A Discrimination Settlement Was So Big It Skewed Mississippi’s Income Data

Niraj Chokshi, Washington Post, December 19, 2013

The Commerce Department released its latest breakdown of income growth by state Thursday morning, and the results were good. {snip}

But growth in one state outpaced all the others by a healthy margin. That state was Mississippi, which saw growth of 1.9 percent, compared to second-ranked Colorado’s 1.4 percent. Most of Mississippi’s substantial growth can be explained by one thing: an $1 billion settlement over racial discrimination.

Let’s say that again. A lawsuit settlement was so large that it skewed an entire state’s income results. Not over the course of a week. Not a month. But over an entire quarter. Here’s the Commerce Department explaining what happened:

Slightly more than half of the personal income increase in Mississippi—$1.0 billion—was a current transfer receipt representing a settlement for a class-action suit that alleged racial discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its evaluation of farm loan applicants between 1981 and 1996. Farm operators in Alabama received slightly less than $1.0 billion while farmers elsewhere received the balance of the $3.4 billion national settlement.


In the late 1990s, two class action lawsuits were filed against the government alleging that the Agriculture Department was discriminating against black farmers by either denying them loans or making them wait longer to get loans. Those two class-action suits were eventually combined, and a settlement agreement was reached. President Obama signed it into law in late 2010. Claims were then collected, and payments finally started going out this fall.

The final settlement was valued at $1.25 billion and went out to about 18,000 farmers. That translates to roughly $69,500 a head. And it was big enough to skew Mississippi’s third-quarter income results.


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  • Texan1st

    I’m sure every one of those settlements were for legitimate grievances. /sarc

    • John Smith

      Who’s brilliant idea was it to include lawsuit proceeds as income?

      So income is now measured by paying off hurt feelings and grievances, instead of economic activity…you know, goods and services?

      Un f****** believable!

      • Tracy Fox

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  • Puggg

    Apparently Mississippi is full of former black farmers.

    Or full of scam artists and liars of the dark kind.

    • Katherine McChesney

      Chokwe Lamumba is their head scam artist.

  • smedley

    Luckily I bought some Malt Liquor and Grape Soda stock right before the “damages” were paid. I’m a Millionaire!!!!

    • Rhialto

      No you’re not! The Blacks will use their rightful reparations for investments into the emerging businesses that will be the engines of America’s prosperity in the 3rd millennium.

    • Katherine McChesney

      You need to invest in Orange soda in the two liter bottle. The off-brand.

      • So CAL Snowman


    • Mike Conrad

      This was exactly my thought. That’s why we’re rich–we’re cynical opportunists! The others? They can’t help themselves.

    • So CAL Snowman

      I invested in KFC and Cadillac, I’m now a BILLIONAIRE.

      • Whitetrashgang

        I invested in fat white woman I just needed a better fence.

  • bigone4u

    The next stage of the wealth transfer will be massive dollars stuffed into the g-strings of black prostitutes and strippers, followed by a massive influx of Obamacare patients suffering from STDs. The Air Jordan franchise will prosper too, along with the most unhealthy of the fast food chains, and sellers of cheap, shiny plastic trinkets. Hey Mississippi, the good times are back–for a few weeks until the money is wasted.

  • The only hoes these “farmers” ever touched were at the local brothel shack.

    Oh to be a Cadillac dealer in Mississippi 2012/2013.
    Oh to be a repo-man in 2014 …. when they stop making the payments.
    Oh to be an upholstery guy that has to redo the stained leather seats and headrests.
    Oh to be the detailer that finds a big bag of crack / weed and a gun stashed in the dash.
    Oh to be an auto transport driver to take these cars to DC for resale.

    See, everybody makes money.

    • IstvanIN

      They don’t buy Cadillac much anymore. They prefer Mercedes and Lexis.

  • dd121

    These scammers are the same people who demand reparations. That IS reparations, although obtained fraudulently.

  • FWSauerteig

    This really angers me. These people are in effect hoisted to privileges they do not deserve by their protected minority status. $70,000? That is a huge down payment on a home, two college educations. They get that essentially because their feelings were hurt. I would wager the particulars of the matter have no merit other than disparate impact, the same buzzword used to describe discrepancies in everything from firefighter test scores, to IQ tests, to credit scores.

    • You know as well as I that not a single dollar ever went towards education.

      • FWSauerteig

        I never suggested it would be spent on these things by these people. I am simply providing examples as to the monetary value of the average settlement….

      • Whitetrashgang

        Maybe 50 cents,no sorry your right.

    • Kevin W. Cornell

      Plus the cost of living in Mississippi is lower than average, making the payments all the more extraordinary.

  • Spartacus

    Diversity brings great economic advantages . 2+2=5

  • MystiKasT

    Blacks are a real problem.