March 30, 2011

Lumbees prove government doesn't work?!

John Stossel and my pleasure jolts

By Barry FarberNow here comes John Stossel, fellow WND columnist, over the weekend of March 26 with one of the best pieces in television history: "Freeloaders," a Fox News special delivering stomp-down proof that Indian tribes that are not recognized as tribes by the government and get no federal handouts are more successful than those on the federal dole. Stossel visited the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina, whose members get nothing from the government. They're generally successful in business. Many live in luxury mansions. In contrast, the Indians embraced by the feds live in what look like tar-paper shacks.

In boxing, John Stossel's interview with Elizabeth Homer, who used to be the government nanny of the recognized tribes, would have been canceled as a mismatch or halted on a TKO early in Round 1. She was pitifully unable to defend government stewardship over Native Americans as anything but the failure of socialism.
Comment:  Too bad Homer (whom I've interviewed before) isn't a kick-butt debater like me. Here's what she should've said:

1) One example of anything is statistically meaningless. Compared to 565 federally recognized tribes, the Lumbee case is irrelevant. It's an anecdote, not a fact.

2) I'm guessing Stossel didn't do more than talk to one or two Lumbees and drive through one or two Lumbee neighborhoods. There's zero evidence that he examined the lives of 55,000 Lumbees in any meaningful way.

3) Stossel provide no context for his claims. The important context is this: Many unrecognized tribes in rural locations are as poor as recognized tribes. And many recognized tribes in urban locations (the Mashantucket Pequots, Mohegans, Seminoles, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux, San Manuel, Morongo, Agua Caliente, Pechanga, Viejas, Chumash, et al.) are as rich as their non-Indian neighbors.

What's the key information in this paragraph? Tribes in rural locations are poor because no jobs are nearby. Tribes in urban locations are (relatively) rich because jobs are nearby. The Lumbees are well-off because they live in North Carolina's booming Triangle region (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill), not because self-reliance has made them strong.

For more on the subject, see Trahant Agrees About Termination Agenda, Fox Special on Indian "Freeloaders," and Stossel:  Indians Are Biggest Moochers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fact check people. The Lumbee live in Robeson County--more than 2 hours away from Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill (Research Triangle area). So maybe a handful of Lumbee live in mansions, but an overwhelming majority live way below the poverty level.