Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving and the miracle of decentralized markets :: Marginal Revolution

Just imagine if a socialist government tried to put on a similar-size event. Even one as small as feeding the Plymouth Bay Colony. The Pilgrims* would be in awe.

I bet they'd imagine it was the hand of intelligent design.
*The first winters were difficult: The weather was harsh, and crop yields were poor. Half the Pilgrims died or returned to England in the first year. Those who remained went hungry. Despite their deep religious convictions, the Pilgrims took to stealing from one another.

Finally, in the spring of 1623, Governor Bradford and the others ``begane to thinke how they might raise as much corne as they could, and obtaine a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery,'' according to Bradford's History.

Old-World Baggage

One of the traditions the Pilgrims had brought with them from England was a practice known as ``farming in common.'' Everything they produced was put into a common pool, and the harvest was rationed among them according to need. [continue reading]


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