payments of equities if a finite list can somehow be determined (descendents of vets unable to take advantage of the GI Bill a good start), but most of the money should be used for food, healthcare, community centers, and job training facilities in locations where it's most needed.

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I understand Haiti could use some assistance...

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Haiti was extorted by France to pay reparations to enslavers


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Go bang your head, commie.

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I simply pointed out a fact.

Don’t be such a snowflake.

If you served, Thank you for your service

Edit to add:

The people who enslaved Black people in Barbados received reparations.

The enslaved people received nothing


Jamaica is seeking reparations from Britain


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Your predigested responses are akin to political ads, unwelcome , and undeserving of substantive response. They are more in the nature of trolling than adding to enlightened user (now, alas, member) discussion here on TGS.

That said, your views on racial matters in the USA are both interesting and valuable, much like Monty's (even if his are somewhat overly dramatic and a tad nasty). I suggest you stick with what you know and leave the political hackery to those who do it for a living.

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I posted a fact about Haiti in response to your comment about Haiti. There was no political ad, there was simply a fact. I am sorry that you feel the fact was unwelcome. Nothing in the fact I provided was divisive or geared to create a fight. It was merely a fact.

You responded by labeling me a “commie”. Your comment was designed to divert attention from a valid point. You want to discredit the point that I made. Apparently, the fact I posted hurts your feelings. The act of name-calling, as you did here, to divert attention from a fact is typical troll behavior. If you want to see a troll, I suggest that you look in your mirror.

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On the issue of reparations, Hilary Fordwich offered the best response, and funniest, to Don Lemon's whiny question.


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If black people get reparations for slavery and past racism et al, when are women going to get reparations for thousands of years of patriarchy? :)

This is the unintended consequences of 'reparations'. Also, a bunch of Indigenous are trying to elbow in front of us who want reparations too ;)

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Couple of thoughts, You should read " they were her property too ", interesting perspective on the wealth of the delta passed down among women. Native American reparations are located at the bia.gov site. I rent to few of them and many from other tribes owned slaves as well. Funny how a today you still have a small group of black folk who submitted the Negro-Opt-Out form to tribal authorities because their ancestors where owned by the tribes. I think they are still waiting on recognition and a check from the BIA! I would wager that Warren's tribe and the rest of The Five dollar Indians also voted against recognition LMAO!

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I doubt reparations will happen nationally. There is no denial that Black wealth was destroyed in neighborhoods in Tulsa and Rosewood. This was followed by urban renewal with highways built to intentionally divide Black communities. Now we have dumpsites and waste facilities placed in Black neighborhoods. The attack on our community has been long and continues. To be a good citizen in their eyes, you have to ignore reality

Sowell argues that the Black poverty was 87% in 1940 and 47% in 1960. Thus there was a 40% drop in poverty in the 20 years before Civil Rights legislation. From 1960 to 1980, the poverty rate only dropped 18%. According to Sowell this means Civil Rights legislation failed.


Prior to the 70s, economic growth meant income growth


In the 1970s there was an economic change. Before that time, in the post-war economy, economic growth meant earnings growth. After that spurt wages flattened despite economic growth. Flattened wages = slower decline in poverty.

Poverty decline was still helped by Civil Reights legislation. Wage growth faltered slowing declines in poverty. It will be interesting to see Black poverty numbers with a low unemployment rate in the Black community.

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I recently helped a friend who has deep history in Southern Pennsylvania to track down her ancestors. My friend's family lineages had been in Pennsylvania for more than a century in 1860, so there were a lot of descendants at that point. The number of deaths in battle, through disease and all the other horrible effects of the war was staggering. In one of my friend's ancestral families four sons died in the Civil War, two in combat and two more in Confederate prison camps. I found it really overwhelming to see the simple numbers of deaths of Union troops, many of whom enlisted for more than one action. And of course the deaths were far less than the disabling injuries. An 1876 history of Franklin County Pennsylvania, where these people lived, says that this county was among the hardest hit counties due to its position on the Mason Dixon Line and proximity to other Confederate targets. Even so, the sacrifices that Americans made willingly to free the enslaved people is being grossly disregarded in all the discussions about the history of slavery. Confronting on a personal level the losses suffered by actual families of Civil War soldiers, with living survivors, is an experience that packs a wallop.

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Reparations will not become a national program

Blacks have better economic outcomes under Democratic Presidents

Republicans want to banish teaching the honest history of the Black experience in the U.S.

Republicans work to suppress Black votes.

A Republican Governor in Mississippi is working to establish a segregated judicial system

Republicans have nothing to offer Black voters.

Jordan Neely should still be alive despite his mental breakdown

His race does not matter.

BTW, one person who held Neely down was Black, the other man was white.

The Daily Mail said the NYPD had a lead on the identity of one of the men, but that was in a story from a week ago.


Edit to add:

Fox News anchors would be outraged if a Black choked a mentally ill, unarmed white man to death. Fox News would be calling for his head. Tuckems argued both Breonna Taylor and George Floyd had it coming.


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"Blacks have better economic outcomes under Democratic Presidents"

That's an interesting take, but I'd want to see the data and I'm not sure that captures the whole picture.

The conservative position is that Democrat policies lead to increased crime. If that position is true, then the longer Democrats are in power, the more crime (on the whole) that we should see as time goes on. I was curious about this, so I decided to crunch some numbers to see if cities with Democratic mayors have higher rates of crime the longer it's been since a Republican mayor. So I looked up the 50 most populous cities. I used Wikipedia to track the party affiliation of their current and historical mayors. I used the FBI's site to look at 2020 crime numbers (homicide, rape and property crimes), with the notable exception of Jacksonville, FL - Jacksonville isn't on there and I had to use the JAX PD website for their crime stats.

Here's what I found. In the 50 most populous US cities, cities with Democrat mayors right now have a median income 14.52% higher than cities with Republican mayors. They also have a homicide rate that is 68.47% higher. Additionally, when I plotted the data for homicides/100k and 'years since Republican mayor', there was a clear trend line that the longer the history of Democrat mayors, the higher the homicide rate became. Rape numbers between Republican lead cities and Democrat lead cities were basically flat, there was a 1.26% higher rate in Democrat cities, but I don't think that's particularly meaningful. Property crimes were 13% higher in Democrat cities than Republican cities. There are a number of potential factors at play here, Democrat cities averaged almost double the size of Republican cities, which could have social impacts that affect crime rates.

Two things that I find interesting, though. One is, as I mentioned the trend line of higher crime the longer a city is under Democrat leadership. Two is that even though income is higher in Democrat-run cities, there is STILL that higher crime rate, despite the strong correlation between income and crime. Like, you would expect wealthier cities to have less crime, since the kind of crime I'm looking at is overwhelmingly committed by people under 150% of the poverty line. The fact that there is MORE crime in those cities speaks, I think, to just how destructive Democrat policies are. Even with the mitigating factor of higher income, those cities still have higher rates of violent and property crimes. It makes me wonder if there's some factor of income inequality that's generated by those policies that creates greater stratification that then leads to more crime or if it's simply that the culture among Democrat voters is more tolerant or even approving of violence.

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I live in a Democratic city with a high crime rate and a relatively high average income per household. The high income households are generally not populated by black people. If your analysis looked at crime rate as a function of average household income, I think you would find that low income neighborhoods with high concentrations of black people are contributing to most of the variance in crime rates across cities. In addition the "culture" among the wealthier white Democrats in the highest crime cities approves of black criminals more than any of their victims, most of whom are black.

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Most Blacks are not living in poverty

Blacks are moving to the suburbs

Can you define the crime loving white culture in Democratic cities?

Blacks want police

Blacks do not want police abuse

One group of whites supports police reform

Another group of whites say police abuse is exaggerated and do nothing

Nationwide, the homicide rate is decreasing

The decrease does not lead the news


I’m wondering where pro-crime people are to be found, white or Black.

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What I can tell you about my city is our crime rates have escalated dramatically due to defunding of police, restrictions by the city and state on what police are permitted to do to control crime, and refusal by the Soros purchased D.A. to prosecute people who are arrested. My city has never had a large black neighborhood, and is not one of the cities I was referencing in my post, but it is the case here that much of the recent increase in crime is black gang-related. I pay attention to who the victims are and also who the suspects are, if the information is released, and both groups are predominantly black people.

The supporters of the pro-criminal pro-crime policies have included a majority of the white people living within the city limits until the Nov 2022 election, when a slight majority voted for a stronger law enforcement candidate. Note that I live in a one-party Democratic party state and city. Republicans do not get elected in my area of the state, so the relatively law and order candidates are generally liberal Democrats. Obviously, I do not personally know all the white people who vote against law enforcement, but generally I know them to be middle and upper middle class, well-educated white radicals who have generally held leftist views, and who are currently classifiable as radicals relative to the average American. If I were to suggest, in a group of such people, that they are pro-crime, they would not get defensive about my statement, they would attack me for being anti-criminal. Most of the legislative activity in my state with respect to crime involves protections for criminals and attempts to criminalize efforts to combat crime, and the politicians who do this are completely transparent about where they stand.

I did not state in my post that most black people are living in poverty. I moved here from Detroit in 1978. I am aware that cities with large black populations include black individuals and neighborhoods whose lifestyles span the whole range of economic levels. I also am aware that black people who could afford to move out of Detroit did start doing so as soon as they could, post 1964.

Based on my reading, the overall crime rate across the country has dropped recently, especially with respect to certain crimes. Those statistics are averages of the crime rates that include rural areas, lower crime cities, and all other areas. The increase in crime rates involving black gangs and individuals has occurred primarily in large, Democratic controlled cities with neighborhoods that consist of high concentrations of relatively poor, black people.

I do not read NYT as I consider it to be a leftist propaganda rag.

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My understanding is that very few cities actually defunded police.


If you don’t accept a source like the NYT, why should a Conservative source be acceptable?

We have Fox News personalities caught on tape telling us they lied to keep their audience.

Soros seems to get around to many places. Seems like a clone of Koch, Thiel, etc.

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May 26, 2023·edited May 26, 2023

George Soros is interested in manipulating our elections and has said so. This sort of thing should be illegal. Why do we put up with these billionaires controlling our local governments?

Why would you assume that if I reject the NYT as a source of valid information that I necessarily find a Conservative source acceptable? I read people who appear to me to be engaged in a sincere search for reality and truth, then I look up original sources to the extent they are available. I have gone through the FBI data on murder and verified that articles I have read about demographics of killers and victims are being accurately interpreted by the writers I am reading. I think that Glenn Loury is a trustworthy source of information on this subject, as is Wilfred Reilley. I haven't read much of Roland Fryer. I am currently reading Rafael Mangual.

I unplugged my TV, so I do not watch Fox News personalities. I certainly agree that they lied about things during the time I was watching Fox News. I did not believe some of the things they said and thought they were the media outlet for the Republican Party. I do still read the Fox page online sometimes, because Fox reports on a lot of stories that the ruling cult ignores, and they report on the fact that the stories are being ignored. Many of these stories recently have involved the woke cult that has taken over our country. The previously liberal media don't want anyone to talk about the cult because they are its public relations branch now and the cult is not exactly ready to name itself and put up banners with its logo on them.

My city defunded the police bureau by $15 million in the summer of 2020, when violent protesters were rioting in our downtown. By the end of 2021 violent crime, theft and property destruction were skyrocketing and the politicians were pushed back towards thinking police were a good idea. The police were refunded about a third or a bit more than had been deducted from the budget. On the other hand, programs that were seen as targeting black people were jettisoned, specifically the gang enforcement unit.

During the months of nightly rioting major works of art that stood in our downtown civic area were damaged or destroyed, to the point where the art museum had to bring inside all the outdoor statuary that they could protect , and it has not been restored. Public buildings were set on fire, many small struggling businesses were repeatedly damaged and looted, the police were battered verbally and physically nightly by a violent mob, and one young man killed another for no reason.

The Soros-purchased D.A., who was elected by the city's voters after campaigning on an anti-prosecution anti-incarceration platform, regularly sided against the police and in favor of rioters who complained about police brutality. A number of police were injured to the point they required medical treatment and some injuries were serious. The city, then the state government, passed general laws against the use of tools like tear gas for crowd control, and eventually, the police were ordered to stand down and not intervene at all against any groups of violent politically-motivated rioters. Police were told to stay in their cars, and they could turn their sirens on and off.

Large numbers of police quit, some taking early retirement and some resigning outright. In both cases this means drops in what they can claim as pensions, and cops in the past strongly avoided resigning short of 25 years of service for that reason. The city has not been able to get much response now when they try to hire people, despite offering various incentives, some of considerable value. This used to be the crown jewel of police departments as far as most police officers were concerned, with the other being in our neighboring state. Now people don't want to work here.

The impact on all neighborhoods is major. I saw a prowler on my property and called the police. All the dispatcher would offer was a call back from an officer. Five years ago, a patrol car would have been at my home within five or ten minutes at most. No one called me and no one followed up with information about filing a report. Much worse situations than mine, which dissolved with the prowler's exit from my property, are happening a lot now in my city. It is not surprising to me at all that people are thinking they need to defend themselves, their families and communities, because it still feels to me and to others I speak with, that the city has descended a vast distance in a very short amount of time.

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You assume ALL Blacks live in areas where murders rates are high, we don’t

We love the bigger paychecks with DEMOCRATIC governments

Republican led Miami has a higher homicide rate than San Francisco

Republican led Fresno and Bakersfield have higher homicide rates than San Francisco

If I want my child to read the “Bluest Eye” I don’t have to worry about Moms for Liberty

Women are free to make their own decisions about their bodies

The biggest benefit is that with DEMOCRATIC legislatures, your vote is not being suppressed

You also are less likely to have to put up with the uncivil tones you encounter with some Conservatives

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May 23, 2023Liked by Glenn Loury

Another powerful episode. I couldn't wait for these two intellectual giants to tackle this Jordan Neely topic and they didn't disappoint.

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Absolutely correct that if the colors of the people involved in subduing mentally ill and dangerous vagrant Neely (his family didn't take care of him yet are now complaining about Penny's actions) were different, the charges would have been too. Black men helped hold Neely so why aren't they charged as accessories? You can bet if they were white they would have been. If Penny had been black –no charges.

NO ONE in the biased media is upset by the elderly WHITE handy man, Lawrence Kerr (SAY HIS NAME) who was shot in the back by black thugs who wanted to kill a white person.

I abhor this disgusting, racist, hypocrisy.

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Two men were arrested by police as soon as the police found the car observed at the scene of the crime. There was a delay in the arrest in the other case. There was a similar delay in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Additionally, local law enforcement was reluctant to investigate Arbery’s murder.

The fact that one murder happened in NYC and the other in a small town likely played a big role. Additionally, the suspects in the small town murder were arrested as soon as found.


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May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023

Yes, Cara. The others holding him were black. That's probably something that Penny's lawyers can use to discredit the other side.

This is so sad. Elites trying to use innocent people as pawns in the racial game of politics. Power can be so addictive.

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My in-laws received reparations from Germany within 10 years after WWII. Truth be told they suffered as much or more from Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Estonians, Lithuanians etc., but the Germans lost.

Reparations 100-150 years after the fact are a non starter.

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1. I like John, I support John. But it's hard to feel bad for him when he has voted for everything now that is being used against him.

2. Crazy people. In California in 1950 there were 350,000 people in state mental hospitals. In 2020 the number was 150,000. People have voted to live amongst the insane.

3. Reparations. The idea that we have found a group that we believe to be helpless, hopeless and useless. And the only solution is to pay them off, so they don't burn the place down, is scary and insane.

Side note: The Frisco teachers union went on strike to get a raise for the California Reparations Committee.

60 years and trillions of dollars later, this is as good as it gets?

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Republicans are banning books about Black people and suppressing votes in majority Black areas.

Republicans support the Proud Boys

Republicans have Paul Gosar who has a white supremacist on his staff

The Black unemployment rate went down under Obama

The Black unemployment rate is at a historical low under Biden

It would be irrational to vote for a Republican

Edit to add:

Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem was removed from a Miami-Dade school because one parent complained that the poem referenced CRT.

Save me from Republican/so-called Conservative nonsense

BTW. Ron DeSantis wrote a book “Dreams From Our Founding Fathers” which gives a Lost Cause defense of slavery.


Save me from Republicans.

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May 29, 2023·edited May 29, 2023

From: City Journal (excerpted below):


Second, prominent figures on the left have not told the truth about the content of the “banned” books and which ones have been removed from schools. For example, many progressives promoted a false claim that Duval County, Florida banned books about Robert Clemente, Hank Aaron, and Rosa Parks. Duval County schools wrote a post on February 17 correcting the misinformation, but that didn’t stop Alexandria Ocasio Cortez from blaming the GOP for allegedly prohibiting a book about Parks in Duval County more than a month later in a speech on the floor of Congress. “The Life of Rosa Parks— this apparently is too woke for the Republican Party,” she said.

Duval County's post (what actually happens to schoolbook in Florida):


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We carry out these conservations about woke this and CRT that

The Democrats and Liberals are targets

Yet the GOP is rigging elections

They ignore the wishes of the public

Republican legislators may be able to overturn elections if they dislike the results

Republicans created a special judicial system for Blacks in Jackson, Mississippi

Citizens want access to abortion,

Republicans obstruct the wishes of the public

Citizens want background checks and curbs on automatic weapons

Republicans block gun control

Republicans want me to be upset about pronouns

Save me from Republicans

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Glenn absolutely is dead on. How do we help create productive human capital that creates income is the only way. Reparations is wrong for so many reasons, legal, practical, moral ect, but the divisive effect is perhaps the worst aspect. African Americans have a lot of clout in Blue America and I fear these efforts will split away Asians and Latinos permanently from the party, just as working class whites are gone from the Democratic Party coalition. Cross racial action to help the poor of all colors become productive human capital is the answer but is doomed to fail as so many interest groups that depend on race identify, both left and right (MAGA) wouid be existentially threatened by a true working class coalition.

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Your working-class coalition model? Or just pure idealism? Illegal immigrants aren't in the best interests of Blacks. Blacks are starting to wake up after having illegals placed in their communities which drains local resources. Racism is a team sport.

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My class solidarity model is nearly impossible, a pipe dream. And you are correct; wages of poor and working class blacks (and whites) have been greatly suppressed by the flood tide of mostly latino illegal immigrants encouraged originally by big business/big agriculture republicans but of late by woke democrats. Working class men, especially blacks, have been hit hard by the influx of cheap labor but Democratic Party types don’t seem to care. One could write a whole book or two on that subject. Why ignore the obvious impact on working class wages de facto open orders causes? The Democrats are dominated by upper middle class white educated elites obsessed about culture issues and Black Women, many working white collar jobs or in government work, and Latinos on the periphery of power. Those in power take care of their groups interests and neglect, either purposely or accidentally, the interests of others. Working class Black men have demonstrably different economic interests than black women. For example, There was a window of opportunity 10 years ago to get more black men into the construction trades as working class white baby boomers retired but instead we imported millions of Latinos into the country. Construction work is often tough and dirty often leads to great wealth. we missed this opportunity.

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May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023

The main reason that so many severely mentally ill people are wandering on our streets is that during the Sixties the leftist do-gooders decided that the psychiatric hospitals had to be dismantled. As is always true for leftist do-gooders, they had no idea what harm they were doing to the group of people they were trying to "liberate" from "oppression," nor did they have a plan for how the chronically mentally ill were going to be cared for. The reality is that most people suffering from chronic schizophrenia need stable, protective housing with at least minimal medical supervision. Many of the mentally ill go off their medications if someone isn't supervising their care, whereupon they lose their ability to navigate reality, sometimes profoundly. Some people with chronic schizophrenia have delusions and hallucinations more or less continually if they don't take medication, while others have severe, acute psychotic episodes with periods of relative normalcy in between. When state hospitals were available, the people who were too psychotic to function independently could be taken there to stay for as long as they needed to, until they recovered enough to be in another placement. They could be held on court commitments for periods of six months to a year, during which time they might be in and out of the hospital.

I worked in this kind of system for several years, and can attest that the majority of patients adapted well to being in hospitals, and did not report any atrocities beyond what is common in medical settings. Many of them learned to initiate a hospitalization when they saw themselves getting symptomatic again, and they liked going back to places where they knew the staff and often some of the other patients as well.

Some of the healthcare policy professionals would say that the current system accomplishes all of what I just recounted, but it obviously doesn't. Mentally ill people get acutely ill, stay at a hospital for a short time, are discharged to another facility, then probably another, until they are out on their own again, where sooner or later many of them become too sick to manage their lives. It is known that chronically mentally ill people need STABLE housing that is well-known to them, and where they feel safe. If they won't stay in such a place voluntarily they need to be committed by the court to stay there. Most chronically mentally ill people are not violent, but the ones who are need the additional help of a lockdown hospital unit with orderlies who can manage combative patients. All of this used to be in place.

That being said, the hospitals weren't the most perfect way to provide permanent medically supervised housing for the chronically mentally ill. Other options have been explored historically and have worked well, but new ones need to be developed for our current situation. This is possible to do, but once again the leftists are pushing to "protect" this extremely vulnerable population from the true protection they actually need. That is why mentally ill people are killing other innocent citizens, and why they are being killed themselves, by criminals and by citizens who are being victimized.

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Psychiatrists oversold the effectiveness of drugs in the outpatient setting. Politicians both Democratic and Republican wanted to save money. Mental hospitals were shut down. Eisenhower was President when the early stages began. Outpatient therapy was continued under Kennedy and Johnson. Ronald Reagan cut mental health services as Governor of California.

Those early drugs had major side effects that were not publicly acknowledged.


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May 24, 2023·edited May 24, 2023

Thanks for the NYT reference: I have a more moderate view of the successes and failures of the medical approach to severe mental illnesses. The drugs are a lot better than the interventions that were being used previously, but have not fulfilled the hopes of many psychiatrists.

It is true that patients were discharged sooner and in larger numbers when effective anti-psychotic drugs became available. Nevertheless, severely mentally ill people were still largely treated in acute or chronic in-patient settings during the early Seventies. I worked in an acute lockdown unit at the VA in 1971-72, and at a long term care VA psych campus in 1972-1973. Some of the patients in the latter facility had been there for years. I also worked with mentally ill people during 1979-1980, when they were being treated on the alternating outpatient-inpatient model I described in my post above.

When the drugs turned out to be at least somewhat successful, an increasing number of psychiatrists became interested in restoring an exclusively medical model to psychiatry (clearly defined illnesses with specific chemical cures). The psychoanalysts had been doing psychotherapy with psychotic people in long-term inpatient units (Such as Chestnut Lodge) for a long time, and analysts held most of the power within psychiatry for at least 75 years. Psychiatrists who preferred genetic explanations for mental illnesses had a lot to gain professionally from pulling power away from the analysts, and that push contributed to the conversion from psychotherapy to pills in care of the severely mentally ill from the Sixties onward.

It is true that patients are not sufficiently advised about the long term side effects of the drugs, especially the ones that cause neurological movement disorders. In addition, many of the people with schizophrenia are unable to understand the implications of the drugs well enough to give truly informed consent.

The drugs have been more helpful than not based on outcome studies, and are largely responsible for progress in how well psychotic people can recover and live more independently outside of hospitals. If the people currently left to wander the streets hallucinating were taking them as prescribed, many of them would be much more functional.

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Would you say roughly 50% do well on drugs alone, but 25% may need psychotherapy in addition. 15% may not improve and there are mixed results in the remainder?

I would guess training in pure psychotherapy has dramatically decreased.

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The answers to your questions depend on the specific diagnoses and drugs used. I'll try to offer a very general (and oversimplified) answer here. The major mental illnesses affecting the street people who collide with citizens and cops are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, drug addiction and abuse, and developmental disorders such as autism, ADHD and intellectual impairments. With the exception of addiction, all of the above disorders are thought to be biologically based and some are thought to be hereditary. All of the above groups of people can benefit from forms of psychological help that involve forming stable, supportive long term relationships with individual helpers, including therapists, sponsors, group home supervisors and so on. None of these disorders are curable by psychotherapy, but all of the above groups can benefit from being taught cognitive behavioral skills and life management skills. Addicts theoretically can recover, as they do not have neurological impairments or diseases, but no matter what psychological or chemical treatments they receive, most opioid addicts do not stay clean very long before they relapse.

So for the people who become the victimizers or victims of street violence, in depth psychotherapy is mostly not helpful.

An exception to that statement is severe depression. Some severely depressed people are also psychotic, and a significant percentage of them do not respond to any treatment, but most depressed people benefit from psychotherapy and/or psychiatric medications. For depressed individuals the highest risk of violence is for suicide, unless the person also has a personality disorder, in which case they might want to take other people out with them. (An interesting aside is that the suicide-by-cop phenomenon is mostly a white thing and not a black thing).

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Thanks for the detailed response. My impression is that the money spent on true psychotherapy is limited. I also understand that overall spending on mental health care is decreasing.

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Your phrase "true psychotherapy" is a good one, as I am a practitioner of it, i.e., therapy undertaken with the intent of substantially reducing or eliminating symptoms and suffering, including that which has been chronic in a person's life. The continued delivery of this level of treatment has been threatened by the need to contain its cost, pretty much since the early days of psychoanalysis. When I was in grad school during the Seventies, the people doing in depth therapy were mostly psychoanalysts, and their treatment was too costly for the budgets of most people. Psychotherapy was not yet covered by medical insurance in many states, including Michigan, and psychologists in private practice charged about $30 per session out of pocket.

Insurance coverage came on board on a state by state basis, and while it made psychotherapy more affordable for people with medical insurance it also led therapists to raise their fees. During the early Eighties psychologists in private practice could expect to earn a solid professional income, but that didn't last long. By the start of the Nineties insurance systems began developing managed care, which put caps on providers' fees as well as sharply limiting the kind of therapy that could be practiced to short term interventions. Chronically mentally ill people could be treated with more long term psychiatric care through their Social Security Disability and Supplemental Income coverage.

Efforts by insurers to manage care have subsided somewhat in recent decades, although providers' fees are still capped pretty severely, especially for mental health professionals who are not drug prescribers (i.e., psychologists, social workers, counselors). United Behavioral Health, a division of United Healthcare, was successfully sued in a class action in California, for refusing to pay for psych diagnoses and treatment that involved more than very brief crisis intervention. Medicare pays for fairly intensive therapy (2 sessions or more weekly) but they take steep discounts off fees.

When the biological bias became dominant in psychiatry, most of the focus in psychiatry shifted away from psychotherapy and towards medications. Other mental health professions started doing the bulk of the therapy for the first time. Big Pharma loved this, Big Insurance loved it, and so did the federal and state governments. Psychiatrist got very cocky and were strutting around for awhile lording it over other mental health professionals, who were predicted to become extinct as they were replaced by magic pills.

As we have been discussing, the pills turned out to deliver fewer cures than was expected, and at the same time, the public became increasingly aware of the benefits of psychotherapy and the market demand for it was high. Established therapists with good word of mouth reputations could easily keep their practices full. Insurers were pressed by stakeholders (patients, employers of those patients, etc.) to increase psychotherapy benefits in a direction that restored the providers' ability to offer "true psychotherapy" as you put it.

My psychiatric colleagues have told me that psychiatrists in training are showing a renewed interest in psychoanalysis and other in-depth approaches, so that pendulum is also starting to swing back towards its origins.

Regarding who pays for the services, it continues to be employers of large enough size that they have to provide medical insurance for their employees. The other main group is people over 65. Workers comp care is exempt from laws regulating Medicare and private insurers, so they radically restrict payment of medical benefits for all services, not just psychiatric.

The above is just the out-patient picture. The ending of the state operated in-patient system was followed by the development of the so-called community care model. These were community mental health centers for out-patient care that also provided and still do to some extent provide a range of other services to qualifying patients (usually chronically mentally ill on Medicare or other people on Medicaid). Most patients now, however, get their psychiatric care from private medical systems (which also get varying levels of public subsidies).

I don't know much about mental health care financing on the macro level, but it is obvious that not enough money has been spent on caring for severely mentally ill people. Other demographics showing results of lack of mental health attention include the individual mass shooters in the media spotlight. Young white women from liberal PMC families, are receiving too much of the wrong kind of mental health care and not enough, if any, of the kind they probably really need. Middle aged white guys are suiciding in near record numbers.

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May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023

Freddie deBoer, his other foibles aside (hard-core Marxist), has suffered recurring bouts of mental illness throughout his life. He is an excellent source for deeply reflective views on these matters, based on his lived experience. Freddie decries the misplaced and highly destructive normalization of mental illness as simply another life choice made by its victims.

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Thank you for this Richard, I didn't know that deBoer had that psych history. I no longer read his political articles because of their relentless "Progressive" tilt, but I respect his apparent sincerity and honesty. I'll check out his work on mental illness.

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Here's Freddie's take on the Neely case:


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Excellent article! Completely consistent with my professional experiences, and I love the passion of deBoer's writing.

Only thing I disagree with is his judgment of Daniel Penny, but deBoer limited it to a statement about his own feeling and preference that Penny be in prison. My opinion is that if local governments refuse to enforce laws and keep violent criminals in prison, and police officers aren't allowed to protect the public, it is inevitable and justified that citizens protect themselves.

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May 25, 2023·edited May 25, 2023

Glad you found it to your liking. deBoer has any number of extremely well-written, deeply considered pieces on his Substack. He is a VERY prickly character and is wont to ban subs, shut down comments altogether on some topics, and generally piss off his readership. It's still worth the aggro to read the man.

By the way, his 2020 book "The Culture of Smart: How Our Broken Education System Perpetuates Social Injustice" pulls no punches as to IQ and education (although he denies and refuses to discuss racial differences). He recently put up a very good Substack piece that summarizes the main points of the book—again, well worth your time to read. Please let me know what you think once you've explored the man's thoughts a bit more deeply. I especially like the way he lets the left/liberal alliance have it when they go off the deep end, and he a dyed-in-the-wool committed Marxist of the old school (kinda like I was...a long time ago).

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I subscribed to deBoer's site for a short while but then canceled him because of the behaviors you describe above. In particular, I was irritated that he would make disciplinary announcements like, "I will have to crack down again" or something along those lines. His additional comments indicated that he identifies as a "Progressive" and that he wouldn't allow commentators to make comments that sounded to him offensive to gay people or specific other groups, because it is against his values or he doesn't believe in that or whatever.

I agree he writes some dynamite articles! There was that fairly recent one where he was demanding that the woke cult provide him with a name he can call them. Maybe I will re-subscribe to him.

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Yeah, agree the leftist cant can get grating, but he's the real deal in putting words together. deBoer doesn't allow other than subs to comment on his Substack, and he restricts 2 weekly articles but posts a weekly one in the clear. Well worthwhile, IMO.

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Neely- I have a few thoughts. As someone who has served in the Marines(aka dark green), I understand that most veterans you encounter on a daily basis are not experienced soldiers but still receive certain benefits as if they were combat veterans. They enjoy perks like 10% discounts and expect gratitude for #TeamInfidel service in defending the nations currency against the heathens.

Secondly, the concept of restraint only exists when violence is impersonal, when a person is merely a target and you are looking for work! It's similar to a Boa constrictor snake, when I cut off oxygen to your brain, I'm simply waiting for you to lose consciousness. So why continue applying pressure? The more you resist, the deeper the hold becomes. If I refuse to let you tap out, it implies that I intend to kill. Given the size of the individual and the presence of two wingmen, why the depraved indifference? Perhaps the details of the situation will eventually emerge.

I have witnessed and experienced a great deal, so I refrain from passing judgment until I have seen the evidence, as it could be a complex scenario with various factors at play. It's possible that the person in question is racist and that the individual targeted had provoked the confrontation. The intensity of combat often erodes one's sense of restraint, which is why there's a rumor that Rome discouraged its soldiers from returning home after war, as they can become emotionally warped to varying degrees. In the context of war, soldiers are not expected to engage with restraint; they go from 0 to 100 mph in an instant, and the consequences cut both ways.

Reparations - I am still undecided... I am one of the few black men who managed to navigate the gauntlet and be selected for employment or tests that lead to employment. I have always been readily accepted by white folk, and throughout my upbringing, I faced the discipline of the belt, book reports, then extra book reports. I have become adept at playing capitalism, and if necessary, I could argue that this system works for me. In the past, when conversing with Anglo, Hispanic, and Asian entrepreneurs, it seemed that we all encountered similar obstacles, albeit with minor differences. As a black man, I have the autonomy to interpret these nuances and assign my own labels to them. However, I have rarely succeeded in convincing another black man, who has experienced physical or economic harm from white society, to not take it personally and to instead use it as fuel. I bear a scar on my arm from a childhood German Shepherd attack, but it never instilled the fear of dogs, nor did it cultivate any animosity towards other dogs to this day. My father would often and with Richard Pryor like humor recount past the racist jokes at Abbot Labs, and a book written about the Class of '71 at Harvard being excluded from corporate America left a lasting impact on him, mistakes were never tolerated. John was never able to let go of the attempted drowning by white men in Florida, and another remained damaged by his very NFL career. I never possessed the necessary tools to frame these struggles beyond how they were perceived. We are out of fingers and toes in just our lifetimes, which appear to be just a continuation of the many forms of violence from my fathers time and his before him, all the way back to Seaborn, circa 1830's? How do I craft that compelling conversation in the barbershop given how pervasive these experiences? Moreover, so much has happened since Jan 20th 2009 that I am not sure we can continue to use that as the official armistice date?

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I welcome response from military (and former military) as informing the discussion. Once on SF muni subway, I placed myself between a worried woman and a nearby weird man who was looking at her. My body blocked the passage way from the man’s direction. Strangers sometimes feel obligated to protect the innocent and it makes sense that military-trained men would feel a higher degree of obligation to protect. But, I prefer that police and social services function in their intended roles as they have superior expertise.

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Final comment: On bottle thrown at youth In convertible; In 2020 - an alley warlord threw a bottle at me because I “trespassed into his private property alley” riding my bike. He missed. He had blocked the other end of alley to prevent car access so he could have a prostitution/drug scene- half a block from pricy Valencia Street.

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Time 29:00; Glenn talks about public safety needs of citizenry. I paused audio to go get a burger and a woman was yelling angry profanities while walking down the sidewalk. We cannot wait until the next election, hoping that a sane person becomes our rep. Defund cities need to go in reverse. (1): Cancel all related components of Defund that exist in various city departments. (2): City Hall in each city should be criminally prosecuted for fraud, defamation, slander and libel against police.

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(1): Glenn and John - any books (non-fiction) dated 1898 or prior, I am interested. Will pay cash.

(2): I enjoyed reading “Bastard Tongue”. On my bookshelf, It is next to Chomsky- On Nature and Language, (Have not yet read.)

3): “Truth in Advertising” rule of business transaction. If you give me $100K for a Tesla and I deliver a Schwinn bike - that would be fraud on my part. There is a serious disclosure violation on the part of institutions. Prestigious legacy institutions are expected to be elitist in obsessing over the highest quality of information. I include APHA, AMA, APA, CDC, NIH. When an institution decides to abandon elite scholarship/research standards so as to pursue ideological conformity instead; then this must be publicly disclosed. Otherwise, the institution is committing fraud.

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May 23, 2023·edited Jul 27, 2023Liked by Glenn Loury

I'll put it this way. Both of my parents are still alive; 87 and 91. For about a decade, as adults, neither could vote as a result of that cesspool condition known as The Jim Crow South.

My parents are obviously not unique. There must be at least one to two million living victims of Jim Crow who were of voting age at the time. Simple question: Do they deserve something or nothing?

I say they deserve something.

Do I think America will ever pay up? Nope. Am I willing to fight for it? Nope. I think it would be a waste of time and energy.

I couldn't disagree more with McWhorter. Affirmative action isn't reparations. Neither is building a school or a monument in honor of some historic figure or era. (Not to mention most African-Americans have never and will never benefit from affirmative action.)

Reparations, to me, is something liquid--like money, gold, land, stock in AMZN, etc--issued directly to the victims of the injustice.

I honestly don't see this issue as substantially different from the reparations granted to the families of interned Japanese-Americans during WWII. Very different situations, of course, but the principle remains the same: The basic civil rights of American citizens were seized by the government for an extended period of time.

To this day, I have yet to hear one person complain about Japanese-Americans receiving reparations. Not one. Not a peep. (Interestingly, Reagan signed that bill.) While it may be fair to argue that one situation was about a federal government responsibility while the other is more state-based, at the end of the day, what's the difference?

All that said, I am, perhaps ironically, more against reparations than I am for it. But it's not because I don't think some people are deserving--quite the opposite.

Why am I mostly against reparations for African-Americans? Honestly? I am still trying to figure that one out.

It's kind of an unresolved internal conflict for me: (A) I think race is an idiotic taxonomy the world foolishly bought into 500 years ago, and the sooner we flush it down the toilet, the better. (B) Basically, what I have already said: I think some people have a fully legitimate claim. (C) The part of me that cares about this country--not exactly 100% these days--is a little concerned about our social cohesion going forward. I don't know what a powder keg like Reparations for African-Americans would do to us societally.

When GenZ is retirement age and nonWhites make up the majority, maybe it won't be a big deal. But now? I don't know. I can imagine some crazies really, really losing it. Maybe it's my imagination.

Plus, there are other more basic and more probable issues ahead of us, like the impact of technology on all of our lives. Clearly, we are in the early stages of an economic and social revolution; not enough noise is being made about it.

Maybe we are better off focusing as one on the issues that are destined to affect us all.

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Here is why I am anti-reparations:

The hurt is framed as a group thing. Black people, this monolithic entity, were treated unfairly in the past. Therefore, black people are deserving of redress now, because they are this monolithic entity.

However, the redress is not shaped as a group thing, it's shaped as an individual thing. Each black individual will receive a lump-sum payment.

You're (you as in the people making this argument, not "you" you) changing scope in the middle of the argument and acting as if it doesn't matter.

Do the thought experiment of two kids, born in say 1990. One is white, one is black. But they live on the same block, they go to the same school, both have a single parent household and poor economic conditions. Now you pluck one kid out and say that based on the accident of birth that is skin color, one is deserving of a bundle of cash and the other has to help pay for that bundle, also based on the accident of birth that is skin color. Whether their parents economic status, social status, etc. is due to poor decisions or a systemic denial of advantage has no bearing on those kids. Jonte and John have nearly identical circumstances, make nearly identical decisions, but one is lifted up and the other is pushed further into the mud. They have no control over the circumstances to which they are born. And when you frame the whole debate in individual terms, it becomes painfully, blindingly obvious that the policy proposed is deeply racist and patently unfair. Beyond just "you're going to get shit on because you're not the right skin color" there's the indignity of having to assist in your own shit shower. It wasn't right in 1920's and it's not right in the 2020's.

Now if it were 1964 and there was a vote for reparations, I'd vote yes. But it's 60 years later, the people who were significantly harmed and the people doing the significant harm are out of the workforce and are dead or dying off. At this point, it's not a redress, it's punitive. It's an eye for an eye.

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May 24, 2023·edited May 24, 2023

I agree with the thrust of what you’re saying — something is owed. The complication it is that other ethnic minorities also experienced racial terror and housing segregation during the Jim Crow era, i.e., not specific and targeted like Japanese internment which facilitates straightforward redress. To pass constitutional muster, reparations for enslavement would have to be done by lineage and not race, meaning a large number of white Americans with at least one enslaved ancestor would qualify for benefits. Honestly, I think this would cause an outrage.

I support specific redresses as Evanston, IL has initiated, or in the case of the Bruce’s Beach property in Manhattan Beach, CA. For residents in historically redlined neighborhoods: fee-waived loan assistance and financial counseling, or fee-waived home visits by nurses and other professionals like pre-K educators, tuition-waived public higher education are all in order. Anything like the proposals in Congress or the state of CA is fanciful.

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I think German-Americans and Italian-Americans also had similar restrictions placed on them during World War II as well. I wish I knew more about the specifics, and I have no idea if any of them received reparations. But your point is very well taken. History is so complicated.

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May 23, 2023·edited May 24, 2023

Wasn't San Francisco recently contemplating handing out $5 million in reparations per eligible Black resident? Given that there are ~50,000 eligible Black residents in the city, the total outlay would've vastly outstripped the annual budget for SF as a whole.

Whenever I hear talk about reparations I'm always reminded of that infamous Dave Chapelle skit. In my opinion, proponents of reparations fall for the progressive fallacy that all social maladies are structural in nature and that throwing money at an issue automatically solves the problem. We've already seen that the correlation between per capita pupil expenditure and educational outcomes oftentimes runs in the opposite direction from what one might intuitively assume. Likewise, handing out large sums of money to people without cultivating the requisite financial acumen is bound to be a recipe for disaster.

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I heard something about that with San Francisco. But I honestly never took that one seriously.

One of the problems is that the term reparations automatically makes some people think we're talking about slavery and the entire Black population.

Whenever I bring it up I'm talking about a very specific group of people and not slavery at all. And I'm talking about righting a wrong. Not getting down people on their feet.

But I do think you make an interesting point about people getting a large sum of money without the prerequisite skills to make the most of it. But I am not as concerned about that as I was, say, 30 years ago.

If that's going to be the excuse for not doing it, then what is the point of talking about any of this? Big brother can always say "you're not ready".

More importantly, why would we assume that about an entire race of people? What about those individuals in the group who would manage the money just fine? They just get lumped in with everybody else?

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May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023

Fair enough. My main point was that just handing out money even to a targeted group of individuals might not solve the issue so to speak, if the broader expectation is that this targeted reparations is supposed to play some role in reducing existing racial disparities. I almost never hear anyone discussing how to provide financial education for the beneficiaries in the context of the reparations debate. In my opinion this is the same old progressive belief that every social malady is structural in nature and that cultural values and orientation play no role.

There's ample evidence across a wide range of domains that merely throwing money at a problem doesn't help solve it. Contra what many on the left believe, the issue isn't necessarily a lack of investment. If instead of redistributing material wealth we could somehow redistribute cultural values and orientation, I have no doubt society would be vastly better off.

It's interesting that this week's conversation is about what happened on the NYC subway to Jordan Neely and that in this comments section reparations to Japanese Americans is also mentioned. I was recently in Japan for the first time and Tokyo absolutely blew me away. Almost everything that we Americans have come to believe as inevitable features of life in big cities fails to hold for Tokyo. This can't be due to material wealth because America is a wealthier nation overall than Japan if you look at per capita GDP.

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Yen, thank God, I escaped the draft during the Vietnam War. Fighting for what? Asians to replace me in my native country? I like what Ron DeSantis is doing in seriously dealing with illegal immigration issues and preventing Chinese Nationals from buying up more land in Florida. It needs to be applied across the country. I'm currently looking at the trade-offs.

I'm being blunt with you and your nonsense. Your group is an existential threat to Blacks who have been here for the past five hundred years being exploited. Logic/rationale?

Racism is an economic relationship between groups. Blacks need to wake the f'k up and redirect 98% of their spending from non-black-owned businesses to black-owned businesses. And get the Asian merchants out of the black communities.

My paternal grandfather owned a successful 400-acre farm in Southern Virginia under Jim Crow. He had the most modern farm equipment in the area. There were more black-owned farms and businesses then. That land is still in the hands of the family. Voting has nothing to do with that success.

There were no Mexicans or Asians in the area at the time.

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Yen, the more I listen to you, the more I agree with Amy Wax that we have too many Asians in this country with unearned benefits. But for the sacrifices of Blacks in obtaining civil rights for people of color, you would be restricted to working in a laundry room.

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I get where you're going from, Yan. Respect always. We're just coming from two different perspectives and spheres of concern.

As I've expressed several times in this thread, I am ultimately against reparations, but for reasons different from yours. At the same time, I see the logic in certain types of reparations, like something around Jim Crow and living victims of it.

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80,000 Japanese were paid $20,000 each ($1.6 billion in total), only those actually interred, not their descendants. There is no comparison to the multi-trillion dollar, racially categorical reparations proposal that's on the table now. Let's not do that to our country, I say.

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May 23, 2023·edited May 24, 2023Liked by Glenn Loury

If instead of focusing on the relatively paltry amount that was paid out to Japanese Americans as reparations for internment during World War 2, we focused on the cultural values that have made Japanese Americans disproportionately successful in this country, I think America would be better off.

At the risk of coming across as flippant, if we could somehow redistribute the cultural values and orientation of Japanese Americans to certain segments of the Black American population, society would undoubtedly benefit. Focusing primarily on material wealth as opposed to the skills and values that allowed such wealth to be acquired in the first place is ultimately a distraction in my opinion.

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The Chinese are the new colonizers on the continent of Africa. Uganda defaulted on a loan financing their international airport, having been unable to renegotiate with the Chinese. Consequently, the Chinese took control of the airport. Chinese have also built military bases in Africa, and have pressured African countries to side with them on UN policies that benefit the Chinese (debt leverage).

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I had very interesting Asian neighbors in the past. One attempted to use my identity to purchase luxury cars. The repo men came to my home once after he disappeared. I gave them the correct address. He left a dog in the backyard without food or water. I notified the local authorities (cruelty to animals).

The Asian lady, supposedly owning a business, who lived next to the above subject bragged to me about receiving welfare. She drove a large Mercedes with her two girls allegedly attending medical school. Her ex-husband was a businessman who traveled in and out of the country.

I also worked with a very arrogant Asian, a former captain in the South Vietnamese Army. He stabbed me in the back one time after we made a mutual agreement on how we would proceed with a case. Then one day after being a wonder boy, I walked into his office with him stressed out holding his chest. He was looking for comfort. But I laughed at him.

So much for Asian values.

BTW, my dad a WWII veteran, fought the Japanese in Guadalcanal. He described the graphic horrors that the Japanese committed. He was still treated as a second-class citizen after his return home to the South. Some black veterans were lynched by whites in their uniforms after returning home. Japanese and German POWs were treated better than him. His GI benefits were intentionally delayed because he was black. White veterans received their benefits in a timely fashion compared to black veterans.

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I don't need your Asian cultural values. I've been successfully retired for the past 16 years. And my adult children are doing very well. Wealth accumulation is very essential. Go to an affluent black neighborhood and you will not see the pathologies like in the ghetto.

Also, I've had Asian criminals on my prison caseload (including 5 Asian doctors at the same time who committed fraud against Medicare). Their excuse: this is how we did in our former country. Then I had several young Asian convicts who were involved in extorting Asian small businesses. Quit the bullshit.

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I'd love to be able to buy American-made golf clubs anywhere near the quality of the best Japanese brands. I wouldn't care if they were made by white, black, brown, red, yellow, or (running out of colors) Americans.

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I am genuinely honored to see you respond to me. But did you actually read my post? =)

Maybe you were simply using my post to bounce off of. But to be clear, I am ONLY talking about *living* victims of Jim Crow. *Specifically* the ones who were of voting age during Jim Crow‐‐nobody else.

Even Coleman Hughes agrees with that.

But most importantly, as I also mentioned in my original post, I still *lean* against reparations at the end of the day, even though I think the specific case of Jim Crow and voting is extremely compelling.

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I think Glenn just failed reading comprehension. At least, that's the excuse I'm using for not catching that. Going back, I see it now:

There must be at least one to two million living victims of Jim Crow who were of voting age at the time. Simple question: Do they deserve something or nothing?

I revise my previous post. I could get behind that idea. I misread you the first time.

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You just saved me some time =)

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Lesson for me, next time read more carefully and save myself some embarrassment! I'll get my other post edited by the end of the night so I'm not contributing to confusion.

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It's all good, my brethren lol

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Understood. We're not that far apart...

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What's your opinion on Dr. Claud Anderson's concept of "Powernomics?"

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Appreciate that, Dr. G!

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May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023

Well, I think the question is how much. Japanese that were interred didn’t just lose their liberty for the time they were interred, as I understand it they lost their homes, cars, jobs, quantifiable valuables. And getting $20,000 some 40 years later was really a gesture more than anything. If the government offered $100 to each person still alive for each year they lived under Jim Crow, do you think that would be enough? Would we pay it now if people were unable to vote now because they were purged from voter rolls, denied reinstatement in rights after a felony conviction, or had to wait in line too long? It seems like it would open a flood gate of “what about me? I was also treated unfairly by the government…!” Maybe that would be okay?

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Great points as usual, Amy.

To be clear, when I refer to living victims of Jim Crow, I am specifically talking about those who were old enough to vote at the time. Thus, a much smaller number, but still at least a million people.

But your point about a dollar figure is *critical*. I can't even hazard a guess.

Great point about the actual material loss incurred by Japanese-Americans during WWII. To be honest, I totally forgot about that part. But I must add that those reparations may have set off a "what about me" reaction, too. But we did them anyway. The "what about me" thing is almost inevitable in these situations.

But I reiterate, *ultimately* I lean against reparations, largely due to all of the unknowns (and knowns) that would most certainly follow (like the scenarios you describe). Reparations for African-Americans is a powder keg. No doubt about it. If it ever happened on a national scale with a high enough dollar figure, a lot would unravel, some of which we might all regret. It basically comes down to millions of people saying "we are owed" and millions saying "you've been paid". Not a pretty picture.

It makes me very sympathetic to at least *part* of Glenn's take: "Let's not put the country through this." There may come a day when a "gesture" is sufficient for us all. But I suspect that's a couple generations down the road. The Black-White thing is still too raw in America. But regardless, I like to make my position on the question clear: I don't think reparations for African-Americans is a ridiculous idea, and I like to posit the case of living victims of Jim Crow (and voting) because I think it's quite compelling.

I abhor brusque dismissals of reparations. Pardon me if that shows =)

Often I hear people say "It's been too long, let's move on," and I could get with that 100%. But that statement implies that African-Americans getting reparations in 1900 would have been just fine with everybody. But we all know what would have happened in the Deep South if Black people received reparations in 1900. We would now be arguing for reparations to replace the reparations that were confiscated in the early 1900s.

It's probably more logical for us to move forward together. I'm with that. But I can't help but scoff at those who minimize the question in and of itself. It's not nothing.

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May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023

The only time I can remember talking about reconstruction in high school was in my AP US History class. I think I knew there was a time called reconstruction after the civil war, but without any really meaning or depth. When we covered it, I felt such hope! And then we covered the way the southern democrats fought it back and northern republicans acquiesced for power and I really fought back tears. I’m a sap like that. But it was a real moment of trying to get something like equality of opportunity and it was stopped prematurely. Maybe if all black men had been given their acreage and mule we’d be better off now? Or not. It seems that the powerful and wealthy have a way of making out well at the expense of the people at the bottom. Carpetbaggers, etc were sucking up resources that should have gone to freed slaves from the beginning, so maybe we would have just had more of that.

So I share your ambivalence. But at some point, it gets to be like returning stolen art… if too many hands have changed it is hard to figure out what is “fair” anymore.

I had a friend who was in favor of reparations, we talked about it a few times. I think the problem I always ended with is what I’ll call it the “Oprah question”. Oprah doesn’t need money. So does she not get reparations? She certainly suffered from poverty and racism. Okay, so maybe it’s just a token for reconciliation, and not actually to redistribute wealth… then my poor farmer relatives who are from the north and never in our family history were involved with slavery are supposed to give Oprah money? That isn’t going to reduce race based resentment either. She’d remind me that most black people aren’t as wealthy as Oprah. Which is also true. I think probably the answer will be more along the lines of large infrastructure investment in disinvested areas, which are probably mostly based on race anyway. But that also doesn’t fly for your small government types…

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I wanted to briefly touch on The Oprah Question, etc.

I get where you're coming from. It's delicate. But I'm pretty firm about this one.

I think it's wrong to frame this as a "White people paying for their sins against Black people" issue. Of course I understand why some see it that way. But I think it's a mistake. We are all Americans. If we as an American people--a collective--decide that a particular subset of "us" deserve __________, it is us as a people who have arrived at that decision. I am not sure if our vast differences in wealth or family history matter at that point.

Nobody in my orbit had anything to do with the Internment either, but they/we didn't feel put upon when our tax dollars contributed to those reparations.

And even though I can't say for sure, I suspect there were a few highly successful Japanese-Americans who didn't "need" those reparations, despite the fact they were victimized by the Internment.

That wasn't the issue. It was about righting a wrong. (A symbolic gesture, if you will?) That's my only point.

I'm out. Always a good chat, Amy =)

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NO blacks voted during the Jim Crow era? Really?

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I don't know about *zero*, Rich. My parents definitely did not, and they didn't know anyone who even dared--the Klan was very present in their town.

Black people could vote up until about 1900. That's when the South started coming up with all of these Jim Crow rules to suppress Black voting. The often state-condoned violence helped to enforce the situation. That's just the way it was.

Yes, some African-Americans took the risk anyway (and some paid dearly for it). Some passed the "tests", too. But we're talking a very tiny percentage.

History is always complicated, if that's your point. But the overarching facts are solid.

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I might be willing to consider paying those people who at least tried to vote (once) and were denied, failed an impossible "exam," charged a poll tax they couldn't afford, or even threatened with violence. But people who simply stayed away based on rumors, innuendo, and the zeitgeist, too afraid to challenge the status quo? No bucks from me for cowardice!

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"based on rumors, innuendo, and the zeitgeist"

It was more than that. The so-called night-riders were not a myth or a legend to my parents. They witnessed it as children. They remember their parents yelling at them to hide in their homes.

It's not cowardice when people have been made into examples. Or when the KKK is in league with local law enforcement leaving you with no real recourse.

But it's interesting to know that Richard Bicker favors reparations in special cases.

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