Skip to comments.Thanksgiving Tragedy
Posted on 11/23/2016 7:13:38 AM PST by Kaslin
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."
We see this principle at work all around us today. America is prosperous because private property is mostly respected, and people work hard to protect what they own. China rose out of poverty only when the Communist rulers finally allowed people to own property and keep profits from it.
But wait, you say, didn't the Native Americans live communally? Isn't that proof that socialism and collective property work?
No. It's a myth that the Native Americans had no property rules. They had property -- and European settlers should have treated those rules with respect.
Native American property rules varied. There wasn't much point trying to establish private property in rocky hinterlands where no one traveled. But, writes Terry Anderson of the Property and Environment Research Center, "Private garden plots were common in the East, as were large community fields with plots assigned to individual families. Harvesting on each plot was done by the owning family, with the bounty stored in the family's own storehouse."
Today, however, many American Indians live in poverty. It's not because Native Americans are lazy or irresponsible. When Indians are allowed to own their own land, they prosper. The laws of economics are the same for all people.
I asked Manny Jules, chief of the Kamloops Indian Band for 16 years, why so many Indians are poor.
"Nobody chooses poverty," he said. "We've been legislated out of the economy by the federal governments, both in the United States and Canada."
That sounds odd to people who know how much money governments spend to "care for" Indians.
"Well, by taking care of us, that means providing social welfare programs," says Jules. "The only way to break the cycle of poverty (is) real property rights."
The U.S. government, after killing thousands of Native Americans and restricting others to reservations, gave tribal governments control over Indians' lives, in collaboration with the government's Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Since then, no group in America has been more "helped" and "managed" by the federal government than Indians. Because of that, no group has done worse.
Homes on reservations are likely to lack electricity and indoor plumbing. There is serious alcoholism and drug abuse. A staggering number of American Indians are unemployed. Many commit suicide.
Jules says not being able to own your own land is part of the problem. "You can't borrow. You can't get a mortgage. You can't be bonded. There's nothing that you can have that'll allow you to be able to go to the bank on your own without the (government) minister co-signing that loan."
Tribal governments function about as badly as governments run by white people. They waste money, mismanage valuable resources and give sweetheart deals to crony businesses.
If we want to give people -- all people -- reason to celebrate this Thanksgiving, give them the proven formula for prosperity. Get government out of the way, and respect every individual's property rights.
What is the situation in reservations. Don’t the various tribal chiefs get to sub-allocate portions to families and/or individual persons in their tribes. It should be up to each one, now, how they want to deal with this.
The problem with seeing no upside is lefty philosophy that encourages grievance mongering. If everything is bad and there is no good to be reached out to, then there is no upside either.
I think we need to seriously consider a “no work, no vote” rule. If you are deemed able-bodied and not retired, you must demonstrate gainful employment for at least 90 days in the year prior to the election or you do not have the right to vote. No representation without taxation.
You got no skin in the game? You don’t get to use mine.
Must they live on reservations, or do they choose to remain there? Can they not seek the American dream should they choose to? There were certainly wrongs done in the past, but to my knowledge, no one is forced to live on a reservstion. My knowledge on this topic, however, is very limited and I have been educated by more knowledgeable FReepers in the past.
Most every school ‘group project’ demonstrates this. Three do the work and one slacker shares the grade the other three earned. Excellent teaching opportunity, but totally ignored by proggie teachers. Even condoned, one must suspect. The kids understand what’s happening.
This is but one example of where a Trump pulpit can educate the masses. Millions of kids can relate to this example of socialism/communism in action.
If you want to know something about the natives and their concept of property, read this.....
Indians are not required to live on reservations. Indians are American citizens, with all the same rights and responsibilities of everyone else. They can freely move off the reservation, move to another state, as freely as all of us move from one house to another, or from state to another.
“No Representation Without Taxation”
The Pilgrims suffered from bad decisions and bad luck. Bad decisions: leaving too late in the year, and then keeping the women and children confined to a disease-ridden ship well after the men were established on land.
Bad luck: bad weather, a prolonged voyage, and being forced to land in Massachusetts instead of Virginia.
Good luck: finding Indian stores of corn.
During the first winter and in the first part of the next year, two thirds of the women, half the children, and a third of the men died.
They celebrated their thanksgiving a year after they landed - that would seem to be after one planting season and one harvest season using communitarian practices. They might have had good reason to give up those practices - private plots and labor probably did yield more - but communitarianism was not the cause of all their hardships. Winter and disease were.
Edward Winslow, Dec 12, 1621: Our corn [i.e. wheat] did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
Indeed, it wasn't until after the Soviet Union fell that Russia and Ukraine became wheat exporters again.
The colony divided land in 1623 and cattle in 1627.
Why would the colonists starve or even resort to cannibalism
with a sea teeming with fish accessible?
That sentiment reminds me of unions.
It is interesting that this incomplete account of this story continues to be retold.
The first year they had communal lots and had a very good harvest. The year in question in which the lots were divided out to families started out with a bad drought up to the end of the growing season. The crop were burned. The Pilgrims realized that they were selfish and God was punishing them for this through the drought. They repented and gentle rain came and the crop came back and produced a bountiful crop. The Pilgrims interpreted this as God forgiving them and blessing.
This is not a story about private lands and laws of labor but of the greatness of God when we repent.
Like an Indian on a reservation, everyone is free to drive to California anytime they want. But that’s hard to do if they don’t have a car. Or even if they do have a car but don’t have money for gas.
Many people at “stuck” in the spot they’re in because they don’t have the means to get out of it. This is also true of poor people stuck in small towns throughout the South. There are places to go but they don’t have the means to get there.
As for the reservations themselves, those out west are worthless when it comes to usage. Nothing will grow there. So many of the habitants get their government check and drink it away.
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