American Indians Putting Faith in Government 'Help'?

In New Mexico's state capitol, a local newspaper reports that Santa Fe Indian School students are "watching with bated breath" for Governor Susana Martinez to sign a bill that would create "culturally sensitive programs" designed "to help Native American communities deal with teen suicides."

The situation is tragic on two levels.

First, the high suicide rate attests to social problems endemic in Indian communities. But the second tragedy is even worse, for it compounds the first. No one, especially American Indians, should put faith in government to "deal with" anything, much less something as horrible as suicide. Government has consistently worsened the plight of the Indians with poverty-perpetuating, will-weakening, assimilation-discouraging "help."

The bill in question, sponsored by a Democrat state senator, would also provide resources to address general mental health issues of New Mexico's Indians. The effort would typify the emotional liberal response to problems like the ills that afflict Indian communities.

It doesn't seem to occur to liberals that the solution to social problems in isolated communities could be to end the isolation. Psychologists have understood for decades that increased self-reliance, encouraged by the rewards earned by self-reliant people, has the power to eliminate depression. Yet big-government liberals incessantly fall back on feel-good but ineffective "interventions" orchestrated by governmental central planners.

Cato Institute's J. R. Clark and Dwight R. Lee compare the characteristics of central planning with those of the free market in the just-released report, "Markets and Morality." Clark and Lee point to the free market's built-in ability to create moral social results. The authors dub the sort of morality inherent in the free market "mundane morality." Clark and Lee contrast mundane morality's knack for achieving positive outcomes with the repeated failures of "magnanimous morality" of the kind currently pushing the New Mexico bill.

The events in New Mexico once again illustrate that to liberals, results achieved through actions spawned from feel-good morality, being noble by definition, are automatically exempt from moral scrutiny. In this way of thinking, if one has good intentions and operates through compassionate values, then results become secondary. To liberals, magnanimous morality is a goal-the goal.

Magnanimous intent appears poised to lull New Mexico's Indians into yet another round of false hope.

How much longer must the American Indian-grotesquely abused for two centuries by government bureaucrats, "enlightened" fools, and scumbag bigots-be held down? How much longer will people such as Santa Fe Indian School students default to utterly inept problem solving by a government that responds with fixes that hurt?

The American Indian would do well to reject government's "helping" nonsense, cast off the generational isolation bred by life on reservations, and join the most prosperous society in the history of the world.

A writer, physicist, and former high tech executive, Chuck Rogér invites you to visit his website, Email Chuck at

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