I’m gonna go ahead and assert this one, and post potential proofs at some later date, maybe even next week (not likely though). In any case, I think this is a set of numbers worth crunching, even if it takes me years to get around to it and I turn out to be wrong (I’m not lol).
The Rousseau-born idea of the frontier and the idea of living a scaled-down, rustic life beating the earth for its energy is one that requires vast amounts of cash from city folk to allow a much smaller group of people to “live off the land”.
There is a belief among the more technocratic and “human biodiversity (but only on test scores, and only sometimes)” type dissident right wing folk that endless rivers of cash have been poured onto black America (specifically and most widely claimed among these sorts, inner city black America) and that this was bad and didn’t make them uplifted or whatever anyway.
Given that nearly all of the money went to and continues to go to white Americans, I find their chain of logic more than a little confused and incoherent. But the debate about amount is one that might be settle-able in some manner.
The numbers needed, to start with, are the ones around President Johnson’s War on Poverty, plus the ones around the multiple land-grant acts of Congress over the 18th and 19th centuries. Then you have to bring in spending related to the frontier areas (and start with the midwest and work your way out west to California and the Pacific Northwest and Alaska). That can get involved, but the detangling is ever so worth it, if it can be done (ideally by someone with a lot more free time than I have).
The only point I’m fuzzy on is just how big the gap is. It might be small, or it might be comically large. By all means, I am eager for someone, anyone to crunch the numbers all up and issue a report.