Advertise:   712.224.5420

Opinion: Indian poverty not on American radar screen

"During a cross-country trip I took in early June, I drove past a number of Indian reservations in Arizona and New Mexico, and I must say that the sight was not exactly uplifting. I could see hundreds of tumble-down shacks and old trailers located on hillsides, and none of them were inviting places to live. It was obvious then that I was seeing something akin to a Third World scene with hundreds � perhaps thousands � of people living in great poverty.

American Indian poverty is not something on our "radar" for a couple of reasons. First, reservations are located in remote places and the largest ones are nowhere near major metropolitan areas. Second, because most Indians do not venture far from their reservations; the rest of us rarely come into personal contact with them.

There was no doubt that I was seeing real poverty, and there seemed to be few sources of commerce in the surrounding area. It was obvious that the majority of people who lived in these hovels and broken-down trailers did not work and had no potential sources of income aside from informal tasks and government checks."

Get the Story:
William Anderson: Living on the Reservation (The Ludwig von Mises Institute 9/26)