On the other hand, if you try to calculate the current worth of stolen slave labor, the result is roughly between $1.75 trillion and $12.5 quadrillion.

Those are fantastically huge sums, which probably accounts for why every Democrat expressing rhetorical support for reparations have not come out for anything close to a program of that scale. Warren supports a bill to give means-tested support to first-time minority home buyers — perhaps a worthy effort, but tiny compared to the wealth gap. Castro didn’t even endorse compensation as an idea, saying instead he would appoint a commission to study the issue. Harris says that her LIFT Act — a race-neutral expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit — would sort of count as reparations.

This reluctance is probably also motivated by the fact that reparations poll extremely badly. A 2016 Marist poll found 68 percent of American adults are against the idea, while Data Progress found it 21 points underwater. Even working-class people of color only supported it by 15 points in the latter poll. It’s likely a safe bet than any actual worked-out $15 trillion bill would be a lot more unpopular than that.