Why Native American Reservations Are the Most Poverty-Stricken Lands in America
November 10, 2020
One of the reasons the United States became the most prosperous nation in the history of the world can be found in the institutions created to protect individual liberty, free markets, and private property rights, all of which incentivize entrepreneurship and innovation.
Unfortunately, the prosperity that exists due to the institutions created by the Founders is not afforded to all American citizens. Burdensome regulations on reservations prevent Native Americans from partaking in the prosperity.
Native American reservations in the United States are disproportionately poverty stricken. Research suggests that these problems stem from federal oversight over Native American businesses, property, and energy development on reservations. Because of overwhelming regulation, “tribal sovereignty” is more a hollow legal concept than a meaningful policy position. The key to Native American development and tribal sovereignty is not found in more federal funding or oversight, but in policies that clarify property rights and remove transaction costs to doing business.