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Commentary By James Piereson

Reparations Fantasies in San Francisco

Cities, Economics California

On the pitfalls of the city’s reparations proposal.

A few years ago, the City of San Francisco established a committee to recommend ways to compensate black residents for “systemic, City-sanctioned discrimination that has adversely impacted the lives of Black San Franciscans.” The committee has now issued a report with more than one hundred recommendations, including (most notably) a provision to pay $5 million in reparations to every eligible minority resident in compensation for decades of discrimination at the hands of the city. The criteria for eligibility are yet to be officially determined, but proposals focus on how long a black resident has lived in San Francisco, whether he is a descendant of slaves, and whether he faced displacement by urban renewal projects or segregation in public schools. 

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James Piereson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

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