Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Tragedy

By John Stossel November 23, 2016

Tomorrow, as you celebrate the meal the Pilgrims ate with Indians, pause a moment to thank private property.    

I know that seems weird, but before that first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims nearly starved to death because they didn't respect private property.       When they first arrived in Massachusetts, they acted like Bernie Sanders wants us to act. They farmed "collectively." Pilgrims said, "We'll grow food together and divide the harvest equally."  Bad idea. Economists call this the "tragedy of the commons." When everyone works "together," some people don't work very hard.     Likewise, when the crops were ready to eat, some grabbed extra food -- sometimes picking corn at night, before it was fully ready. Teenagers were especially lazy and likely to steal the commune's crops.   

Pilgrims almost starved. Governor Bradford wrote in his diary, "So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could ... that they might not still thus languish in misery."   

His answer: He divided the commune into parcels and assigned each Pilgrim his own property, or as Bradford put it, "set corn every man for his own particular. ... Assigned every family a parcel of land."  That simple change brought the Pilgrims so much plenty that they could share food with Indians. Bradford wrote that it "made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been."......To Read More.... 

My Take - Some added information sent to me by Maury and Dog.  The Puritans landed in 1620 with 132 people.  By fall of 1621 only 53 were left alive.  But, they had a harvest, but didn't thrive until they accepted the foundation of capitalism - personal ownership of land, personal responsibility and personal profit!  Personal profit isn't a dirty word it's the foundation for across the board wealth accumulation for society as a whole.

By 1640 there were 11,000 people living in what's now the New England region.

As would be expected with that sort of wealth creation and success, New England flourished, and was a key component of the 13 colonies.  It was a society of based on individual farmers and families working their own land.

The Jamestown colony formed in 1607.  According to Richard Maybury - Within 12 months over half would be dead.  As a result of their socialist concepts, "most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites." "In the winter of 1609/1610, called "The Starving Time" the population fell from 500 to 60."  The Virginia colony had 8000 people land there between 1607 and 1625 with a 15% survival rate. 

So, what drove people to keep coming?  Religious conflict and instability in England as well as the rest of Europe.  Also, Spain's exploitation of the New World gave them unprecedented economic power in Europe and it was realized the vast majority of the New World was untouched - the potential for riches was obvious in "fisheries, timber, furs and expanses of fertile soil."  Not the easy wealth of mineral resources, but wealth that could only be developed by real colonization and hard work.  Long term wealth and power.

But once they all abandoned the insanity of socialism and adopted capitalism they thrived beyond their dreams."In 1614, [Virginia] Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch, there was "plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure." He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, "we reaped not so much corn from the labors of 30 men as three men have done for themselves now."

So the most important meal officially celebrated in America is a toast to capitalism, individual ownership of land, and personal industriousness - and an absolute repudiation of leftism in all it's manifestations.  Truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality.

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