Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Seneca People Warning of the Possible Trade Off on Trade
The message is clear: "Mess with our commerce and we'll mess with yours". With the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) and major rail and power lines crossing their land; the Senecas certainly have targets if not leverage for their grievances. "No mail; no rail" is the quiet buzz running through the Seneca Territory of Cattaraugus. This sign appears on either side of a railroad overpass that runs through Seneca land.
It is in reference to a bill before the U.S. Congress that targets Native tobacco retailers that use the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for delivery of product purchased on Native land. The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act makes wild claims of tens of thousands of cigarettes mailed to children, billions in lost state tax revenue, and terrorist funding through Native retailers. No hard data supports these claims but they successfully strike at the hearts of the broad American public with kids, the economy and of course TERROR.
The facts are that over a thousand Western New York Jobs will be lost (most of them non-native). Products manufactured right here will have their markets eliminated, ultimately causing the loss of more manufacturing jobs. The morons representing New York will cause the loss of millions of dollars worth of revenue to their state for this legislation. The USPS will also lose millions of dollars worth of business from deliveries, payment and solicitations, while being burdened with the cost of enforcement of the Act.
Politically and socially what does it mean? Well, the country that spans the globe spewing the virtues of the free market, democracy and private sector development (especially those precious small businesses) crushes every small Native business in the Western New York market, wiping out the private sector on at least four Native communities. This is done all the while the carrot of a casino in the Catskills is dangled out there to the highest bidder or bidders. The state and federal legislators solution to the "Indian" problem is to empower tribal government and cast Native communities into the worst kind of socialism; where the only jobs are working for the tribe and the tribe answers to the state and feds through gaming compacts, tax compacts and trade compacts. The private sector is regulated out of existence or criminalized to encourage tougher regulations and stronger enforcement.
The question most should be asking is whether this is the swing of a pendulum or a rez car rolling down its last hill.