In recognition of the wrongs done by slavery, but not subsequent legal and actual discrimination, NYT columnist Ross Douthat proposes making a one time payment of $10,000 to every person who trace their ancestry to someone who was enslaved. This payment would be in exchange for ending affirmative action in education, employment, or any other area. The idea seems to be that after the descendants of slaves get their check, we're all good.

For anyone interested on how this measures up in the scheme of things, currently the median income for a white household is $71,300. The median income for an black household is $43,300. Since this is for an adjusted household of three people, Douthat's $10,000 per person payment will put the median black household slightly above the median income for white households, in the year they get it.

In subsequent years, they will get nothing to offset the discrimination they experience in schools, hiring, getting mortgages, and even selling baseball cards on eBay. Apparently, Douthat thinks that his one time payment of $10K (only to those with direct ancestors who were enslaved) would make things right. My guess is that this deal wouldn't look too good to people who are better at arithmetic than Mr. Douthat.