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Reparations task force told harms total at least $800 billion, but experts insist 'we're not suggesting reparations' of that amount

Published: March 29, 2023 at 8:15 p.m. ET ‘It’s improper to judge what the precise numbers will be,’ one expert tells California board that will suggest the final form for reparations in a few months. ‘We’re only giving you our advice on calculations of specific harms.’ A sign leans against a wall at a reparations

reparations-task-force-told-harms-total-at-least-$800-billion,-but-experts-insist-'we're-not-suggesting-reparations'-of-that-amount

‘It’s improper to judge what the precise numbers will be,’ one expert tells California board that will suggest the final form for reparations in a few months. ‘We’re only giving you our advice on calculations of specific harms.’

A sign leans against a wall at a reparations task force meeting at the California Environmental Protection Agency building in Sacramento in early March; the task force is meeting there again this week.

Levi Sumagaysay/MarketWatch

Economic experts on Wednesday told the California reparations task force that their calculations of the harms to descendants of enslaved people, which total at least $800 billion, do not constitute an estimate for planned reparations in the state.

Speaking in Sacramento, Calif., during the first day of a two-day meeting — during which some members of the public called to push back against the very idea of reparations — Thomas Craemer called media coverage of the economic team’s calculations “premature,” although those calculations…

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