If you want to get a clear, irrefutable picture of where liberals are trying to take America just look out west at our government controlled Indian reservations. If liberals have their way—and slowly but surely they are having their way—America will one day be run like a giant Indian reservation instead of a republic consisting of 50 sovereign states. To get a feel for how debilitating complete government actually is—and where America is headed—consider the example of the Navajo nation, America’s largest Indian reservation and home to 900,000 residents. The Navajo reservation covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah and is comparable in size to the state of West Virginia.

According to Sophia Lee (writing for WORLD, December 27, 2014), “Extreme poverty, dependency, and distrust plague the Navajo Nation…” Lee goes on to write that the Navajo people on this reservation are “trapped in third-world levels of poverty; acute material needs, poor infrastructure, and a vicious cycle of injustice and violence. Today, many Navajo families depend on unstable low-pay work and chronic public assistance. About 60 percent are unemployed, and over one-third are considered ‘severely poor.’ The per capita income among Navajos is about $7,000 compared to the national $28,000. Today 16,000 families still lack electricity, and 20,000 Navajos lack running water.”

Take a good look at the conditions summarized in Sophia Lee’s article because this is where America is headed if liberals have their way. The words from Lee that best describe what happens when a nation becomes irrevocably tied to the government’s purse strings are “dependency,” “extreme poverty,” “vicious cycle of injustice,” “violence,” “unemployed,” and “chronic public assistance.” These words should sound familiar to readers because the same words could be used to describe any community or neighborhood in America dominated by welfare recipients.

Yet, as bad as things are on the Navajo reservation, there is at least a glimmer of hope. Why? Because increasingly young Navajos are becoming fed up with living in a government controlled ghetto that is no better than a plantation in which they are the slaves and the federal government is the master. According to Lee, “…the youngest and brightest Navajos are slipping away. Local educators find themselves in a Catch-22 situation: They provide cheap tuition, federal grants, and scholarships only to have students leave the reservation with their knowledge and skills because of a lack of jobs.” Apparently the best and brightest among young Navajos have learned that the only way to better their circumstances is to break the cycle of dependency and pursue lives that are not tied to government assistance. Bravo! Good for them. This is precisely the insight that is needed among all welfare recipients.

But breaking the cycle of dependence is not easy. It means breaking with tradition, breaking with cultural mores, and, often, even breaking with family. Here is what Sophia Lee found while studying the Navajos: “The Navajos once taught strong…self-reliance, fiercely resisting government welfare at first. Today many able-bodied, intelligent young Navajos are living on welfare because their parents and grandparents did, and they don’t plan to stop.” Ms. Lee’s description of young Navajos who are continuing the cycle of government dependence as an accepted way of life could be applied to thousands of young people from welfare dependent families throughout the United States. Breaking out of a multi-generational way of life can be a tall order, particularly for those who find that way of life acceptable.

Herein is found the Achilles Heel of government assistance. No one has ever been able to solve the following riddle when it comes to providing welfare to needy individuals: How can we provide legitimately needed assistance to individuals without that assistance becoming a permanent crutch that is taken for granted and never relinquished? The obvious answer—but one that liberals deny vociferously—is you can’t. The tendency to become permanently dependent is part of human nature. Consequently, the only question that remains is this: Should Americans become—through education, training, and hard work—as dependent as possible on themselves, or should they sit back, relax, and become dependent on the federal government?

The answer to the question in the preceding paragraph is not too hard to determine. All one has to do is look to the Navajo reservation to see what happens when people allow themselves to become dependent on the government. Extreme poverty, quasi-slavery, distrust, violence, drugs, and crime; these are the lots of individuals, families, and communities that allow themselves to become dependent on the federal government for their sustenance. Fortunately, there is another way. It is the way of freedom, self-reliance, and prosperity. But to enjoy this way of life, young people from welfare families will have to do what some of the best and brightest young Navajos are doing: turning their backs on government handouts, leaving the reservation, and setting out on their own to build better, freer, more self-reliant, and prosperous lives.