How Much Per Cap?

feb blog picStart talking about per cap and you can bet everyone’s going to have an opinion.  For instance, how much is a good per cap payment and how often should that payment be made?  Some say the more the merrier because there’s no such thing as too big a per cap payment.  Can I get a shout out for a few of our Florida grown Native brothers and sisters?!  But others say that a large per cap robs a person of his/her ambition by enabling a lifestyle that requires too little personal effort.

Now for obvious reasons, smaller per capita payments have haters….oops I mean critics too!  For instance I know a tribe in the southwest that pays one per cap a year averaging about $150.  Many tribal members are grateful for any amount they receive.  But others feel the small payment just doesn’t really do a whole lot for them and actually resent the tribe for not passing more of its wealth onto members….for better or worse.

I think the secret to a healthy per cap is just enough so that tribal members feel that they are actively sharing in a tribe’s economic success and receiving enough money so that they can do something meaningful with it; i.e. invest, take a vacation, put towards a home mortgage or new vehicle.  But not so much that a person can quit his/her job and hang out until the next payment comes.  So how much is that magic per capita payment that serves as a springboard to launch a person to new heights rather than a ceiling that only stifles their personal growth?  I say $10,000 a year.   But I want to hear what all you My Green fans think, so please chime in!