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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Thanksgiving Economics in One Lesson

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Admin. Note: I will be taking a break from blogging for the remainder of the holiday week. Warm wishes for a happy Thanksgiving.

Via Capitalism Magazine, I learned of a brilliant 2017 John Stossel column that provides the relevant history behind Thanksgiving. It does include the Pilgrims and the Indians, but the following will be news to most Americans:
Image by Gabriel Garcia Marengo, via Unsplash, license.
Fortunately, the Pilgrims were led not by Bernie Sanders fans or other commons-loving socialists, but by Governor [William] Bradford, who wrote that he "began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could ... that they might not still thus languish in misery ... After much debate (I) assigned each family a parcel of land ... (T)his had very good success, because it made every hand industrious."

There's nothing like private ownership to make "every hand industrious."

The Pilgrims never returned to shared planting. Owning plots of land allowed them to prosper and have feasts like the ones we'll have Thursday.

Private property became the foundation for building the most prosperous nation in the history of the world, a place where people have individual rights instead of group plans forced on everyone.
Stossel is right to start his column off by noting that we can thank private property for the fact that we have turkeys to eat at all.

Stossel also describes a simple demonstration of the tragedy of the commons that would easily translate into a game families could play with kids to teach this lesson memorably. I recommend reading the whole thing, especially if you have children.

Thank you, Mr. Stossel, for the valuable and accessible lesson in history and economics.

-- CAV

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