While the virtue-signaling Left howls about the Washington Redskins' name, they're conspicuously silent about the struggles of American Indian communities. Maybe that's because the federal government is the root of the problem.
In PragerU's latest video, author Naomi Schaefer Riley highlights some of the issues plaguing American Indians. "Did you know that Indians have the highest rate of poverty of any racial group in America?" Riley asks. "Did you know that alcoholism is more common among Indian youths than among youths in any other ethnic group? Did you know that the rate of child abuse among Indians is twice as high as the national average?"
When Riley dug deeper into the causes of these widespread struggles among Native Americans, she found that the federal government was the ultimate source. Riley explains that the federal government is standing in the way of economic growth for American Indians by denying them property rights of their own land. The land of Indian reservations is held in "trust" by the federal government, which prevents American Indians from doing what they want to do with their land, including selling it, using it as collateral, or benefiting from many of its natural resources.
"The awful consequence of this land trust is that Indians can't sell their land, which means they can't use it the same way other Americans do – for example, as collateral to get a loan to start a business," Riley says. "What bank would lend to landowners who don't own their land?"
The other negative consequence to this policy is that the American Indians are unable to take advantage of the rich resources stashed on their land due to the absurd amount of regulations they have to hop through. For example, in one state, reservation residents must go through 49 steps in order to obtain approval from the federal government to extract coal from their land, with each step taking "months or years to be approved."
"There are so many government regulations that just to apply for a permit to dig a hole costs $6,500," Riley notes.
The result: nearly $1.5 trillion worth of oil, gas, coal and uranium reserves that Indian reservations are sitting on remain mostly untouched.
Until the federal government understands that letting the free market thrive in these communities is the answer, rather than simply sending billions of tax dollars, the American Indian community will continue to be plagued by widespread poverty.