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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Thanksgiving and Economic Liberty


I would venture to say that most Americans have no idea of the economic roots of Thanksgiving. When the colonists landed at Plymouth Bay, they established a socialist system. Being highly religious, they believed that a moral system would be one in which everyone was forced to share the fruits of their earnings with everyone else. So, everyone was required to put his crops into a common pool, which would then be distributed to each family in accordance with its needs.

The result of this socialist economic system was famine and starvation.

Finally, Gov. Bradford, the head of the colony, issued a decree terminating the forced-sharing system. From that point out, each person would own his tract of land, farm it, and keep whatever he produced, no longer being forced to share it.

The result of this private-property system was tremendous bounty. That bounty was what the first Thanksgiving was all about.

So, it was at Plymouth Bay that people gained a clue as to how to eliminate poverty or, more accurately, how to create a wealthy, bountiful society. Herein were the roots of a society without income taxation, welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other forms of forced sharing—the type of society established by our American ancestors when the United States were brought into existence. Herein were the roots of the private-property, free-market system that Americans once embraced.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.