Site for Free Markets and Free People

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

As a reminder of Thanksgiving each year, Rush Limbaugh reminds us of the true story of Thanksgiving. In it, the Pilgrims experiment with socialism did not work, so they tried a market economy instead. The Democrats should pay attention...

"The experience that we had in this common course and condition,'" Bradford wrote. "'The experience that we had in this common course and condition tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing -- as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote." This was his way of saying, it didn't work, we thought we were smarter than everybody, everybody was gonna share equally, nobody was gonna have anything more than anything else, it was gonna be hunky-dory, kumbaya. Except it doesn't work. Because of half of them didn't work, maybe more. They depended on the others to do all the work. There was no incentive.

"'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense,'" without being paid for it, "'that was thought injustice.'" They figured it out real quick. Half the community is not working -- living off the other half, that is. Resentment built. Why should you work for other people when you can't work for yourself? that's what he was saying. So the Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the under-girding capitalistic principle of private property.

"Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' ... Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes," it did. "Now, this is where it gets really good, folks, if you're laboring under the misconception that I was, as I was taught in school. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians." This is what happened. After everybody had their own plot of land and were allowed to market it and develop it as they saw fit and got to keep what they produced, bounty, plenty resulted.