California 'Reparations' Pushers Want Business Licenses Based On Race

P. Gardner Goldsmith | February 26, 2024
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There’s a lot to appreciate when contributing to MRCTV’s ongoing coverage of the train wreck that is the absurd “reparations” movement, and, specifically, coverage of the California government’s attempt to take money from living people who didn’t harm anyone and give it to living people they didn’t harm.  It's more than just the cartoonish absurdity of the strange, pander-meets-pretend idea that these are “reparations” at all, more than the absurdity that redistribution of wealth will “make up for” past – and multi-threaded – wrongs done by now-dead to now-dead people.

And it’s more than just the “Cultural Marxism to The Max” claim of “victim status” for any descendant of a slave or person treated “disproportionately badly” (enjoy the centuries you’ll need to figure that out) over the last century-and-a-half since slavery ended in the US.

It’s the latest twist in the tale, a twist that allows viewers to see the not only the craziness of so-called “reparations,” but also how the “reparations” movement actually is a new force of enslavement, and how their new tactic – the use of professional licensing – actually mirrors some of the most underhanded tactics of slave-owners and power-players in the Jim Crow regions.

Here's the set up.

In 2020, the California Assembly passed a statute mandating that the state hold hearings in preparation for some package of “reparations,” supposedly for slavery and how descendants of slaves were treated in California.

People with some moral sense - as differentiated from immoral political hunger – at that time recognized the fact that California entered the union in 1850 as a “free state,” but when has reality ever stopped collectivists from fabricating more “rationales” to redistribute wealth?

And, even if California HAD been a “slave state,” how is anyone alive today at fault for that, and if one thinks he needs government to “compensate” for some kinds of “disparate” positions for different racial components of today’s California, how is that at all calculable? How can the state determine relative advantages and disadvantages that every person has encountered in his or her life, and the infinite reasons for those?

Regardless, the all-seeing, all-egotistical politicians in Sacramento, as well as all the myriad special interests intent on getting their mouths into the “reparations trough” then set about how much money to redistribute.

Last year, the “reparations panel” arrived at an estimate of a potential $1.2 MILLION per “eligible” person.

Now, they’re trying to figure out how to implement their general plan, as various politicians push numerous bills to start the “reparations” process.

KQED reports that there currently are fourteen bills – none of which provides direct monetary transfers of wealth, and, as Charles Hilu reports for The Washington Free Beacon, one of which focuses on manipulating the already corrupt professional licensing system.

To make it institutionally racist, how quaint.

Notes Hilu:

A.B. 2862, introduced last week by Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D.), would update California's Business and Professions Code, seemingly requiring every certification board in the state—including medical boards—to favor black applicants. The bill's preamble mentions licensure for real estate and ‘healing arts,’ which includes health care professions such as physicians, nurses, and therapists.”

So, on top of the already immoral premise that the state can use threats of government aggression to stop people from offering their services to willing consumers, we see now that the collectivist mobsters want to make racism part of the thuggish procedure.

Of course, meritocracy has never been part of the “licensing” calculus.

As I have written for MRCTV and told students in economics classes, professional licensing is a aggressive government tactic of exclusion and favoritism, allowing politically-connected interests to get the state to raise barriers to entry, blocking lower-priced start-up competition, decreasing the price-decreasing power of market competition, and blocking poor people from buying products or services that they might want to buy.

Writes Hilu:

"’Existing law prescribes requirements for licensure and regulation of various businesses and professions, including healing arts and real estate businesses and professions,’ reads the text of the bill. ‘This bill would require boards to prioritize African American applicants seeking licenses under these provisions, especially applicants who are descended from a person enslaved in the United States.’"

Which means the state will engage in the widely misused term “systemic racism,” using the political system to favor some people over others, depending on race.

Related: CA 'Reparations Activist' Claims $223K Per-Person Handouts Aren’t Enough

It also means the state will put a new spin on an old racist tactic from the Jim Crow era.

A legacy of the slave era that saw slave-owners intentionally keep their slaves illiterate, said illiteracy acting as a liability for slaves contemplating their chances of survival upon escape, many politically connected forces in the Jim Crow era worked to prevent blacks from reading or obtaining licenses to work.

In his 2001 book, “Only One Place of Redress” – an excellent bulwark supporting the ethical arguments for private property and free trade – author David E. Bernstein actually points out that many of our contemporary “licensing laws” actually have their roots in racist southern statutes, including “licensing laws” that blocked recruiters from appealing to freed blacks to leave the plantations where, in essence, they were wage slaves, stuck, despite being free.

Jobs were plentiful for freed slaves in places like Louisiana, and, since many freed slaves were illiterate and got news by word of mouth, LA business owners (Bernstein notes that blacks actually owned more land than white people around New Orleans for many years after the Civil War) would send recruiters to states such as Georgia to recruit freed blacks.

Georgia “lawmakers” passed licensing statutes to make the cost of doing the recruiting too high.

And so we see a flip. From the tactics of the racist Jim Crow era to the tactics of the racist “reparations” license-pushers, the common factor is the use of the government. The problem of professional licensing is one of immorality and the absolute demolition of due process. It punishes people and, in essence, traps them in regulatory/license cages that will not allow them to pass beyond the walls proscribed by the political overlords.

Until people see that it is the government that initiates and perpetuates “institutional” racism, the real culprit that harms lives and opportunities will be overlooked.

This move by Cali politicians can open some eyes to that fact – if people will stop allowing themselves to be suckered and blinded by the fake virtue sellers of the political class.

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