Sunday, June 23, 2019

Reparations as Honey Pot

Under some designs of reparations we might see a "honeypot" effect.  I wanted to write "honeypot", but I find by google that's used in computing for a trap for hackers. What I mean is the effect where something of value is free, or easily accessible, thereby attracting all sorts of con-men who exploit it. We see in the Oklahoma land-rush.

We also see, again in Oklahoma, as described by Daivd Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon., an National Book Award finalist. Briefly, oil was discovered on the Osage Native American reservation in the 1910's, enriching the members of the tribe.  Immediately the new wealth attracted a wide variety of people seeking to exploit this new resource:

  • merchants selling luxuries at exploitative prices.
  • "guardians" appointed to manage the money of "incompetent Indians". 
  • murder
Unfortunately in cases where government action or inaction creates opportunity for illicit gain, we don't lay the traps in advance; we try to recover after the fact.

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