Government Creates Poverty

Freedom leads to prosperity.

(Page 2 of 2)

"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.

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • sarcasmic||

    Read this on RealClearPolitics yesterday.

    You guys are late.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Yeah. Fuck Reason. 'Cause if I can't read an article first, I ain't fuckin' reading it!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Doesn't he play Keynes in that rap video?

  • ||

    I'm ashamed to admit that the dude who played Keynes had some excellent upper body musculature goin' on. So, no.

  • ||

    Family Guy says Stossel is the worst thing on television.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    30 Rock said the same thing.

  • The Fringe Economist||

    Incorrect, 30 Rock said TGS is the worst thing on tv and tonight they'll be Stossel, which implies Stossel ISN'T the worst thing on tv.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Sounds like they are admitting that if TGS was a real show on tv it would be the show that manages to be worse than Stossel.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Anyway do you think Seth MacFarlane might be one of our trolls?

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    None of them are anywhere near that entertaining.

  • ||

    Yes, why did I say Family Guy?

  • Marc St. Stephen||

    "Family Guy", aka Seth McFarlane, also really loves Obama and all things progressive - so his political clout ain't much.

  • Nipplemancer||

    it's the weekly trollbait from Stossel.

  • ||

    Just plain weird.

    The case of American Indians and the reservation system is one of the most complex and idiosyncratic in all of U.S. domestic policy. Trying to reduce this story into some simplistic fable about socialism is most unedifying.

    And note that the Lumbees did not prosper in some neo-Victorian utopianist version of capitalism red-in-tooth-and-claw. They prospered in the context of the modern American system, with minimum wage, workers comp, unemployment insurance, bank regulation, and all the other horrible paving-stones to serfdom by which the "moochers" rob and coerce the nation's rightious Galts.

    The 'stache never disappoints our expectation to be disappointed.

  • ||

    "The case of American Indians and the reservation system is one of the most complex and idiosyncratic in all of U.S. domestic policy. Trying to reduce this story into some simplistic fable about socialism is most unedifying."

    WRONG! Reducing complex phenomena to simple causal explanations is extremely edifying. Its what science is all about. Giving a complex explanation for a complex phenomena is however very unedifying.

  • ||

    "Simple" is not the same thing as "simplistic."

    There may be a set of "simple causal explanations" for what has happened to a wide variety of tribes on a wide variety of reservations after the prolonged agonies of war, displacement, disease, racist assimilation schemes and failed local-government regimes, but it is not going to boil down to Washington screwing everything up by giving scholarships and clinic care to people with names like John Running Elk.

  • ||

    Simplistic is the ad-hominem version of simple.

    "There may be a set of "simple causal explanations" for what has happened to a wide variety of tribes on a wide variety of reservations after the prolonged agonies of war, displacement, disease, racist assimilation schemes and failed local-government regimes, but it is not going to boil down to Washington screwing everything up by giving scholarships and clinic care to people with names like John Running Elk."

    Massive FAIL. Just because you say something does not make it so. The MORE complex and idiosyncratic the other factors the MORE likely Stossel's simple explanation is the correct one. This is something you have failed to understand. You think that adding more complexity (wide variety of reservations, wide variety of tribes) hurts Stossel's case. But it doesn't. More complexity makes Stossel's explanation MORE likely.

    Why? Well lets consider an example. I have a variable z which often has the value 4. I want to now which input variable explains why z has the value 4. You propose variables x1, x2....xn as possible explanatory variables. You then tell me that whenever x1 has the value 1, then z has the value 4. On other hand x2,...xn can have a wide variety of values and z will still have the value 4. Can x2,..,xn explain z. NO because if I know x2,...,xn I get very little information about z. If you told me that z has the value 4 over every possible value of x2,...,xn then you have proven that x2,...,xn are completely uninformative. Knowing x2,...,xn gives me no ability to predict z. On the otherhand the probabililty than x1 predicts z becomes a lot more likely. Especially if for all other values of x1 we find that z does not have the value 4.

    In this case x1 is government interference (a dichotomous yes/no variable). x2,..,xn are all your factors: tribe, culture, historical factors, specific policies, type of reservation etc. This is probabilistic reasoning but its also common sense.

    So how do you defeat Stossel's argument. Not your way. One way would be to find examples of successful reservations where government interfered or to find examples of unsuccessful cases where their was little government interference.

  • Shorter Danny||

    [insert whining about mean libertarians to compensate for arguing in bad faith]

  • ||

    This was supposed to be a defense of "simple" explanations? Talk about massive fails...

    Anyway, conditions are not the same for every tribe and on every reservation. They vary, of course, because of reasons other than Washington policy. Even genetic susceptibility to alcoholism and diabetes is a factor in the fate of Native American communities.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I can't think of an argument."

  • ||

    Your gang will never win an election.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I'm all butthurt."

  • sarcasmic||

    "Your gang will never win an election."

    Libertarians do not promise free shit.
    So of course they will never win elections when the majority of the electorate seems to think the purpose of government is to give away free shit.

    That and since most people who seek power do so so they can use it to influence others, combined with the fact that most libertarians are content to leave people alone as long as they are left alone, few libertarians seek positions of power.

  • ||

    sarcasmic:

    Eh? The whole premise of big-L Libertarianism is that there's a ginormous "free lunch" to be had just by cutting back on government. Big Government is supposed to be strangling all of this untapped growth, enterprise and innovation, and getting government out of the way supposedly would cure problems like poverty, unaffordable health care, unemployment, failings in children's education etc. etc. through the "magic of free markets."

    By saying you don't promise "free shit," you insinuate that Libertarians actually admit that there would be serious net losses to certain people of small means under the Libertarian Party's plans and schemes. Libertarians almost never make such a concession. Libertarians almost always rely on the same old tired "judo-flip" of saying that the government programs do nothing but exacerbate the problems they are supposed to address.

    If Libertarians actually had the balls to, as you say, admit they won't promise "free shit" and that life would be seriously more difficult for certain groups lower on the totem pole under their regime, that would be a major strategic shift, indeed.

  • Sam Grove||

    The whole premise of big-L Libertarianism is that there's a ginormous "free lunch" to be had just by cutting back on government.

    Wrong!

    The premise of libertarianism is that we can have a better lunch if we don't have to pay for someone else's lunch in addition to our own.

    There's no such thing as a "free" lunch, someone always has to pay for it. Lunch can seem free if someone else is paying for it.

  • ||

    Sam, you don't even know what you are supposed to be defending. Stop embarrassing your own side.

    Libertarianism is about smaller government in all vectors, not just downward-aimed class resentment at recipients of poverty relief.

  • ||

    Tony, er excuse me, Danny, what a typical uninformed bloated liberal wind-bag you are, but what really elevates you to the heady heights of liberalism is that you are nothing but a stinking fucking racist. Your odious bull-shit about Native Americans and genetic alcoholism shows that you are too ignorant to have a genuine thought and too arrogant to know how stupid you truly are. You don't know shit from Shinola about Native Americans, yet you feel smart enough to run your stupid mouth about the blessings of Federal Reservations. What a liberal you are.

  • ||

    "This was supposed to be a defense of "simple" explanations? Talk about massive fails..."

    This confirms by initial impression...your an idiot. I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt but your comments have helped removed all doubt.

    Thanks.

  • Rob||

    "....getting government out of the way supposedly would cure problems like poverty, unaffordable healthcare, unemployment, failings in children's education etc etc through the "magic of free markets."

    YES!!!!

  • Edwin||

    oh STFU

    fucking pseudo-logic bullshit

    try just thinking reasonably and real-world oriented - you'd be surprised what you find out

  • Shorter Edwin||

    "And neither can I."

  • ||

    Your gang will never win an election.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I'm all butthurt."

  • ||

    Your argument assumes that social welfare, which for the sake of Stossels argument is already seriously devoid of any useful facts or qualification at all, is x1.

  • Shorter Danny||

    blah blah blah Stosell blah mustache reference

  • ||

    "blah blah blah" being the sound you hear when you push your fingers into your ears and squint your eyes closed.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I made funny. Next I go make poopy."

  • ||

    Your gang will never win an election.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I'm all butthurt."

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Your gang sees everyone as members of gangs and tribes and mobs. I'm not in a gang, I'm in favor of civilization not tribal conquest you fucking savage.

  • Probable Danny||

    "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization. HURR! DURR!"

  • ||

    y
    g
    w
    n
    w
    a
    e

  • Fiscal Meth||

    y
    a
    w
    n
    .
    .
    .
    z
    z
    z

  • The Fringe Economist||

    So are you arguing for more or less government intervention? I don't get it... You say on the one hand the Lumbees excelled due to government regulation however you fail to address Stossel's main point which is government intervention has impoverished all other indian tribes. I'd argue, as would Stossel, that the Lumbees would excel much further without these regulations. A consistent argument never disappoints.

  • ||

    The Lumbees did not excel "due to" or "in spite of" government regulations as one undifferentiated aggregation of people. The winners and losers alike among the Lumbees (as in America at large) certainly reached their relative positions in the context of government regulations. Take away those regulations, and some Lumbees would do even better, while others would do even worse.

    I see no sin, no injustice, and no illegality in a system of economic risk management where, by public measures, a marginal reduction in the upside of 'winning' against competitors is used to offset the most invidious aspects of the downside of 'losing' against competitors.

    Our society's economic regime does not, and could not, reflect some a priori "will of god" or "law of nature" that we are destined to perfect with some utterly unblemished regime of unconstrained property rights and contract obligations. Rather, it is nothing more than a set of pragmatic rules, ostensibly arranged for mutual benefit and prosperity. A default level of assistance for those on the losing end of economic competition is wise, prudent, and entirely consistent with maximum liberty. Where that default level is set, and how it is maintained, is merely a matter of empirical consideration.

    It is likely that the arrangement to which the Lumbees (and most of America) are subject is superior to that found on the reservations. So be it. But such a conclusion establishes no categorical principle against the state's role in mitigating downside economic risks for the populace.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "A default level of assistance for those on the losing end of economic competition is wise, prudent, and entirely consistent with maximum liberty."

    You can't prove a single word of that.

  • ||

    But it's the status quo, and you can't disprove it, so I win.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I am 5-years-old today."

  • ||

    And in 2012, when I'm 6, you will get 2 percent of the vote, again, even though you're on the ballot in most every state.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I fall down, go boom boom."

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Shorter Danny is on the ballot in almost every state?!? Or do I need to retake that Collectivist/Tribalist As a Second Language course?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    You've never won.

  • ||

    "You've never won."

    You can't prove a single word of that.

  • Shorter Danny||

    [pout]

  • ||

    y
    g
    w
    n
    w
    a
    e

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Zzzzz....

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I don't need to - you do it yourself with every one of your posts.

  • ACORN||

    Danny will be 6 for next years election. Eligible!

  • ||

    Only if he has a headstone.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "...it is nothing more than a set of pragmatic rules, ostensibly arranged for mutual benefit and prosperity. A default level of assistance for those on the losing end of economic competition is wise, prudent, and entirely consistent with maximum liberty. Where that default level is set, and how it is maintained, is merely a matter of empirical consideration."

    Let me guess, your empirical consideration tells you that the pragmatic solution is to take more money from the same group you always want to take it from and give it to all the same groups or programs and political action causes whose names are always acronyms that always end with the letter "N" which always stands for "NOW!!" (hillariously broadcasting that you all think that the way to earn something is to complain that you don't have it, until somebody gives it to you NOW!!)that liberals are always "helping" even though none of the programs ever actually help anybody besides the heads of these groups or the politicians who push them and campaign on them.

    Great idea. All the Public Schools, all the Housing Projects and Reservations, the failing cities that have always been run pragmatically by Democrats and all the other unfortunate victims of so much attention from you pragmatic sweethearts just end up in deeper and deeper poverty and despair, all they need is more of the same poison you guys are always pushing.

  • ||

    aw. you guessed wrong. but we have some lovely parting gifts for you...

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Nothing. You replied just to say nothing again. What are you doing here?

  • ||

    zzzzzzzzzzzz

  • ponchy||

    Danny: "It is likely that the arrangement to which the Lumbees (and most of America) are subject is superior to that found on the reservations. So be it. But such a conclusion establishes no categorical principle against the state's role in mitigating downside economic risks for the populace."

    Can you tell me a hypothetical situation that *would* establish such a principle in your world view? If there is none, then you're just a dogmatist. If there is one, I'd love to hear you elucidate it.

    It seems like this is exactly the type of situation that would go into the pile of evidence in favor of drawing the type of conclusion Stossel is drawing. I don't think he's argued that it's the ironclad definitive proof of such a thing, but the guy writes a column a week or something.

  • ||

    "Can you tell me a hypothetical situation that *would* establish such a principle in your world view?"

    If poverty had been a trivial or non-existent problem before the New Deal.

    If Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi were wealthy prosperous states while the Northeast was mired in rural underdeveloped poverty.

    If Canada and Western Europe turned out to be fictitious lands that never really existed.

  • ponchy||

    Well, what you've listed here are really 3 things that are evidence in favor of your view point turned obverse. You're saying (without meaning it) that if any one of these things was not there as evidence for you, that might sway you. In other words, "if the universe was some other hypothetical universe that it's definitely not then maybe I could conceive of changing my mind." It's not really showing any possible falsifiablity in your beliefs.

    I do think that all of the things you point out are good bits of evidence supporting your viewpoint, even if you're simplifying them quite a bit. I suppose your list isn't that much different than stossels article here, except shorter treatment of your bits of evidence.

    You still haven't told me any piece of hypothetical evidence that could actually be found that would possibly prove a categorical principle. I don't think you can because I don't think anyone could. Neither this principle nor the obverse can be proved categorically so it's kind of dumbassy to try to criticize someone for not proving it categorically.

  • ponchy||

    By the way, I've lived in mississippi, and I don't see the connection you're trying to make with that particular example. The south is poor, and there's plenty of access to welfare. I'm not sure if you were saying it's poor down there because there's no dole, but it seems like that's what would have to be true in order for that line to make any sort of point. Not having actually ever been on public assistance myself, my experience with MS and places like NJ is that the welfare systems seem pretty comparable.

  • ||

    Not nearly.

    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/program.....book09.pdf

    chart on page 98

    And, no, it isn't about the cost of living. They pay even less than West Virginia.

  • ||

    Wow, arrogant, and ignorant! NONE of what you mentioned contributed one cent to anyone's wealth. Good programs or bad, they don't help anyone prosper, and may in fact do the opposite. Hard work, brains, and risk-taking creates wealth, not govt. "assistance" programs.

  • Max||

    If it weren't for the Great Satan, the GOVERNMENT, we would be living in paradise!

  • Fiscal Meth||

    ***Fart noise***

  • Edwin||

    This article is just asinine. Even assumiong the premise that these giveaways induce people into laziness and thus unsuccessfulness, they're still getting free shit. That's still a boon, they're still getting something. Of course they're going to lobby for it. Even if I believed the premise that the results end up producing laziness, I still might lobby for it were I an Indian because at the end of the day each person still does have the choice whether they want to be lazy and not-successful, but they'd also have the free shit if they want it.

    Not to mention the really fucked up implications that we should break our treaties and take away Indians' right to govern themselves politically. Hey, isn't it libertarians who say people should stick by deals they make? Why all of a sudden do the rules change?

  • Shorter Edwin||

    "I've got you now, libertarians! I'm so clever I bet mommy won't put a clothes pin on my penis tonight."

  • ||

    Something tells me Shorter Edwin is also Shorter Danny. Two aliases for one coward.

    This is why we feel free to mock Libertarians for losing elections. If they were steady with arguments on the merits, they would have a point about electoral might not making right. But because so many of them are so quick to resort to mockery and derision behind the cowardly shield of internet anonymity, they really deserve to have their faces shoved into the fact of their electoral non-viability. A Ron Paul nomination would be the only gift to Obama bigger than Palin or Trump or Gingrich. Maybe that's why so many Libertarians are so grumpy and hostile.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I'll call him a coward. That will make up for the fact that I'm a pathetic troll."

  • ||

    Your gang will never win an election.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I'm all butthurt."

  • ||

    Win

  • AP||

    Let me guess, " your gang will never win an election," and "I'm all butthurt."

    Way to advance the discussion guys.

  • Sam Grove||

    Because, unlike the left, libertarians tend to be honest and promise only to stop giving away free lunches.

  • ||

    supra

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    It's easy to win an election when you don't have a problem spouting endless lies and brandishing weapons while your more principled and persecuted enemies abhor those very tactics.

    The fact is that people who want power and want to win elections are the very people who shouldn't be trusted with it in the first place. Libertarians, for the most part, are wired completely differently and have better things to do than force people to bend to their will. Moreover, they would prefer large-scale dissolution of such power because when concentrated in the hands of a few maniacs, you get things like the holocaust, the Soviet Union, and, let's face it, the over-extended over-taxed poorly-government educated worldwide pariah country that will be(is?) the late, once relatively great, United Staes. Granted there are Libertarian-leaning politicians, and like anything, some of them are ungenuine, some of them are principled, and some of them fall in between, but usually they don't get very far because they don't promise to set up pyramid schemes(the afforementioned lies and force you jerk off to) for the largest cross-section of the population possible.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Whoops. Fucked up spelling United States...thanks Pubic Edumacation!

  • some guy||

    Yeah, this message board is really representative of those libertarians trying to get elected.

    And yeah, libertarians hide behind the cowardly shield of internet anonymity so much more often than any other group of people. And yeah, libertarians are so much more hostile than any other group of people.

  • Yet another Dave||

    I think you're missing the even bigger point of the story. I don't think Stossel is trying to get us to break our agreements with the Indians, but he is trying to show an example of how even more government support ends up being a bad thing. And the timing is because we've got a president and a Congress who seem to think that the answer to all the economic problems we have right now is throwing more and more money at it, with bailouts, free healthcare for everyone, etc. We've got Washington now trying to raise or remove the debt ceiling altogether so that they can go on maintaining and even expanding current social programs, and the point here is that government assistance frequently turns out to be a curse disguised as a blessing.

  • CIA||

    "ven assumiong the premise that these giveaways induce people into laziness and thus unsuccessfulness, they're still getting free shit. That's still a boon, they're still getting something."

    I know. It still irritates us how little gratitude the black community shows for the huge subsidies we provided to support the nascent crack industry. Like they could have afforded it otherwise.

  • The Gipper||

    Not to mention how little gratitude we get from indians after we got them hooked on alcohol, too, back in the 80's.

  • AP||

    Edwin, nice try, but being on the government dole is not the same as governing yourself.

    This brings up another discussion: at what point do you stop subsidies to a group? This is akin to "what point do you stop handing out welfare to an individual," or "at what point do you stop affirmative action?" Most of these subsidies have proven to me more harmful than good to the recipient and the longer they continue, the more they are expected. At some point, you need to take the training wheels off.

  • ||

    The libertarian position would be to stick to the agreements. But that doesn't mean that new agreements can't be made that benefit everyone.

    New agreements like: give the native's a huge chunk of land and money that the government doesn't own and leave them the hell alone.

  • ||

    As much as Stossel focuses on the "hand-outs makes the Indians lazy" argument, I couldn't help but think that the real reason that other Indian tribes are less well off than the Lumbees lies in this paragraph here:

    ""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."""

    "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.""

  • ||

    Yes, and that is so typical of "Libertarian Right." There are so many ill-conceived government economic interventions that distort the market for no good purpose or effect, and popular ire could easily be focused on those; but instead, they always circle back the same old tired "welfare-queen-in-a-Cadillac" story, trying to leverage the nasty American legacy of racial resentment and downward-aimed class warfare for their foundering cause.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "Racists! My arguments are so well-thoughtout and original."

  • ||

    Your gang will never win an election.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I'm all butthurt. And I know how to cut and paste like a big boy."

  • ||

    Yours will never win a debate.

  • ||

    Never lose one, either, since nobody comes out to fight.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "Me am big tuff gai."

  • ||

    Your gang will never win an election.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I continue to be all butthurt."

  • Fiscal Meth||

    You didn't deal with anything he said. He was saying that it probably has less to do with that and more to do with their not being able to own land. The reply button is for replies not monologues.

  • ||

    Yeah. Thanks Fisc, because clearly I am the one who has been making the worst abuse of the "reply" button on this thread.

    Giant. Tool.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "No one makes an argument so I won't make one either. Waa!"

  • ||

    Your gang will never win an election.

  • Shorter Danny||

    "I'm no longer even trying."

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Hopefully, Americans will eventually figure out that your gang is interested in gangs and only gangs.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    The anonymous jokesters are not pretending to be serious or thoughtful.

  • Surly Chef||

    JT, that's the same conclusion I came to. It's a property rights issue, not a welfare issue.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    It doesn't have to be either or - it can be both.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I think you're absolutely right. There is truth to the idea that when the government basically says "we'll pay you to be needy if you fit this ethnic profile", many, if not most, who qualify ethnically will answer the call, since they would be both disqualifying themselves for free money and pointlessly doing a lot of hard work if they provided for their own needs. But this effect is even stronger, as you pointed out, when the prospect of proprietorship and private property is restricted.

  • ||

    Indeed, Surly Chef. I think Stossel's reporting here would be much more effective (not to mention less insulting to Indians), if he had argued, "Indians need property rights to encourage them to invest in farms, factories, stores, etc. and lift themselves out of poverty." Stossel just seems more interested in picking a fight.

  • Arcaster||

    You both make a great point, but you're missing a key word: individual property rights.

  • ||

    Ya, "individual property rights" is what I meant. Note the emphasis on the individual in the paragraph I quoted at 1:30 p.m.

  • Racist||

    Doesn't matter what you do for them, they'll just drink and rape white women and take scalps. That's what indians do.

    Now let me tell you about those goddamn irish...

  • ponchy||

    Florida,

    I'm not an expert on indian affairs, and if I'm wrong tell me, but:

    Indians are currently allowed to buy stuff if they want to, including land and houses.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

  • Jim||

    That's actually a pretty good work there, Barry. I hope you don't mind if I co-opt it and spread the wealth around the intertubes. I know several people who could benefit from reading that.

    *disclaimer: I was asking out of politeness, but I intend on distributing it even if you deny permission, sucka.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    Thank you ...

  • asdf||

    That was a great read.

  • The Derider||

    Reservation land doesn't suck because it's government owned. Reservation land sucks because the government gave only the shittiest land to the Indians. And if the land increased in value, they broke the treaty and kicked the Indians out again.
    See: The Tennessee valley, Oklahoma, Southern Florida

    The largest Indian reservations now are in the deserts of Arizona. Thanks for all the "help" USA!

    Also, John Stossel is a moron. I hope I get to "help" him one day as much as the Feds "helped" the native americans-- EG give him smallpox, burn his house down and rape his wife.

  • ||

    If you are saying that when the government, rather than the free market, directs you toward owning and living on a piece of land the results are disastrous, I think that favors the libertarian perspective on things.

  • The Derider||

    I'm saying that government stewardship of the land isn't the primary factor. Rather, the land sucked to begin with, and if the land gained value, the government reneged on its promises and stole the land back.

    "Government stewardship" isn't the problem. "active government interference" is. There's a difference.

    Also, we're having this discussion because Stossel's article is a bold-faced lie. The reservation system was a system of control and genocide, not of "help", for the large majority of its existence. This does not mean that current government programs are the cause of poverty on reservations.

  • ||

    Ya, you are making my points for me. Thank you. The governemnt should not have reneged on their promises and confiscated Indian lands, and "active government interference" creates problems on Indian lands and land throughout America.

  • ||

    BTW, I think the fact that you and I seem to agree on many of these issues re-inforces one of my earlier points about how Stossel missed a chance to join on the side Indians and advocate for individual property rights on Indian lands.

  • The Derider||

    I disagree that the government is actively interfering today. Historical interference created intense poverty that the government is working to correct.

  • NeonCat||

    "Historical interference created intense poverty that the government is working to correct."

    Sure they are. Any day now. Pull the other one, it's got bells on it.

  • The Derider||

    "working to correct" as in implementing social welfare programs. I didn't claim that those programs are working, although I think they're obviously better than nothing.

    Claiming "government help impoverished the Indians" is so disingenuous as to be insulting.

  • Tony||

    As long as government is there it can be blamed. Not just the specific government--since not preventing something can be construed as bad policy. But all government, the very concept.

  • The Derider||

    Anarchy Rulez!

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    Yes, we all recall the palatial cities and vast material wealth and infrastructure the native Americans had before the white man came and destroyed it all.

  • Tony||

    That's an incredibly awful thing to say.

  • ||

    Incredibly factual too. The American Indian and the Muslim Arab have much in common historically. Tribal mindset, bedoin lifestyle, no common language, no written history, all resulting an inherant inability to assimilate with any culture however advanced from their own. Indian history largely could probably have not been written any other way, as unfortunate as that may be.

  • BigT||

    And the Indians great care for the environment - by some accounts the greatest env disaster of all time is the torching of the Great Plains to drive animals for their hunting pleasure.

  • Zeb||

    I think that what you say is largely true. But private property rights would still help the current situation more than government handouts.
    There is no excuse for what the US government did to Indians throughout most of its history.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Yes, you're right. The Government should protect, rather than violate, individual rights including property rights regardless of tribal affiliation. Wow, you're a hardcore libertarian and you didn't even know it.

  • The Derider||

    Wow you disagree totally with Stossel's premise and you didn't even know it.

    And "individual rights" are neither here nor there when we're talking about the reservation system. The Federal government undermined the tribal government by breaking contracts and expelling the population. Many native societies never recognized individual ownership of land as a legal concept, and still treat land and profits as community resources. Forcing individual property rights on them isn't any better than forcing them to worship christ.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I disagree with a few points and I know it perfectly well.

    I do not even know how one would go about "forcing individual property rights" on people who do not recognize them. What a government can and should do is protect those who do from those who don't.

    This just means that no one can be forced to participate in a commune and no one can be forced to relinquish anything to such a community outside the terms of a voluntary contract.

  • The Derider||

    My point is that "property rights" aren't "individual rights" in many Native American cultures. Their collective right to property still needs to be defended.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    Their collective right to property works exactly as well as the principle of "everything belongs to the kolkhoz, everything belongs to me" did in the Soviet Union. It is merely a system for incredibly corrupt tribal elders to embezzle the shit out of everything.

    My stepfather used to work as a CPA for reservation school districts, I live right by a reservation and I have a number of native friends. Making concessions to antiquated tribal systems helps no one, particularly not the natives.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I don't see any reason why communal property would be forbidden by individual rights. It just means an agreement by all individuals involved to pool their resources and treat them as community property. The thing that cannot be allowed is for people to be forced to stay and participate or to participate in the first place. I just don't think it's very appealing to anyone without the force. Also, the government shouldn't be involved in supplementing the system to make it work.

  • Sam Grove||

    Hong Kong is basically a big rock, yet is quite wealthy.

  • Max||

    Stossel looks like somebody everybody assumes is gay but isn't. Or is he?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Uh oh Guys...looks like little Maxie has a crush!

  • Rebkunga||

    Wow…this diatribe is frightening and seems to take not a wit into account that our white ancestors stole the land from the people who were native to the America’s, colonized them, murdered and spread diseases all over, decimating entire tribes, languages and cultures and tried to force them to behave like Europeans. Then they said oh here have some shitty piece of land that you can do what you want with. The psychological scars are so deep and continue decades later as Native people are continuously marginalized in this society. When has anyone from our government ever said “you know what our ancestors were wrong, and now we must bear the responsibility of those wrongs, how can we best support and help? That support and help does not necessarily have to come in the form of handouts, though it may be part of long term plan designed to empower and instill respect people who we have collectively screwed over.
    It’s great that the Lumbee’s have transcended the wounds of the past and I applaud them. However, they are clearly an anomaly and it doesn’t mean that the others are lazy victims. Stossel needs to broaden his perspective by leaps and bounds.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Oh and whatever particular tribes we "stole" any of the land from had themselves stolen it from some other group that had been their before them - who had in turn stolen it from some prior group and so on.

  • Tony||

    our white ancestors stole the land from the people who were native to the America’s, colonized them, murdered and spread diseases all over, decimating entire tribes, languages and cultures and tried to force them to behave like Europeans. Then they said oh here have some shitty piece of land that you can do what you want with.

    Sounds like the perfect time to inflict the free market on them. That's how libertarianism plays out, right? Go around stealing everyone's shit then say "OK, now it's time to play fair. The winner is he with the most shit..."

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    I've never in my life stolen a penny. I'm a libertarian. Am I included in your caricature?

  • Tony||

    Your ancestors may have, and the world isn't remade with every generation. But that's OK. You benefit from having a safety net too. Law & order is easier without widespread misery, however deserving or undeserving the direct recipients are.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "But that's OK. You benefit from having a safety net too. Law & order is easier without widespread misery, however deserving or undeserving the direct recipients are."

    There isn't anyone alive on the planet who is the least bit capable of proving that any of the social welfare programs in existence have ever had any impact whatsoever in reducing the crime rate for any type of crime anywhere at any time from what they were prior to the creation of those welfare programs.

  • Tony||

    Okay so look at countries with strong safety nets vs. those without. It could all be correlation with something else in between. We could probably do away with most crime by eliminating young males. Who cares. A safety net obviously creates more stability than without.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    "A safety net obviously creates more stability than without."

    I don't see how that's obvious, from the evidence you provided. I don't see why it's obvious that we should value stability over property rights. But neither of those things are really the point. You said that libertarianism was

    Go around stealing everyone's shit then say "OK, now it's time to play fair. The winner is he with the most shit..."

    You're now admitting that that's a lie, yes?

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    When has anyone from our government ever said “you know what our ancestors were wrong, and now we must bear the responsibility of those wrongs, how can we best support and help?

    You can go about believing you're responsible for the acts performed by people who happened to have a skin colour similar to yours before you were ever born, if you want. Just don't include me in your weird racist masochistic self-flagellation.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Wow…this diatribe is frightening and seems to take not a wit into account that our white ancestors stole the land from the people who were native to the America’s, colonized them, murdered and spread diseases all over, decimating entire tribes, languages and cultures and tried to force them to behave like Europeans.

    You're free anytime to assuage your white guilt and give your domicile back to the indigenous peoples you are whining about, you SWPL dickweed.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Sorry to burst your bubble Rebkunga but... MY ancestors(including the white ones) were too busy being dominated by German hegemonists, Ottomans, and British imperialists to have time to rape and pillage the Native Americans. I personally refuse to be held responsible for shit that people did well before I was born, let alone by people I am not related to who were thousands of miles away from the people I am related to (who I would not be surprised to find out probably committed numerous atrocities of their own since that's what humans have done for fucking forever---especially with large centralized governments). This "sins of the father" bullshit has got to end, since it is better stated as "sins of your great-great-great grandfather's ex-girlfriend's boss's neighbor's roommate's priest's long forgotten haberdasher." Stop blaming everyone, including yourself,for everything some deluded power-mad hypocritical racists did in the past. The longer you keep the guilt and the pain floating in the Zeitgeist, the easier it is to get the situations that exist on reservations or the perpetual cycle of bullshit that exists in Israel.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Wow…this diatribe is frightening and seems to take not a wit into account that our white ancestors stole the land from the people who were native to the America’s"

    Nope - not native to the America's.

    They just migrated here earlier - across a land bridge from Asia during the last ice age - that's all.

  • The Derider||

    Yeah but they didn't REALLY come from Asia, since all human beings are native to Africa.

    Read "native to" as "created a civilization in", and don't be so pedantic.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Yeah but they didn't REALLY come from Asia, since all human beings are native to Africa."

    Yeah they did REALLY come from Asia because that's where they physically were before they started across the land bridge. I didn't say anything about them being native to Asia.

  • The Derider||

    Ok, the Iroquois civilization is native to North America. Pretend it says that and stop being a tool.

  • Tony||

    Isn't the important difference that there weren't people there before for them to steal from?

  • Eviro||

    They stole from Gaia! THEY GOT WHAT THEY DESERVED AND SO WILL THE REST OF YOU! HAH HAH AHAH AHAHAH AHA AH AAH MWHAHAH HA AH AHA HA AH H HDIYIOYOITSGSKGD*&^(*Q&^(*YTEOIU@OYO*RTGKGVJHKGD

  • Ex-BIA contractor||

    For what it’s worth. I’ve seen dozens of BIA agencies across the country. I’ve talked to front-line personnel, agency superintendents, regional executives, tribal members, etc. Some BIA agencies function better than others, but they all have their share of systemic fraud, waste, abuse, nepotism, etc. that all government agencies have. The BIA has screwed things up so badly over the years that Elouise Cobell, a tribal Treasurer, sued the Dept. of Interior in 1996. She sued because the BIA could not give her a straight answer on how much money was in various Individual Indian Monies (IIM) accounts.

    The BIA made a complete mess of the accounting of this money, and a significant portion of it sat in no-name accounts for years on end. BIA personnel don’t always have the tribe’s best interests at heart, sometimes negotiating contracts for pennies on the dollar from what the tribes should have gotten at fair market value. Guess who gets the butcher’s bill for all this incompetence? The Cobell v. Salazar class action lawsuit was finally settled to the tune of $3.4 billion dollars, payable 100% by U.S. taxpayers. I’m surprised Stossel didn’t mention the Cobell lawsuit. IANAL, but I do not believe that this settlement relieves the U.S. government of its trust obligations to the tribes. So I expect a second round of lawsuits in the future, unless the BIA somehow gets its act together. Naturally, the government will attempt to correct its incompetence with more government.

    Each tribe handles its affairs differently. Some tribes are progressive (like the Lumbee), and others are not. Tribal councils usually determine where the revenue goes from their revenue generating assets such as casinos, forests, cattle land, etc. Even if a tribe has a cash cow, its members may not see a dime of that in per capita checks. They may get free health insurance or some other benefits, or nothing at all. Some tribes want no part of the BIA, and some are first in line with their hands out. Why a tribe would want to be subjected to that wholly indifferent and broken system is beyond me. Those treaties essentially make the tribes wards of the state, with few perks and plenty of strings attached.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    If you're in the tribe or a BIA bureaucrat raking in the graft, it must look like a pretty sweet deal.

  • Ex-BIA contractor||

    Yes, I've seen dozens of BIA/DOI/OST bureaucrats of all stripes. Some were actually competent. Some were just there to collect a paycheck and not do hardly anything. Some were in a position to hand out contracts to their private-firm buddies. My former employer got started with sole-source contracts from their DOI buddies, for work that the firm was largely unqualified to do.

    As for tribal members, it all depends on how much in per capita payments they get as part of the profit-sharing agreement from the tribal council. Some get little or no direct payments, but they may get preferred employment at the reservation's casino or travel center...or free health benefits, or whatever. Some get paid bank, drive Escalades and go to Vegas every month, just because they are one of a hundred full-blooded tribal members who are sitting on a goldmine.

  • ||

    y
    g
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    n
    w
    a
    e

  • Sam Grove||

    You guys will never win an election by being honest.

  • ||

    Sam, in case you haven't notice by now, this ain't some goddam Frank Capra movie.

  • Lord Ballsac||

    Danny, in case you haven't noticed, you are a fuck face.

  • Sam Grove||

    Seems like critics of Stossel's article have reading comprehension issues.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Someone just tossed her bra on stage.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Chris Matthews was in Stossel's audience?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Without the government the planes will smash into each other."

    Without government we'll all live in a Roland Emmerich film.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's probably not a good idea to call voters stupid, even when they are.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Second Amendment is a rock star.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Audience questions!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A question about the Fed? That guy was a plant!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Uh-oh. RoPaul is stoking dissent in the military.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Force worked for Luke Skywalker.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Talking about WWII is Godwinning the debate.

  • CE||

    God wins every debate. He's God.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Vietnam, a waste??? This just in: Ron Paul wants the commies to overrun the world.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Anti-war contingent is vocal in the Stossel audience.

  • cbmclean||

    Let's just assume without discussion that the premise of this article is correct.

    I have a question. If tyranny created prosperity and Liberty created poverty, which would you choose?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ron Paul is for breaking treaties - contracts! - agreed upon by our leaders.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ron Paul's war on war.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ha, Kucinich, Sanders, Frank. RoPaul is embarrassed to be linked with that crowd.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Paul doesn't want your vote, buddy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Ron Paul is one of the good ones."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stop linking Paul with Nader, pal. You're tanking his chances!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Your mustache came out of the closet years ago, John.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Thaddeus will vote for Paul as long as there's not an R after his name.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Strawman poll.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ron will debate Obama only if each wins his primary.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Did Paul know when he accepted the invitation from Stossel that he would be debating a lookalike?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Antoine Dodson is President of the United States?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If you want to know what Ron Paul thinks about immigration, BUY HIS BOOK.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ron Paul, playing the doctor card.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Delivered 4,000 leeches on society!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Who's going to invade this country? ANCHORBABIES!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The worst show on television and you guarantee I've seen it? I don't think I've every seen an episode of According to Jim.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    30 Rock advertised for Stossel?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ron Paul's War on Bipartisanship.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And then there was one. Team Stossel, out.

  • Max||

    So is Stossel gay or not?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Why Max, your pool of polyamorous goons on OKCupid finally run out?

  • Bucky||

    the guy who started Cracker Barrel is a member of an Indian tribe that the Gub'mint doesn't recognize?
    there's irony...

  • CE||

    L. Neil Smith has long argued that without government, we would be at least eight times wealthier than we are now.

    1. Government takes half your income in taxes.

    2. Government takes half of everyone else's income in taxes, too, making stuff cost twice as much when you buy it.

    3. Regulation makes things cost twice as much again.

    1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/8.

  • michael grant||

    I have been criticized before for making the comment that the N.A.Indian was not robbed but conquered. I respect and admire the Lumbees for their "ownership of personal responsibility". It's all about SALES. To make a sale you must find a need and fill it and if you cannot find one, MAKE one. Government does just that. Creating "needs" and filling them but with stolen resources.

  • ||

    It is true that economic Marxism breeds poverty and failure. It is also true that Marxism's social requirement of amoral atheism breeds dependence, failure and poverty. Therefore libertarianism is a loosing cesspool of poverty just as much as their Marxist economic brothern.

  • Tim||

    You seem to have left some steps out of your syllogism there...

  • Confederal_Republic||

    Am I the only one that's always found the very concept of such reservations, areas made geopolitically distinct and separate upon the basis of ethnicity and tribal variations, utter abominations and near-unconscionable in their immorality?

    Here's a fact - The Indians were savages; collectivist, primitive (in all scientific, ethical, and practical terms) to a diabolical degree. And none of this is relevant to whether or not the federal government was right or wrong or effective or ineffective in its dealings with them. So I'm not at all sure why so many people seem to delve into this.

    Here's another fact - pretty much EVERYTHING the federal government has ever done relating to Indians of any tribe, of any sort, from any place, at any time, has worsened their existence.

    Is this Danny clown for real?

  • Jason||

    Here's a fact - The Indians were savages; collectivist, primitive (in all scientific, ethical, and practical terms) to a diabolical degree.

    Are you for real?

  • Michael Price||

    If getting government money was good the Australian Aboriginal would be the healthiest, soberest, least drug affected, richest, least depressed and least vulnerable to suicide person in the world as well as having excellent nutrition. This is not the case.

  • nike shox||

    is good

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