Social & Domestic Issues

Government Creates Poverty

The U.S. government has “helped” no group more than it has “helped” the American Indians. It stuns me when President Obama appears before Indian groups and says things like, “Few have been ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans.”
       
Ignored? Are you kidding me? They should be so lucky. The government has made most Indian tribes wards of the state. Government manages their land, provides their health care, and pays for housing and child care. Twenty different departments and agencies have special “native American” programs. The result? Indians have the highest poverty rate, nearly 25 percent, and the lowest life expectancy of any group in America. Sixty-six percent are born to single mothers.
       
Nevertheless, Indian activists want more government “help.”
       
It is intuitive to assume that, when people struggle, government “help” is the answer. The opposite is true. American groups who are helped the most, do the worst.
       
Consider the Lumbees of Robeson County, N.C. — a tribe not recognized as sovereign by the government and therefore ineligible for most of the “help” given other tribes. The Lumbees do much better than those recognized tribes.
       
Lumbees own their homes and succeed in business. They include real estate developer Jim Thomas, who used to own the Sacramento Kings, and Jack Lowery, who helped start the Cracker Barrel Restaurants. Lumbees started the first Indian-owned bank, which now has 12 branches.
       
The Lumbees’ wealth is not from casino money.
       
“We don’t have any casinos. We have 12 banks,” says Ben Chavis, another successful Lumbee businessman. He also points out that Robeson County looks different from most Indian reservations.
       
“There’s mansions. They look like English manors. I can take you to one neighborhood where my people are from and show you nicer homes than the whole Sioux reservation.”
       
Despite this success, professional “victims” activists want Congress to make the Lumbees dependent — like other tribes. U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., has introduced the Lumbee Recognition Act, which would give the Lumbees the same “help” other tribes get — about $80 million a year. Some members of the tribe support the bill.
       
Of course they do. People like to freeload.
       
Lawyer Elizabeth Homer, who used to be the U.S. Interior Department’s director of Indian land trusts, say the Lumbees ought to get federal recognition.
       
“The Lumbees have been neglected and left out of the system, and have been petitioning for 100 years. … They’re entitled, by the way.”
       
People like Homer will never get it. Lumbees do well because they’ve divorced themselves from government handouts. Washington’s neglect was a godsend.
       
Some Lumbees don’t want the handout.
       
“We shouldn’t take it!” Chavis said. He says if federal money comes, members of his tribe “are going to become welfare cases. It’s going to stifle creativity. On the reservations, they haven’t trained to be capitalists. They’ve been trained to be communists.”
       
Tribal governments and the Bureau of Indian Affairs manage most Indian land. Indians compete to serve on tribal councils because they can give out the government’s money. Instead of seeking to become entrepreneurs, members of tribes aspire to become bureaucrats.
       
“You can help your girlfriend; you can help your girlfriend’s mama. It’s a great program!” Chavis said sarcastically.
       
Because a government trust controls most Indian property, individuals rarely build nice homes or businesses. “No individual on the reservation owns the land. So they can’t develop it,” Chavis added. “Look at my tribe. We have title and deeds to our land. That’s the secret. I raise cattle. I can do what I want to because it’s my private property.”
       
I did a TV segment on the Lumbees that I included in a special called “Freeloaders.” That won me the predictable vitriol. Apparently, I’m ignorant of history and a racist.
       
The criticism misses the point. Yes, many years ago white people stole the Indians’ land and caused great misery. And yes, the government signed treaties with the tribes that make Indians “special.” But that “specialness” has brought the Indians socialism. It’s what keeps them dependent and poor.
       
On the other hand, because the U.S. government never signed a treaty with the Lumbees, they aren’t so “special” in its eyes. That left them mostly free.
       
Freedom lets them prosper.

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  • http://nicholaswind.ca/ Nicholas Wind

    Thanks John Stossel for being a truth teller.
    I as a 55 year young conservative canuck in Toronto
    or San Francisco lite I call it and know full well
    what you speak of when the governments come to “help.”
    We live in a pretty nice, not rich, but pretty nice town house
    complex in east Toronto.
    We have 250 units and at least 50 are generational welfare..
    just like they have done to the Indians in N.A.
    Now this is not like I said a ghetto type area so how do these
    folks live here?
    It is done on purpose…no doubt about it.
    The reason many don’t work is first ..they are lazy…
    ..second many make more money on welfare than working in
    today’s new slavery called “temporary employment.”
    Why is this not only allowed but defended by idiots
    like Lawyer Elizabeth Home ?
    Votes that’s all.
    Interesting though that most folks in our area are actually
    too lazy to go and vote.
    Pretty pathetic.
    I mean one can bring this up in their faces and I have
    and it is simply sloughed off.
    They will not even answer the question.
    So until we get some folks in these government entities
    with some balls to completely get rid of this entitlement
    “stuff” we as achievers who keep trying will pay the way of
    these lazy people.

  • Q_Burn

    Wow imagine if the US government had lived up to one single treaty that it signed with the Natives. Things might be different, ya think? Start with the 1860 treaty and return the Black Hills to the Lakota. There are billions in trust for them, they won’t take the money as a matter of principle. Why don’t you report on that Stossel?

  • RenegadeScholar

    All good points. I wholeheartedly agree. At some point, ALL land was “taken” by somebody.

    One correction, though. Most of the land that was acquired from the American Indians’ property was bought, not taken. The Indians considered it silly for the palefaces to pay for land that they (the Indians) just wandered onto. They usually took payment in the form of weapons and then used those weapons to go further west and take some other Indians’ land.

  • Disingenuous

    Weird how that works…. but it does.

  • johntmcdonald

    Nobody should be surprised that government control of the fortunes of Native Americans has led to their dreadful state. It has lead us all to the dreadful state we’re in. Virtually every problem this country faces or has faced in the last 50 years has been caused and sustained by the federal government. It’s time for a BIG change. Palin for President in 2012!

  • Dustoff

    Why don’t you comment on what he wrote instead.

  • RenegadeScholar

    Wow imagine if the US government had lived up to one single treaty that it signed with the Natives

    The “broken treaty” thing is about 20% reality and 80% myth. Towards the end (late 1800′s), it’s true that certain high profile treaties were broken. But be real. Most treaties were honored, and, in fact, over the previous centuries, the Indians themselves were notorious for breaking treaties with whites/settlers as soon as it was convenient for them to do so. Usually with the results being a lot of dead white people.

  • TheNightHawk

    “if the government had honored the treaties they signed Natives might not be dependent on modern day government largesse.”

    You have the cart in front of the horse there son.

    If government had not heaped largesse upon Indians (Not called Native Americans) out of some twisted sense of political correctness, they would not have become dependant on it.
    If government had said: “assimilate or starve” they would not have become hwat they are now.

    Liberalism destroys. Always.

  • ADRoberts

    My brother-in-law is Comanche. He tells me that the tribal leaders are VERY corrupt and take as much money from the BIA as possible. When caught and kicked out, they are able to get back in power in just a short time. WHY? He says that the BIA is much worse than the tribal leaders. Someone in the IRS should audit ALL employees in the BIA to at least make sure that they are paying taxes on all their illegal gains.

  • TheNightHawk

    “Uncle Sam is never held accountable. ”

    This statement is not specific to dealings with indians.

  • ADRoberts

    Jaded? No you are just mean.

  • TheNightHawk

    Rather a jump there, eh?

    Two things have been perpetrated upon indians. One resulted in the other. Both are racist, which fits well with the indian mindset both then and now.

    Neither is quite the same as the genocide attempted by the Nazis. (Noting that the only proven case of genocide perpetrated upon a tribe was done by another tribe.)

  • TheNightHawk

    Not entirely. There is a genetic (ethnic) link to alchoholism.

    The other part of your assessment is correct. Perpetual welfare.

    I recall many many MANY moons ago asking my dad: “Why are they letting these buildings fall down?” His answer was: “If they let the building fall down, the government will build a new one for them. If they fix it up, government won’t give them a new one.”

  • Dano50

    What people can’t get through their heads is that in your personal history you had ancestors who cheated, and ancestors who got cheated. Get over it.

    In Alberta Canada I grew up near an Indian reservation like the Lumbees. In a town callled “Panoka”. They told the government to take a hike, managed their oil royalties AND farmed and ranched the land above it and did whatever else it took to independently succeed, and last I heard, in the late 90′s at least, was that a “Panoka” station wagon was a fifty thousand dollar 4-wheel drive, diesel, crew cab F-350.

    All cause they pracitced capitalism.

    I grew up in the cattle industry, and never even realized there were goverment grants for the biz cause my dad taught me, if the markets are down in meat industry, look for something else to produce. Grow more grain. Sell forage seeds. Sell breeding stock.

    Funny thing is, if you never had your nose in the government handout book, some opportunity always seemed to turn up.

    And by the way. A Swedish woman, finding out I was a “cowboy” accused me of raping and killing all the Indians. It didn’t seem to matter that my grandparents never came to Canada until after W.W. 2.

    And she got real snippy when I said, unless all the Swedish people stayed in Sweden, she must have some distant cousins who “raped and killed” all the Inidans.

    And then she just about belted me when I pointed out that Sweden seemed awful proud of their Viking heritage.

    Which held Europe hostage for over a century with their ‘dengel’ ransom. (That was when a lot of Europe paid a yearly ransome so the Vikings wouldn’t come down and rape and kill everybody.)

  • TheNightHawk

    “Don’t complain when someone breaks into your house and takes your stuff then. Hey, they took it through superior stealth and firepower, they get to keep it right? ”

    Well, Lah Dee Frickin Dah!

    Welcome to Detroit.

  • smirk1956

    ITS ALSO DUE TO A PREGNANCY PACT STARTED IN THE EARLY 1980′S OR SO. IN THIS PACT (STRICTLY FOR UNWED TEENAGE GIRLS OF COURSE) STATES THAT ONE MUST GET PREGNANT IF POSSIBLE BEFORE GRADUATION. IF ONE CAN DO SO MORE THAN ONCE WITHOUT DISCLOSING THE FATHER THE HIGHER IN RANK RISES THE GIRL IN THE CLUB ACROSS THE NATION. THE CHILD CANNOT BE ABORTED BUT MAY BE GIVEN UP FOR ADOPTION AFTER BIRTH. IF THE CHILD IS KEPT AND CARED FOR, HOWEVER, THE RANK IS MAINTAINED; OFF WELFARE THE RANK RISES HIGHER. SO THE WEALTHIER THE GIRL IS GETTING PREGNANT, THE HIGHER THE RANK; PROVIDED THE TERMS AND RULES ARE OBEYED.

    AS FAR AS MEXICANS ARE CONCERNED, THEY ARE PAID BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TO HAVE AS MANY CHILDREN AS POSSIBLE AS LONG AS THEY ARE VERY GOOD CATHOLICS TO BEGIN WITH; GO EVERY WEEK TO MASS AND HOLIDAYS, RECITE THE CATECISMS, THE WHOLE NINE YARDS. MOST OF THE ILLEGALS WERE PAID UPWARDS OF $50,000+ TO CROSS THE BORDER BY THE MEXICAN GOV’T ($25,000 FOR FAMILY OF FOUR+) AND DRUG DEALERS ($25,000+). THE $25G BY THE GOV’T IS ABOUT 4-7 YEARS WAGES FOR SOME FAMILIES. AND THE $25G+ BY THE DEALERS WAS JUST TO BE A MULE TO DELIVER PACKAGES TO CERTAIN PLACES AND PEOPLE WAITING ON THE OTHER SIDE. NOW WHAT WOULD YOU DO; ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU WERE INVITED BY A RENEGADE MUSLIM PRESIDENT THAT MOST OF THE CURRENT POPULATION DETESTS?

  • TheNightHawk

    Funny all this talk about poverty being visited upon indians because of those evil white men. And yes, LIBERALISM is the cause of their ills.

    Note that in modern day Michigan it’s a little different.

    Oh, there’s still abject poverty among tribal folk.

    Some of them, at least.

    Some of the tribal folks reap the benefits of casinos.

    Oddly, not too many actually benefit in a tangible way. The big trend now is to have tribal hearings and throw someone’s ancestor out of the tribe.
    “Your great great great grandmother was really a Sault Chippewa, not Mt. Pleasant Chippewa. You are not entitled to our casino money. We’ll split your share amongst the rest of us.”

    White, red, black, yellow – darkness knows no color.

  • confedgal

    I don’t know if Jackson was the most lawless, Lincoln was right up there with him.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HYDXTTZDUZ5ZERV43U56HMICCQ Tom R

    The fact that there are more poor white people in America than poor black people is nothing new. The problem is that on a percentage basis, the minority population has a significantly higher incidence of poverty, out of wedlock births, and crime than the white population in general. To listen to race hustlers like Sharpton, the liberal media, etc. you would think that all poor people in the US are minorities. Pursuing policies that will enable the poor to succeed through independence, hard work, entrepreneurship, etc. will help a greater number of whites, but will help a greater percentage of minorities. A strong economy will provide opportunities for all who want to pursue them, regardless of race, creed or color.

  • MyronJPoltroonian

    On “Officious” busybodies pigeonholing me because of the last three letters in my surname: Being from Providence (Lying-In Hospital, Riverside, Providence, Cranston, Riverside RI.) and now about as far away from “Little Rhody” as possible (California), I’ve had more than my fill of the PC crowd. Both in and out of government. In fact, to counter the politically correct and their brothers in bigotry (they both seem fixated on the perceived ethnicity of those they encounter) I sometimes present myself to their rude, presumptive inquires as “A proud member of the Providence Band of Fresno Indians”. That usually leaves them either sputtering and fuming with rage or in varying degrees of befuddled disarray. (Either way, it’s an enjoyable experience. At least for me.) Bye the bye, the Puritans were some of my “ancestors” from the English, French, Dutch and Scots side of me. So where in the Hell do these whining snots get off complaining about the fact that they were not so “Blessed” to the point of dismissing four fifths of the historical facts of my American ancestry? (The phrase, “That’s not a recognized category, classification or group” is the one they always smugly present as gospel. In the religion of “Progressivism”, it may be. I, however, am a disbeliever of their tenets.)

  • jai

    They DO get money for being African American.  They want money for being American Indian too. 
     
    Not all, of course, but many they elect to leadership are greedy, money grubbing American Indian wannabees.  There’s a lot of them around.
     
    I’ve worked with these folks for years.  Check your facts.

  • confedgal

    What is not mentioned in the article is the suicide rate for the American Indian is the highest per capita of any other ethnicity which is higher than the overall suicide rate.

    The United States government’s official policy on the American Indian until well after the War Between the States was eradication. Grant regretted that they didn’t succeed. He would probably be overjoyed if he could see how they have fared with government “help.”

    My grandfather was Chickasaw. Never lived on a reservation, wasn’t recognized as American Indian. He retired from the military with the rank of captain.

  • confedgal

    Another thing … a lot of the people posting here tend to judge what happened then with today’s standards. You can’t do that.

  • jai

    I highly recommend you check your history before you reply.  I know Chavis.  I know Lumbees.  He may have taken money intended for American Indians to improve a school in California, but many tribes have established and operate their own colleges with their own funds.  Despite white oppression, many annual tribal budgets are now in the hundreds of millions and even billions.  American Indians are the astute business people.  Tribes do not receive nor expect welfare.  They merely, like any other sovereign nation, expect the U.S. to keep its treaty responsibilities which btw do not consist of monthly welfare payments as many believe.  Rather they consist of the natural resources located on the lands on which American Indians were confined after their more attractive lands were taken. 
     
    Except for massacres, many of women and children, the land was not invaded and taken.  The Indians outnumbered the whites and knew the land.  They would have won in an all out war and the whites knew it.  Instead, their land was stolen by coniving whites.
     
    Many Indians are educated in the best universities.  Even during the nineteenth century, American Indian young people were educated at Oxford.  Many are Senators and Representatives and one may be President one day.

  • davemakkar

    REPUBLICANS & DEMOCRATS UNFIT TO GOVERN AMERICA
    Israeli slaves Unionized Gangsters posing as Political Leaders, Bureaucrats, Judiciary, Religious, Media and Business Leaders are ruling America. They are ignoring the basic facts today America has almost $15 Trillion current debt and is loosing $2 Trillions every year and its net worth is $45 Trillions Negative. In other words every American has a debt of $145,000.00. Average American worker who makes less than $25,000.00/year how they are going to repay this debt? Still both Political Parties Reps & Dems wants to increase this debt to $20 trillion by 2016 to dig us deeper into the debt grave. The size of American economy is less than $14 trillion with only 9% industrial produce and exports only $1.5 Trillion a year. Still they want to give financial and military aid to Israel, Pakistan, Egypt etc and keep our army in foreign countries to please Israel; which is costing more than the $700 billion Defense Budget shrouded in secrecy every year. Their spending spree is not only threatening the lives of our future generations, but also the socio economic security of American families today.

    Republicans and Democrats both work exclusively for the top 1%-2% income group that receives 36% of the annual national income and owns 94% of the nation’s assets. The net worth of these top earners is increasing by $17 trillions every 10 years. In last 10 years oil companies alone made over a $1 trillion in profits. US Corporations have managed to achieve prosperity without anyone else having any prosperity by over pricing their services & products as well as without paying taxes on their earnings. The average American’s earning has gone down by 35% in real terms in these 10 years because of high taxes, medical & other insurances, high cost of education, utilities, gas, Federal & local business licences, banking and other services etc. provided by US Corporations.

    Under Republicans & Democrats Federal government & State governments are too big & too wasteful & too inefficient. Prime Example is New Jersey; a tiny state in 8,000 sq miles for 8.5 mil people has more than 9,000 elected scoundrels and 466,000 employees with little or no work appointed for political reasons representing 587 local governments and 1 state government in 566 Racially segregated towns with a budget of $80 Billions & deficit of $150 Billions including un-funded liabilities like state pension, healthcare & transport fund. NJ is legally corrupt & legally racially segregated despite having 80,000 Licensed Attorneys in the state; highest in the world 10 per sq miles. This state with highest Property Taxes $7,500 & highest cost $19,000 in rich district & $28,000 in poor districts to educate a student in the nation also takes pride in its 250,000 students who cannot read & write.

    US Federal, State & Local Government’s corruption is reinforcing income inequality, wastes scarce resources and has made America; morally, financially and militarily a poor country. Today in America there are 50 mil people on food stamps, 20 mil unemployed and 30 mil underemployed who goes to work in the morning but when they come back home in the evening they can not put adequate food on the table for their families. In America, close to 50 percent of babies are born to women who are actually poor. Far too many children who are the future of America are turning up at school hungry, poorly dressed and unfit to study because of rising poverty. What kind of education will these people get? What kind of Leadership they will provide to their country or the world?

    America is morally, financially and militarily bankrupt today because of the Republicans and Democrats that are not fit to govern America. They have re-Christian America as United States of Israel. The quasi criminal US Politicians don’t think that when my family has to live within the dollar amounts that we earn why can’t the Federal, State and Local governments can live with what they are earning? On top of that they are not loyal to America and Americans their loyalties are for Israel and their fellow members from the Unionized Gang only.

    So many crooks from the gang of Unionized Gangsters with conflicting agendas to loot the country have joined together with two common goals; first to serve/benefit Israel/Zionist and second to enrich themselves are in perfect unison. The American Political Philharmonic Orchestra of Unionized Gangsters must be the world’s most amazing cacophony of rogues, rascals and robbers.

    There is not even a shred of decency, honesty, morality or Constitutional rights in the courts and corridors of powers of America. We now live in a police state under Israeli control. Politicians, Bureaucrats, Judges, Religious, Media and Business Leaders are free to do absolutely anything they want as long as they are loyal to Israel. Our laws are meaningless. In America power is in the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooter’s, persons of low caliber & men of straw. Surprisingly all of them have sweet tongues & silly hearts. A day would come when even air & water would also be taxed when different kinds of very high taxes and over priced services will not be enough to feed the Unionized Gangsters governing America for the benefit of Israel and them selves.

    Dave Makkar

  • Hominid

    I wasn’t commenting on ‘feelings,’ I was commenting on reality.