In 1935 — during the great depression — President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced America to the “New Deal.” This was a reference to poker and the notion that some had been dealt a bad hand.
His “New Deal” brought welfare to the United States for the first time. The Great Depression was not the first economic downturn that America had experienced. Actually, there were five recessions before The Great Depression from 1929 to 1938.
The first one was the Panic of 1797. Other economic downturns occurred in 1857, 1873, 1893 and 1907.
Before welfare, the poor had to rely on support from their family, neighbors, churches and other charities just to survive.
Since the New Deal, countless millions of Americans have received welfare payments from the Federal Government.
Is this good? In some ways yes, in others no.
To help understand how welfare can make people dependent and destroy their lives we only need to look at the history of the American Indians and their relationship with welfare.
According to the US Census Bureau, the current population of Native Americans in the United States is 6.79 million, which is about 2.09 percent of the entire population. The state with the highest percentage of Native Americans is Alaska at 13.77 percent.
In 2018 24 percent of American’s that are recognized as American Indian or Alaskan Native were in poverty, as compared to a 13 percent poverty rate for the whole population of the United States.
What is the reason that Native Americans have a poverty rate almost twice that of the whole population? I don’t believe it is because their race is lazy. I refuse to believe the Indian is an inferior race or that as a race they are less intelligent than anyone else.
I think a large part of the problem is that we, as a country, feel guilty for all the crimes we committed to them over history.
According to the U.S. Department of Interior, Indian Affairs provides services directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts to 567 Federally recognized tribes sending them billions of dollars every year to pay for their health care, food stamps, child care and housing and more.
Journalist John Stossel, in his YouTube video, “How the Government Turns American Indians into Freeloaders” explains how no group in America has been helped more by the Federal Government than the American Indians.
He points out that many American Indian tribes have become wards of the state. They have the highest poverty rate and the lowest life expectancy of any group in America.
For comparison, we only have to look at the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. They are a state-recognized tribe with approximately 55,000 enrolled members.
They are the largest state tribe in North Carolina, the largest state tribe east of the Mississippi River, and the ninth-largest non-federally recognized tribe in the United States. They take their name from the Lumber River which winds its way through Robeson County.
The Lumbees were recognized as a Native American tribe by the United States Congress in 1956, under conditions that it agreed to at the time, which did not allow them to have benefits available to other federally recognized tribes.
As a tribe, they do not have any casinos. By comparison, members of their tribe own 12 banks. Lindsey Locklear, a tribe member, runs one of the largest True Value hardware stores in the nation. Lumbee Jim Thomas used to own the Sacramento Kings. Lumbee Jack Lowery was an original owner of the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain. This list of successful entrepreneurs does not stop there.
The difference — the Lumbees receive no federal welfare as a tribe. Their brothers on the reservation are trained to expect handouts and welfare with the government taking care of their every need.
The Lumbees own the land where they live. Indians living on a reservation do not own their land or homes.
What Americans did to the American Indians over our history was a horrible crime. But, in a way, the worst thing we ever did to them was enslave them with welfare.
The lesson learned from this is that welfare should be used as a hand up out of poverty for those who are able-bodied. All too often it is used as a crutch and excuse to not be a productive member of society.