Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks again, I hope...

I saw a letter to the editor in our local paper the other day exalting the virtues of a meatless Thanksgiving. One of the things I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving is that apparently nobody in my family paid much attention to that letter.

The first attempts at this holiday got off to a rocky start. Here's a short report from William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony, 1646, describing the Pilgrim's failed experiment in socialism that was supposed to lead to shared prosperity...

"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 if they were wiser than God. For this community 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 mens' wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice."

Thankfully, the pilgrims realized the error of their socialistic ways before it caused total failure, and converted to a system of private ownership and private enterprise that rewarded hard work and success, more than it rewarded sloth and failure. That move lead to the first Thanksgiving, and many more to follow. I hope that we as a nation can remember what created such a great nation, and what almost caused its downfall before it even started.

We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

We also have a lot to be wary of.



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