A libertarian argument for slavery reparations

Source: Orange County Register
by Walter E Block

“Suppose my grandfather stole a wristwatch from your grandfather. Then, my grandfather passed it down to my dad, who gave it to me. Posit that had this theft not taken place, your granddad would have given the watch to your father, and from him it would have passed on to you. Should I be compelled, by law, to hand over that watch to you? It still has your grandfather’s initials on it. Stipulate that there is no dispute over these facts. Those who oppose reparations say I should keep it. But to take this perspective is to promote theft. No, the correct position is that I owe you that watch. As the unwitting inheritor of stolen property, I am not a criminal. Rather, I am an innocent holder of stolen property. But it is stolen nonetheless. That is the case for reparations in a nutshell. But it is a limited one.” (01/23/23)