The Economics of Reparations American Economic Review William Darity Jr. and Dania Frank

The United States government’s posture at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), where the transatlantic slave trade was declared a crime against humanity, evaded a warranted claim by African-Americans for compensation for the enslavement of their ancestors. This evasive posture is anomalous in light of U.S. government support for and ad-ministration of reparations for other groups subjected to recent or historic grievous wrongs. Indeed, the U.S. government has undertaken numerous reparations payments to native American tribes for atrocities and treaty violations. Two examples include the 1971 grant of $1 billion and 44 million acres of land to Alaskan natives, and the 1986 grant of $32 million to the Ottawa tribe of Michigan (Dorothy Benton-Lewis, 1978 lchart)).

In addition, M 1990, the U.S. government issued a formal apology to Japanese-Americans subjected to internment during World War II and made a $20,000 payment to each of 60,000 identified victims (Benton-Lewis, 1978 p. I). In a non-USA precedent the 1952 German Wiedergatmachung established group-based indemnification for Jewish people worldwide in the aftermath of Nazi persecution. Compensation included payment of more than $800 mil-lion to ” … the State of Israel, on behalf of the half million victims of the Nazis who had found refuge in its borders, and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, on behalf of the victims of Nazi persecution who had immigrated to countries other than…

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