Good blog, Fly. I see most of your points and mostly agree.
I do think you missed a (big) piece. You mention "...concomitant social problems..." and yet you only give economic rationale. Some of our social "problems" may be the result of poor decisions about social issues.
Drug use. Crime. Generational poverty. Generational dependence on government handouts.
The decline of the 'nuclear family.' Rising number of out-of-wedlock children. Rising personal and family debt. Rising personal bankruptcy.
Some may have economic tie ins and some may not. I feel many are the unforeseen consequences of too much government involvement in stabilizing factors and too little regulation of destabilizing factors, coupled with an increasing tolerance for changing social norms.
A society with 'changing social norms' will not longer be the society it once was. It will be different. For better (you hope), or for worse (we see).
Fly and Charlie,
Great points. As a Sociology student, practically in the area of Native Americans, I am inclined to agree on some of the points you are making.
I would like to point out that the reservations were an experiment gone horribly wrong. While the U.S. Board of Labor Statistics does not compute the unemployment rate for Native Americans living on the reservations, several researchers state it is nearly 70%.
Those living on the reservation are more likely to die of suicide than any other group in America, except for certain groups in Alaska. They are also more likely to die from diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease than any other group. Drug abuse, Alcoholism, domestic violence, and mental illness are also very high on the reservations. Education levels are well below the national norm. In summary, the life spent on a reservation is a death sentence.
Now, why is all of that relevant? The Injuns (as they were called once) were promised a big lie by the federal government. They were told, “If you move onto the reservation, we will take care of you. You will not have to worry about a thing.” Does this sound vaguely familiar to you? Ironically, those who move off the reservation and stake a claim for themselves are much more prosperous. My parents have a Cherokee neighbor who can testify to this.
Like I said earlier, it is a socialistic-type experiment gone horribly wrong.
Walkie, I question your characterization of the reservation system as socialistic. I would define it as imperialitic. Perhaps even fascist - since the alternative, should any Injun have the temerity to decline relocation - was extermination.
You are more correct than I am. While I did say "socialistic type", your definitions are probably more applicable.