If America hadn’t embraced capitalism, none of us would be alive. And if Democrats were in power, we’d all be starving.
“Had today’s political class been in power in 1623, tomorrow’s holiday would have been called ‘Starvation Day’ instead of Thanksgiving,” Stossel begins, in a column titled ‘The Lost Lesson of Thanksgiving.”
“Of course,” he adds, “most of us wouldn’t be alive to celebrate it.”
In Stossel’s narrative, Pilgrims and Native Americans almost botched the first Thanskgiving because they “organized their farm economy along communal lines.”
“Long before the failure of modern socialism, the earliest European settlers gave us a dramatic demonstration of the fatal flaws of collectivism,” Stossel writes. “Unfortunately, few Americans today know it.”
“The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony organized their farm economy along communal lines,” he continues. “The goal was to share the work and produce equally. That’s why they nearly all starved.”
Stossel isn’t content to simply blame communal farming for the near-death of the Thanksgiving experience. He also explains what he considers the failure of socialism as a whole.
“When people can get the same return with less effort, most people make less effort,” he remarks. “Plymouth settlers faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. Total production was too meager to support the population, and famine resulted. This went on for two years.”
There was, however, no famine at Plymouth Plantation (there was at a settlement in Jamestown). Stossel’s retelling is a crude version of historical events. The New York Times‘ Kate Zernike debunked the account earlier this week.
“Historians say that the settlers in Plymouth, and their supporters in England, did indeed agree to hold their property in common — William Bradford, the governor, referred to it in his writings as the ‘common course,'” she wrote. “But the plan was in the interest of realizing a profit sooner, and was only intended for the short term; historians say the Pilgrims were more like shareholders in an early corporation than subjects of socialism.”
“It was directed ultimately to private profit,” Richard Pickering, the deputy director of Plimoth Plantation, told Zernike.
“The arrangement did not produce famine,” the Times reporter continued. “If it had, Bradford would not have declared the three days of sport and feasting in 1621 that became known as the first Thanksgiving.
“The celebration would never have happened if the harvest was going to be less than enough to get them by,” Pickering was quoted as saying. “They would have saved it and rationed it to get by.”
“To call it socialism is wildly inaccurate,” Karen Ordahl Kupperman, a historian at New York University, told the Times. “It was a contracted company, and everybody worked for the company. I mean, is Halliburton a socialist scheme?'”
Stossel also posits that private property and free market economics would benefit Native Americans (who he describes as the US government’s “first conquest.”)
He quotes the director of a free-market thinktank as saying, “If you drive through western reservations, you will see on one side cultivated fields, irrigation, and on the other side, overgrazed pasture, run-down pastures and homes. One is a simple commons; the other side is private property. You have Indians on both sides. The important thing is someone owns one side.”
Stossel concludes: “Secure property rights are the key. When producers know their future products are safe from confiscation, they take risks and invest. But when they fear they will be deprived of the fruits of their labor, they will do as little as possible.”
Stossel’s column was highlighted Wednesday by the nonprofit MediaMatters, an organization that frequently criticizes Fox News.
Video of Stossel’s appearance was captured by the site Talking Points Memo and appears below.
Trump whines press didn’t cover the ‘two Nobel Prizes’ — that he didn’t win
The leader of the free world spoke of the Nobel Peace Prize as if he had repeatedly won the award.
Trump made the complaints he has not received the recognition he thinks he deserves during a campaign rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania.
"They didn't cover two Nobel Prizes," Trump says he told first lady Melania Trump. "I got two in one week, did you ever hear of that?"
Trump received two nominations, he has never won a Nobel Peace Prize.
"And my only complaint is, I should have gotten about seven or eight, because if you knew some of the other things -- some of the other things I have done much better," Trump argued, despite having not won the award a single time. "I should have gotten seven."
Portland police search for white man who kicked Black journalist in the head at ‘Proud Boys’ rally
On Saturday, the far-right group the "Proud Boys" held a rally at Delta Park in Portland, Oregon.
Zane Sparling, of The Portland Tribune documented the scene, with many attendees wearing militia dress.
Sparling captured video of a man pushing a Black journalist to the ground and kicking him in the head:
Man pushes live-streamer to the ground and kicks him in the face at Proud Boys is rally in Portland pic.twitter.com/SAdHShqir3
Trump’s Amy Coney Barrett pick for Supreme Court might backfire: analysts
President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he would nominate Amy Coney Barrett to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacant Supreme Court seat. Trump made his pick official during an event at the White House Rose Garden.
“As Amy has said, being a judge takes courage. You are not there to decide cases as you may prefer, you are there to do your duty, and to follow the law, wherever it may take you. That is exactly what Judge Barrett will do on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
He continued: “No matter the issue, no matter the case before her. I am supremely confident that Judge Barrett will issue rulings based solely upon a fair reading of the law. She will defend the sacred principle of equal justice for citizens of every race, color, religion and creed.”