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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Compensating Indians and other poor people

Now, many generations after the Europeans landed in the Americas, we can take some steps to compensate the Indians, most of whom were killed off, the remainder of whom had almost all of their land stolen. While we're at it, we could also easily and justly raise the living standards of poor blacks, Latinos, whites and any other poor people in the United States. And why stop there? Why not help the poor worldwide?

In 2003, poverty was rife among American Indians. The Web site http://www.walkingshield.org/the_need.shtml quoted the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights as follows:
  • The poverty rate for American Indians living on reservations (31.2%) is nearly three times the national rate.
  • On some reservations unemployment levels have reached 85%.  Overall, the unemployment rate on reservations is over two times the national average.
  • Over 22% of American Indians do not have enough food to meet their basic needs.
  • One in five homes on reservations lack complete plumbing facilities and less than 50% are connected to the public sewer system.  This has lead to the creation of numerous health and environmental hazards.
The U.S. government owns vast tracts of land that were formerly, of course, Indian lands. So do U.S. corporations. The government and corporations could compensate Indians by giving them resource-rich lands and the mineral rights to those lands.

This map shows just how much land the United States government owns:



All of the land you see in this map in red and white was Indian country before whites arrived. A dirty little secret about America is that the government leases and sells mineral rights on the red-shaded territory to U.S. corporations at a low price; U.S. corporations then turn around and gouge consumers. Indians could be given lands and mineral rights in compensation for the many crimes committed against them. Indians could then be asked not to gouge the consumer. Most Indians would probably gladly agree. And Indians and average Americans, now at the mercy of predatory corporations, would be helped in the process.

Also, the United States stole half of Mexico's territory in 1848-'49. The U.S. made war on Mexico and stole Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. We could compensate Mexicans for this theft by opening our borders and giving to the Mexican people, many of whom are of Indian descent, U.S. government and U.S. corporate lands and mineral rights.

Also, the people who settled the United States kidnapped many thousands of Africans and enslaved them and their descendants here. Black people are still suffering from this holocaust and are mired in poverty almost as bad as the Indians. It is only right to compensate the desperately poor black people for what they have suffered and are suffering in racist America.

I would also advocate that poor white people be given royalties from U.S. government property. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution says the government is supposed to "promote the general welfare." Allowing a relatively few rich people and greedy corporations to profit from the oil, gas, minerals and timber on U.S. lands is not promoting the general welfare--it is promoting the welfare of rich people.

This model could be implemented to help poor people all over the world. The West takes many  of the world's resources at fire-sale prices and then turns around and sells them at exorbitant prices. They do this by bribing leaders of country's that have the resources. My idea is to let the people benefit and profit from the resources that God put on the Earth as a gift for all, not just for the rich.Venezuelan leaders and Bolivian leaders are doing it, and their people are benefiting greatly. Poverty, illiteracy and disease are all falling thanks to the late Hugo Chavez; his successor, Nicolas Maduro; and Evo Morales.

And if someone accuses me of being a communist (oh, the horror!) for advocating that the government seize private property, my reply is the government and European settlers seized private property--almost the entire continent--from the Indians first. And the whites stole living, breathing persons from Africa and are still keeping black people down.

About 25 percent of African-Americans live in poverty, and, from a bread.org PDF:
  • Poverty among African-American children is especially alarming—putting a generation at risk. More than a third (35.7 percent) of all African-American children lives in poverty, compared to one in five children living in poverty in the country as a whole. 
About 25 percent of Latinos live below the poverty line, which is very low and was calculated many years ago, when the dollar could buy a lot more. That's 13 million poor Latino households.