Now why would I say something like that? Because they’re complaining to the high heavens to anyone that will listen, and the reason is they want to keep using what I consider to be a dying industry to make profits.
Shit, can’t the Crow Indians do anything that doesn’t rely on coal? And don’t think the state of Montana and the white idiots living here are any better – they’ve got the same addiction and the same lack of ideas on how to solve it.
I mean, yeah, you’re Indians, we get it that you’ve been screwed by the white man for centuries, but now you want to turn around and screw the land that you’ve always used as your main bargaining chip with the white man?
Alright, let’s get to the bottom of this:
- First, Indians like the Crow continually shove down my throat that they’ve been screwed, and it all comes down to that land that was taken;
- Next, whites have tried again and again to make up for this, but it never can be done – it’s impossible;
- Finally, it seems that some Indians are now deciding to say screw it, and they’ll now rape that same land they so adamantly argued for over so many years.
Kinda weird, huh? The reason I got thinking about this was because of a Billings Gazette article the other day on the Crow tribe wanting more carbon tax credits. A few things stood out to me:
- First, the tribe said they lost $3 million out of their budget last year because of the loss of those temporary carbon tax credits;
- Next, many tribal members are unemployed, with the reservation suffering 47% unemployment;
- After that, the 120 tribe members that are working in the coal industry are making $65,000 a year.
- Finally, those same 120 workers are now down to just 32 hours a week.
Let’s take a look at this, or as I like to say, tear it apart.
- First, 32 hours a week. Damn, that must hurt. At least you have more than 30 hours a week and perhaps even qualify for Obamacare. Hey, maybe you don’t even need two part time jobs to get that 32 hours!
- Next, $3 million out of a Crow tribal budget that’s $32.4 million for 2014 is just 10.8%. And the Crow had the same damn problems in 2010 so we know they’ll have the same damn problems once again;
- Then, you have to realize these tax credits first came about in 2005 with the Energy Policy Act. So what the hell did the Crow tribe do before then? I don’t know, do they?
- Finally, what will the Crow tribe do eventually, or will that coal just last forever and ever? Maybe it will, but demand for it won’t, and that’s because the world is turning against it. What then? What then?
Don’t ask that question, the Crow Tribe doesn’t want to hear it. See, they don’t want to think about the future, and when you realize the mentality of the Plains Indians, you realize this is the way they’ve always thought. It’s the here and now and to hell with tomorrow.
Great, wonderful, I sure hope that attitude works out real damn well in another decade when the State of Washington doesn’t allow coal shipments, or when China just doesn’t need the shit anymore. See, you might have the best product in the world, but if no one wants it, what good is it?
Or is the world not turning against coal? Because every news story I see sure seems to be that way, and if you compare the news cycle of ten years ago to that of today, you’d have to be a damn moron to say otherwise.
We have 119.1 billion tons of coal in Montana and we can dig up 74.9 billion tons of that. We’ve got more coal than any other state of the union, but compared to the world, we’re just a speck on the map – 7.5% is all we account for compared to the coal that’s mined globally.
The industry employed 942 people in 2006, making up 0.22% of the 427,130 jobs we had that year.
- In comparison, in 2005 the Montana Highway Patrol had just 206 workers and that same year various local governments around the state had 35,946 workers.
- In 2006 there were just 320 mental health counselors in the state, and that same year saw just 700 fire fighters. We did have 1,470 lawyers, however.
- The mining industry in 2006 had 460 derrick operators, 270 earth drillers, 250 extraction worker helpers, 80 mining machine operators, and 8 roustabouts.
- By 2013 the mining industry had 30 derrick operators, 460 earth drillers, 220 extraction worker helpers, 90 mining machine operators, and 600 roustabouts.
What the hell is a roustabout? Sounds like they do just about every shit job there is. They make $22.16 an hour on average for their efforts, which is about average for many of these mining jobs. Hell, with a little spit and effort you could get an education and make that and more, easily.
Well, just not in Montana. See, because in Montana we choose to support dying industries instead of those that are relevant to the 21st century.
Oh, yeah, I need that car, right? I mean, I’ve mentioned before how fucking hard it is for me to walk across the street to the store, hike a few blocks to the mall, or God forbid, take the bus downtown. And maybe, just maybe, if we didn’t rely on cars so much we’d actually be able to have a sensible public transportation system that people want to use.
But this is Montana, and damn it, when it comes to modernity we stand in the way and stick our foot out – don’t mind us, we’ll trip you up every chance we get and fuck you for getting in the way.
That’s the Montana attitude, or at least that 0.22% that relies on that extraction industry here…you know, the rich Wall Street types that have been screwing us over for more than a century? They’re trying to buy our election right now, and they need those resources so their kids can go to Harvard this fall, so their kids can get that white picket fence, so their kids can live the American dream while you and your family get back into that corner we call squalor, the one where you belong.
The Crow Indians know that mentality well, for that’s what the white men have been telling them since Day 1. That’s why I’m so ashamed to see the tribe fall to its knees and claim it can do nothing else. That’s what entitlement looks like, that’s what dependency looks like.
It’s hard not to think of the Crow Tribe as lacking intelligence, both because they have no idea how to help the 60% of their people that don’t have coal jobs, and because they don’t have a clue what they’ll do with the 100% that eventually won’t have them.
And don’t think the whites are any different. And don’t think you are either. If your job went away tomorrow, what would you do? What fucking skills do you have that are worth one lick to those on Wall Street that pay the peons in this country?
But don’t tell that to the Westmoreland Coal Co. that’s helping the Crow, or perhaps helping themselves. See, they get $2.26 for each ton of coal that comes off those Crow lands. They have to keep that coal coming up, their bottom line depends upon it. To them, the Crow are just a free money machine.
It’s sad that the Crow Indians, a once-proud tribe in Montana, is now letting the white man fool him so. I guess they never learn.