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Thanksgiving Lessons - John Stossel


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Thursday, if you eat a nice meal, thank the Pilgrims. They made Thanksgiving possible.

They left the Old World to escape religious persecution. They imagined a new society where everyone worked together and shared everything.

 

In other words, they dreamed of socialism. Socialism then almost killed them.

As I explain in my weekly video, the Pilgrims attempted collective farming. The whole community decided when and how much to plant, when to harvest and who would do the work.

Gov. William Bradford wrote in his diary that he thought that taking away property and bringing it into a commonwealth would make the Pilgrims "happy and flourishing."

It didn't. Soon, there wasn't enough food. "No supply was heard of," wrote Bradford, "neither knew they when they might expect any."

The problem, Bradford realized, was that no one wanted to work. Everyone relied on others to do the work. Some people pretended to be injured. Others stole food.

The communal system, Bradford wrote, "was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment."

Young men complained they had to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense."

Strong men thought it was an "injustice" they had to do more than weaker men, without more compensation.

Older men thought that working as much as young men was "indignity and disrespect."

Women who cooked and cleaned "deemed it a kind of slavery."

 

The Pilgrims had run into the "tragedy of the commons." No individual Pilgrim owned crops they grew, so no individual had much incentive to work.

Bradford's solution: private property.

He assigned every family a parcel of land so they could grow their own corn. "It made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been," he wrote.:snip:

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CliffNotes Version

 Nov 21, 2018
Discover the true story behind an event that started an enduring national holiday. But don't expect the Pilgrims and Native Americans to look like what you see in post cards. This the real story of the first Thanksgiving.

This video features the music Autumn: Meditativo and Winter is Coming: Adagio - First Snow by Dee Yan-Key.

As well as artwork from The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower by P.J. Lynch.

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