Start 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!