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Opening Arguments

Welcome to the tribe

What might this country look like after a couple more generations of complete dependence on government? Don't want to scare you, but . . .

Little noticed in all of the continuing fiscal-cliff hullabaloo today, the Obama administration held their annual White House Tribal Nations Conference with the Department of Interior on Wednesday — and if ever there was a specific, targeted example of the long-term results perpetuated by the type of persistent big-government help the Obama administration wants to keep going, America’s Indian reservations are it.

[. . .]

As I wrote after this same conference last year, the Obama administration (like the administrations before them) is never short of showy ideas for the ways in which they’re going to “help” America’s tribal Indians, yet somehow, nothing on Indian reservations ever seems to actually progress. Indian reservations have been under the government’s thumb for centuries, and yet many of the most miserable, poorest areas in America with the lowest standards of living and life expectancies are on Indian reservations.

The inconsistent rule of law, the many regulations, the insecure property rights — in short, many of the ingredients necessary for doing business and economic growth — mean that reservations are more like enclaves of socialism scattered among a land of plenty than sovereign nations. American Indian tribes together are the largest landholders in the United States, and their lands are sources of abundant natural resources like oil, gas, timber, and minerals — but the government holds many of their lands “in trust,” cough cough.

And it's hard to get off the Rez when it's the whole country.