Hoot’aal bibeehaz’áanii danilinigii. Which is just by the by. Your Volgi has a long-standing interest in American Indian affairs and commends this op-ed in today‘s WSJ, which advocates increased property rights and the extension of state laws on to Indian reservations. There are some trade-offs involved, but overall your Volgi believes that these measures would benefit residents of many reservations so significantly, Mr. Anderson’s suggestions should be looked at carefully by tribal councils.
Fallow property—the tragedy of the commons—is a curse on reservations, which are often held in common for the tribe in perpetuity, which means that the land really doesn’t belong to anyone and no one derives any benefit from it. Also, tribal governance varies vastly from exceptionally competent, honest, and responsive, to terribly corrupt, self-dealing, and impervious to democratic influence, and the extension of state laws onto reservations provides security and predictability, both absolute preconditions to consistent economic growth.
American Indians are America’s poorest minority for a number of reasons, but one of them is that the reservation system, developed as a ghetto then endowed with “sovereignty” with the best of intentions, tends to be inhospitable to investment. Some tribes have done exceptionally well at getting around its problems (like the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), while others have languished for various reasons.
Let’s hope our most American of compatriots can achieve some momentum for this type of institutional reform. Tribes looking to vitalize their economic lives could do far worse than looking to Mr. Anderson’s suggestions as a starting point.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.