From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:
Surviving the Happiness Explosion
July 06, 2022
With institutional momentum for awarding vast reparations to African-Americans accelerating, it occurs to me that during the pandemic and racial reckoning we have already run a massive national experiment in what the likely society-wide outcomes would be from giving reparations and apologies to blacks.
The results are now in: not just more liquor and Escalades sold to joyous crowds, as in Dave Chappelle’s notorious reparations day sketch from two decades ago, but more murder and mayhem on the streets and highways.
I got to thinking about this while reading Scott Alexander’s Substack essay “What Caused the 2020 Homicide Spike?” in which he concludes that the main reason for the record increase in murders in 2020 was the Black Lives Matter protests and subsequent police demoralization.
I largely agree with Scott’s conclusions, although, having thought hard about this longer than he has, I’d phrase them more carefully. For example, there wasn’t a “spike” in killings because a spike on a time series graph implies both a sudden rise and sudden fall, whereas shootings went up and have since stayed up in our violent New Normal.
Let’s compare Gun Violence Archive’s running count of gun killings year-to-date on July 4, 2019 (7,263), with July 4, 2022 (10,139). That’s a 40 percent increase. Similarly, year-to-date mass shootings with four or more victims killed or wounded, typically occurring at black social events, are up 52 percent from 206 on this date in 2019 to 313 today.
So, not a “spike” but a plateau.
Read the whole thing there.