Friday, January 08, 2016

Rugged Individualism and Government Subsidies

In this good article, posted in The Wildlife News on January 7, 2016  George Wuerthner points out government subsidy dollars ranchers and the rest of us benefit from that should be obvious to any curious person. The problem may be that many are not open to discussing the pros and cons of these subsidies, especially as they relate to the past, current and future degradation of local, regional and global ecosystems.

Regarding the "past" and "current" times it is also sobering to read about the U.S. Government, land speculators, ranchers, towns, etc., history of  greed for land and power that decimated the Native American tribes as the United States was being developed from the time of the first European settlements and also via the concept of "Manifest Destiny" and Western expansion and interventionism in the 19th century.

I try to imagine what America and our world would be like if the Native American cultures and attitudes about land and wildlife, had been recognized as equal to the early European "invaders."  Personally, I believe future generations will condemn this embarrassing history.

 I found an "Indian Country Today Media Network site with this animated map that illustrates the amount of land still recognized as being "Indian Lands" in 1784 and how that land was lost progressively through the 1800's to the present time.  It should be noted that the original cultures of the Native Americans today has been almost totally destroyed even if tribes still have rights to small reservation lands.  In partnership with Indians, we might have learned valuable lessons about how to treat the land, wildlife, plants and our fellow humans.
The same Indian Country Today page noted above also provides the two maps below:

What the U.S. Indian Lands looked like before European Contact:
What the U.S. Indian Lands look like today.