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Population and care for the vulnerable

July 13, 2011
Marshall Independent

To the editor:

On July 7, 2011, I read an article titled, "Care for elderly, disabled, starting to show strain," in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which said the following:

"Cracks in the system of care for sick and frail Minnesotans are emerging this week as the loss of state services begins to disrupt providers' ability to maintain staff and facilities." And, "The state's oversight of hundreds of nursing homes, home care agencies, and other programs that serve elderly and vulnerable adults as well as programs for young people, have been dramatically curtailed or cut off."

I wondered how many of the sick and elderly will die if the budget stalemate and shutdown continues? If we have more storms such as we had on Friday, July 1, 2011, what will happen? For example, 25 residents of the Belview nursing home had to be evacuated because of the July 1 storm. In addition to the storms, we also have floods, tornadoes, blizzards, etc. in our state.

The statements in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the July 1 storm reminded me of Thomas Robert Malthus, a British economist, who wrote "An Essay on the Principle of Population" (1798) in which he expresses his belief that something has to be done to keep the population in check to prevent wholesale starvation. He talked about moral restraint, vice, and birth control as primary preventive checks on population, especially on the poor. Malthus goes on to say that if these, i.e., the preventive checks, didn't work, then he talked about "positive checks" such as famine, misery, plague, and war, which are "essential" to keep the population in check, particularly, the poor people.

I was thinking about the Republicans' idea of balancing the state budget on the backs of the sick, the elderly, the homeless, the poor and the vulnerable, in general, and their concerns to protect the tax breaks for the millionaires and to protect the rich from tax increases. I was asking myself the question: "Perhaps, could we now add 'Republicans' Protecting the Wealthy' to Malthus' list of famine, misery, plague, and war to keep the population in check, especially the poor?"

Also, I was reminded of Hitler's admiration of the "efficiency" of the U.S. genocidal programs against the Indigenous Peoples (including my people, the Dakota People), a sentiment which he expressed many times to his inner circle. Hitler regarded the U.S. genocidal programs as the forerunner for his own programs against the Jews, Gypsies, the physically and mentally handicapped, and against other peoples who did not meet his requirements for the Aryan race (Caucasian Gentiles, especially of Nordic type).

One thing that unites the Republicans' desire for a balanced budget, Malthus' essay, and Hitler's genocidal programs is their lack of concern and their contempt for the vulnerable, the poor, the elderly, the physically and mentally handicapped, and others who are not fit for the Aryan race, for their idea of a superior people.

Chris Mato Nunpa

Yellow Medicine Community



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