How Capitalism Saved Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! As a history enthusiast, I would like to recall the history of the Plymouth colony’s survival in the new world of North America. Let me first recant the true story of Plymouth, Massachusetts in the 1620’s as written by then Governor William Bradford in Of Plymouth Plantation.

After the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1620, they enjoyed their first harvest of corn in 1621 and had a feast at that time to celebrate the occasion. Today, we remember this event as Thanksgiving Day. However, that is where the story ends in most text books and the real story begins.

When the Plymouth colony began, it was based upon a communal farming system whereby nobody owned the land and all farming duties were shared equally by the male colonist. However, by 1623, Governor Bradford realized this agrarian utopia as later envision by Lenin, Marx, Obama, and Sanders was a complete failure and the colony was starving as a result. Just like in Jamestown, there was not enough food to sustain the townspeople through the cold winter. It was not until Governor Bradford decided to divide the land into parcels and distribute them to each family that Plymouth became a sustainable colony. This capitalistic change marked a discernable divergence from its unsuccessful socialistic/communistic beginnings.

Once the last was distributed into the hands of its citizens, crops became plentiful. Those men who previously feigned sickness and injury not to work were now toiling the fields with as much stamina as their neighbor. The real lesson learned here is that incentive creates initiative. On the other hand, when incentive is lost, so is initiative and work degrades to the lowest common denominator.

This example plays out time and time again over history and is a warning for those who want to embrace the policies of Chavez in Venezuela or Marx in Russia. Recently, here in the North East there was a large (for this area at least) snow storm. Though the US postal office delivered the mail, the mailman refused to reach out past a certain distance while in the truck to place the mail in the mailbox. As a result, we did not receive mail for days, not understanding why it was not being delivered. I had shoved out the driveway and even the mailbox. The problem was that since the mailman had to reach over some snow to deliver the mail, he decided to hold onto it instead.

However, during this same time, I had UPS packages delivered. The delivery man actually ran through almost 2 feet of snow just to bring the package to my doorstep. Even though the driveway was shoveled to the garage, the package ended up on my door step. This example is the difference between a public verses a private business. If you are thinking of voting for Sanders, Clinton, or any RINO republicans such as Kasich or Rubio, keep this little history lesson in mind.

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