Socialism

On Thanksgiving, Be Grateful for Property Rights

When people respect private property, they interact more peacefully.

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Families will argue this Thanksgiving.

Such arguments have a long tradition.

The Pilgrims had clashing ideas about how to organize their settlement in the New World. The resolution of that debate made the first Thanksgiving possible.

The Pilgrims were religious, united by faith and a powerful desire to start anew, away from religious persecution in the Old World. Each member of the community professed a desire to labor together, on behalf of the whole settlement.

In other words: socialism.

But when they tried that, the Pilgrims almost starved.

Their collective farming—the whole community deciding when and how much to plant, when to harvest, who would do the work—was an inefficient disaster.

"By the spring," Pilgrim leader William Bradford wrote in his diary, "our food stores were used up and people grew weak and thin. Some swelled with hunger… So they began to think how…they might not still thus languish in misery."

His answer: divide the commune into parcels and assign each Pilgrim family its own property. As Bradford put it, they "set corn every man for his own particular…. Assigned every family a parcel of land."

Private property protects us from what economists call the tragedy of the commons. The "commons" is a shared resource. That means it's really owned by no one, and no one person has much incentive to protect it or develop it.

The Pilgrims' simple change to private ownership, wrote Bradford, "made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been." Soon they had so much plenty that they could share food with the natives.

The Indians weren't socialists, either. They had property rules of their own. That helped them grow enough so they had plenty, even during cold winters.

When property rights are tossed aside, even for the sake of religious fellowship or in the name of the working class, people just don't work as hard.

Why farm all day—or invent new ways of farming—when everyone else will get an equal share?

You may not intend to be a slacker, but suddenly, reasons to stay in bed seem more compelling than they did when your own livelihood and family were dependent on your own efforts.

Pilgrim teenagers were especially lazy. Some claimed they were too sick to work. Some stole the commune's crops, picking corn at night, before it was ready.

But once Bradford created private lots, the Pilgrims worked hard. They could have sat around arguing about who should do how much work, whether English tribes or Indian ones were culturally superior, and what God would decree if She/He set rules for farming.

None of that would have yielded the bounty that a simple division of land into private lots did.

When people respect property rights, they also interact more peacefully.

At this year's Thanksgiving dinner, if people start arguing about how society should be run, try being a peacemaker by suggesting that everyone should get to decide what to do with their own property.

If your uncle wants government to tax imports or thinks police should seize people's marijuana, tell him that he doesn't have to smoke weed or buy Chinese products, but he should keep his hands off other people's property.

If your niece says everyone loves socialism now, remind her she has enough trouble managing her own life without telling the rest of the world what to do. When families don't agree, they certainly shouldn't try to run millions of other people's lives.

In America today, religious groups practice different rites but usually don't demand that government ban others' practices. Private schools set curricula without nasty public fights. Businesses stock shelves without politicians fighting about which products they should carry.

All those systems work pretty well. That's because they are private.

In most of our lives, private ownership makes political arguments unnecessary.

I'm thankful for that.

COPYRIGHT 2019 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.
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  1. “If your uncle wants government to tax imports or thinks police should seize people’s marijuana”

    …then let him talk and think about how the food tastes.

    Anyway, why are the uncles in these examples always stereotypical right-wingers? Does nobody have a left-wing uncle?

    1. Uncle Remus?

      Uncle Joe? (Stalin)

    2. What makes you think those are right-wing policies? That’s an …. interesting ….. take.

      1. Probably because that’s what a good chunk of the right wing is advocating these days

        1. So is a good chunk of the left wing.

          Look at the states which have legalized pot and tell me again how government doesn’t want to still seize pot. Biden was still galling it a gateway drug until a week or two ago and probably still believes it. All the major Dem contenders love them some tariffs.

          1. Nah, the left wingers don’t want to sieze people’s marijuana. Just businesses’ who don’t pay their pound of flesh. Cuz corporations aren’t people, you know.

            1. Meanwhile, MassDems are plotting to seize people’s cars over vaping,

    3. I only have one left wing uncle and he’s not coming to thanksgiving.

    4. And why an uncle?

      Why not a transgender aunt?

      Was Uncle Buck that influential?

  2. Speaking of property rights, I wonder if Jared Kushner has any respect for American’s private property!

    1. I wonder if you have a brain cell.
      Check that; no, you don’t.
      Fuck off and die.

  3. I’m thankful for the police forces that keep Mexicans and squatters off of my private propertay. If I see a Mexican on my property all I have to do is dial 911 and then some nice man— presumably paid for by the tooth fairy— whisks the above undesirable to some shitty camp. Yeah, private propertay is great.

    1. Started the drinking early, have we?

      1. Nope.
        That’s not drunkenness; that’s sober. That scumbag really is that stupid.

  4. I’m thankful for a Government Almighty that protects OTHER stupid people (NEVER ME!!!) from heroin and crack and smack and jack and pot and snot… And un-prescribed cheap plastic flutes! Because if it weren’t for Government Almighty, EVERYONE (except me of course) would be addicted to ALL of these things, and civilization itself would utterly collapse!

    1. How does one get addicted to cheap plastic flutes?

      1. I should think that would be obvious. They’re inexpensive, made of a durable material and flutes! What’s not to get addicted to?

      2. They all started with plastic ‘gateway’ straws.

    2. Perfect Sarcasm!!! lol… +100

  5. Gov. Bradford is why socialism never works. He should have liquidated all those who wanted to be slackers, wreckers, malcontents, etc. Then those left would have had socialism just the way it was intended to work.

  6. I hear the dems are trying to impeach the turkey so Trump can’t pardon it.

    1. That’s not true. Schiff is trying to interview the turkey.

      1. Trump needs a pardon at least as much as any turkey.

        He might get one, too, as part of a deal that removes his tiny-fingered grip from the levers of American executive power.

    2. Trump should have taken an ax and given Shiff forty whacks.

    3. That turkey could well have made unregistered in-kind campagn contributions to Trump. Can’t let it off the hook that easily.

      1. Too bad the turkey already gave its money to the Clinton foundation. He thought it was a sure bet.

  7. Oh Christ. This has just become a holiday for libertarians to spread myths.

    The Plymouth settlement was never ‘socialism’. The Plymouth Company owned all the land. The Pilgrims themselves were basically indentured servants who were on a seven year contract with that company and the provisions of that contract were that everyone who survived would get ‘their’ allocation of land at the end of that. In the meantime, the company – based in London with all its absentee owners – owned everything.

    The 1623 allocation was a direct violation of ‘property rights’. The land belonged to the Company not the Pilgrims (individually or as a group). Yes there was an internal conflict in the settlement – between people who were doing the only work the Company gave a shit about (supplying cash-type products – furs, fish, timber products and naval stores – to be picked up once a year with every supply boat) and the more religious true ‘Pilgrims’ who were doing stuff like growing food, cleaning clothes, etc. And like most absentee-owned corporations, the Company had no interest in settling that sort of dispute – esp not in favor of those who were advocating useless nonproductive anti-profitable work like growing food.

    In the meantime, the Company kept sending over a new crop of settlers every year with that supply boat – which always arrived just AFTER harvest. So those new settlers would spend six months chowing down on the existing food stores. Which is a problem for the settlers – but not for the Company. More dead settlers means less land needs to be allocated to them and that means more for the absentee owners in London.

    Or so they thought. Cuz the problem was like most crappy-managed absentee companies, the company was quickly going bankrupt. They sent one group of ‘good employee’ types to settle Wessagussett (a bit north of Plymouth). Which failed within a couple months cuz their way of ‘eating’ and ‘growing food’ was by stealing it from the Indians and then killing them when they resisted that state of affairs. Which created probs for Plymouth too. Compounded when those ‘good employee’ settlers came tromping down to Plymouth to scrounge off them when their settlement failed.

    THAT is when Bradford went against direct company orders and allocated 1 acre each. So people could either grow food themselves – or pay someone else in cash goods to grow food for them. And yeah of course it worked.

    But like every poorly managed company, the Company tried the last arrow in its quiver to get those damn mutinous employees to get back to profitable work. Nepotism. The son of the Chairman was given a title – Governor General – and sent over to straighten those bastard employees out. He failed – and left. And the Plymouth settlers were basically left alone after that – while the Plymouth Company withered into irrelevance.

    In 1627, the indenture ran out and the surviving settler got their 100 acres. And the Plymouth Company was so weak by then that they couldn’t even prevent the King from selling the Brooklyn bridge a second time to a different group of settlers with a different model of settlement – the Massachusetts Bay Company. which was much more successful.

    Now isn’t that story better than a fucking myth?

    1. I doubt you can compete with the appetite for myth in these parts.

    2. “The Plymouth settlement was never ‘socialism’. The Plymouth Company owned all the land. The Pilgrims themselves were basically indentured servants who were on a seven year contract with that company and the provisions of that contract were that everyone who survived would get ‘their’ allocation of land at the end of that. In the meantime, the company – based in London with all its absentee owners – owned everything.”

      So it was ‘socialism’. Thank you and fuck off.

      1. Socialism? Or the first known episode of Survivor?

      2. And I’m pretty sure the Plymouth Company owned all the land because the King said they did. So not exactly an example of property rights in action as we would think of it.

        1. For which the king was to get a hefty cut of the profits no doubt. Same deal as today. I supposedly “own” the property so long as the government gets whatever they decide to charge each year and they can confiscate it for any number of reasons. I am actually leasing it from the government.

          Socialism tells you there is no such thing as private property.

          What we have now lets you think there is such a thing as private property yet there is not.

          1. Actually the King’s take from the land then was an annual ‘quitrent’. Basically a version of a land tax. An annual payment to the sovereign that is a)in lieu of the personal goods/services required of all landowners during feudal times (ie they provided the horses, food, commodities, etc to feed/equip the army) and b)for the sovereign to defend that owner from all the alternative rights/claims of people absent that ownership (right to hunt, right to roam, etc). Technically, in time of peace, if an owner failed to pay that quitrent, then the sovereign/courts would simply refuse to recognize that owner’s right to alienate that land from use by others. Wouldn’t actually ‘take’ the land. More like place it outside the law. In wartime, failure to pay the quitrent would mean the sovereign would absolutely take that land and give it to someone loyal. The amount was relatively small – but it absolutely puts the sovereign on the side of increasing settlement. Without settlers, no quit-rent gets paid and the land is just an idle sovereignty claim.

            The Companies, charterers, Proprietors, etc were the ones who collected ‘the profits’. They had the same role in the colonies that private landowners in England had re ‘enclosure’. The difference – they were an entire ocean away from England. And the size of the charters was magnitudes beyond ‘enclosure land grants’ in England. Far too big a scale even for ‘corporate’ ownership. The combo meant that even though the legal/land system was ‘feudal’ – and remained so until well into the industrial era everywhere, the circumstances in the colonies made that all unworkable.

            We Americans find it easier to simply ignore the feudal cuz we don’t do complexity well anyway. And completely conflate what was in fact ‘corporate ownership’ with ‘government ownership’. Our ideas of governance are in fact unique from Europe because our ideas came entirely from a)how corporations governed themselves and b)how church denominations governed themselves. But that also creates big blind spots when we try to include in those ideas concepts that are entirely European in development.

            1. Just to give a sense of the scale/magnitude difference.

              In England, 5000 different acts of Parliaments between 1604 and 1914 enclosed/privatized about 28,000 sq km of land. That’s a bit bigger than Maryland. And a mere nano fraction of the size of the single grant chartered to the Plymouth Company (which was roughly everything north of the Mason-Dixon Line and southern Canada – from the Atlantic to the Pacific).

            2. “We Americans find it easier to simply ignore the feudal cuz we don’t do complexity well anyway.”

              Speak for yourself.

            3. JFree
              November.28.2019 at 11:38 pm
              “Actually the King’s take from the land then was an annual ‘quitrent’. Basically a version of a land tax….”

              All of this is so much hand-waving and bullshit.
              The fact remains that, early on, the Pilgrims were not rewarded for their individual efforts; the result of the efforts were shared regardless of individual effort.
              Until the lands were handed over to individuals who then reaped the rewards of their efforts. And thrived.
              Sophists like JFree will claim this is not “socialism”, ’cause the king only took blahh, blahh, blahh.
              Stuff it.

              1. The Quit-Rent System in the American Colonies

                I understand that to you books are socialism. As is broccoli. And feudalism. And the Pilgrims on the Mayflower until they discovered Ayn Rand hiding from the Bolshies inside a pumpkin. And of course the privileges of feudalism – like land ownership and corporations and inheritance – are not at all socialism but a remarkable affirmation of your individual righteousness and hard work.

                But just in the remote case that you actually decide to learn something by reading something that doesn’t simply confirm your pre-existing biases – to go beyond life as an ill-tempered and profoundly retarded parrot – well don’t say I never offered you a way out of your stupidity.

          2. “What we have now lets you think there is such a thing as private property yet there is not.”

            You seem to have difficulty with degrees of meaning.
            A LOT of difficulty.

      3. Yes, Yes — Of course it was “*all* private property of the Plymouth Company”… JUST LIKE *all* the private property of The GOV Company in socialist countries.

        Its always amusing to hear about how “The GOV-Company” (i.e. The [WE] foundation) is inherently exempt from accusations of monopoly, corruption and extortion even while running around with guns stealing wealth and forcing purchases. Hmm.. Sound almost like the Al Capone Company 🙂

    3. Good post jfree.

      I was thinking also of one purely socialist settlement movement which was actually successful, the kibbutz movement which began before the State of Israel was established. The major difference being that the kibbutz was able to keep any profits and purchase from the surrounding population or invest in additional land and improvements.

      Eventually most members did not want the heavy collectivism and operate more as group partnerships today but it was not a failure overall.

  8. If your niece says everyone loves socialism now, remind her she has enough trouble managing her own life without telling the rest of the world what to do.

    There does seem to be a strong correlation between wanting socialism and not being a productive human being.

    1. Does that explain why the regions populated by “rugged individualists” — rural and southern stretches — are such economic, educational, cultural, and technological powerhouses?

      1. So a “Productive human being” is only relative to a cellphone, textbooks, celebrities and fiat money?

        I wonder if they’ll be eating that cellphone, camping in that textbook and drinking those celebrities while simultaneously printing more “value” for others to um ________? Burn in the fireplace (whoops paper comes from rural unproductive people too).

        Perhaps instead of touting a cliche consider a different aspect.
        https://www.davidsantistevan.com/brilliance/

      2. The southern states are almost certainly more prosperous and stable than socialist paradises like Venezuela and Cuba. Given the choice, most people would choose Texas and Georgia as residence over some white ass nordic “socialist” spots like Denmark.

        What rural regions in any parts of the world are economic / technological powerhouses? You think some agricultural and onsen spots in Japan produce most of that nation’s GDP? Read something other than the DNC newsletter.

        For what’s it worth, those powerhouse blue states manufacture products in the south or in Mexico because they’ll go broke if they limited operation in the high tax environment. CA is the birhplace of the Uber model. But it’s expected for cultural elitist like you to admire a capital ran by kings and nobility and deride the common world by calling them “rubes and hicks”. But your superiors will never accept you, Rev.

        1. Right. They will go where they can find work and can get to. Denmark would be tough. There are plenty of opportunities in Texas, Georgia, and Arkansas.

      3. “Does that explain why the regions populated by “rugged individualists” — rural and southern stretches — are such economic, educational, cultural, and technological powerhouses?”

        What explains your abysmal stupidity, asshole bigot?

  9. His answer: divide the commune into parcels and assign each Pilgrim family its own property. As Bradford put it, they “set corn every man for his own particular…. Assigned every family a parcel of land.”

    Then James noticed that the field occupied by his neighbor, Ezekiel, produced much higher yields than his own. To his horror and/or envy, James found that Ezekiel had been selectively cross-breeding his corn, planting more robust plants and removing lesser varieties. James, along with Jedediah, notified the town elders that Ezekiel had conspired with the devil to make his crops prosper and they would surely all die of famine. They agreed, and Ezekiel was hanged for witchcraft.

    Thus, the modern environmental movement was born.

    1. I’ve been milkin’ and plowin’ so long that
      Even Ezekiel thinks that my mind is gone
      I’m a man of the land, I’m into discipline
      Got a Bible in my hand and a beard on my chin
      But if I finish all of my chores, and you finish thine
      Then tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1699

  10. اوکراین از کشورهای اروپای شرقی و یکی از بهترین کشورها است که فرد می تواند برای ادامه تحصیل با کمترین هزینه اقدام کنند. سایت استارویزا با مشاوران عالی رتبه می توانند ویزای تحصیلی اوکراین و توریستی را اخذ نمایند.

  11. What I am grateful for is social security and medicare, not only for me but for millions of senor Americans. We should remember that millions of Americans can’t see a doctor when they are sick, a situation that is totally unique for us among wealthy first world countries. Many thousands more lose their property which they have acquired after a life time of hard work if they or a loved one suffers a major illness and are younger than 65. Let’s all be thankful for FDR and LBJ who made this a more humane nation , though we have far yet to go.

    1. You mean — be thankful for — the national healthcare “crisis” we have today???!!!! NO THANKS!!!!

      Go be thankful in your own “clan” of progressives and stop using your guns to steal my paycheck. Heck if it wasn’t for your “clan” using guns all over on the people I could AFFORD my own healthcare like I do my dentist instead of getting absolutely ABSURD bills like $90K for a helicopter ride I could buy in Las Vegas for $150.

    2. “We should remember that millions of Americans can’t see a doctor when they are sick, a situation that is totally unique for us among wealthy first world countries.”

      You.
      Are.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

    3. “We should remember that millions of Americans can’t see a doctor when they are sick, a situation that is totally unique”

      Totes unique?

      It’s like Canada doesn’t exist to you Americans.

    4. We should remember that millions of Americans can’t see a doctor when they are sick, a situation that is totally unique for us among wealthy first world countries

      Yes, and you can thank FDR and LBJ for that. Other wealthy first world countries have a system in which citizens pay for the services they receive from the government. FDR and LBJ created unsustainable pyramid schemes and systems of redistribution that are destroying the country, destroying our economy, and failing to deliver security and healthcare. And selfish, greedy pricks like you keep advocating for this ripoff because it serves your interests.

  12. Please…let’s not forget … all Thanksgiving is …is sitting down with your favorite people and sharing a meal…nothing more…nothing less…oh yeah and watching your favorite pro football team either win or lose…depending

  13. Agree. I would narrow the requirement to deeded and recorded private real estate. A second requirement is civilized neighbors with whom I can break bread, slice turkey with oyster dressing, and ice cream for dessert. And then cooperate with my neighbors for our mutual benefit during the rest of the year.

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  16. What “property rights”? I pay nearly 50% taxes on my income and more than 1% tax on the value of my land and house, a land and house that are subject to ridiculous zoning regulations, building codes, and environmental regulations. Meanwhile, the US government debases the currency that I hold and takes on massive amounts of debt on my behalf. And on top of all that, “Libertarians” and Democrats want to open the borders and flood the country with low productivity workers, which will aggravate the above problems even more.

    So, again, what “property rights” do I actually have?

    1. You do not have any actual rights in our current system of government. Even those detailed in the constitution are trampled on or circumvented by the government.

      Most people including “libertarians” think that rights are something granted by government. They also think that we have representative government.

  17. Let the bastards keep having it John!

  18. Kind of funny picture. Donald seems pretty interested in the turkey. Melania though is clearly “Don I am not getting one step closer to that, that thing whatever it is”.

    Caption. “OK pardon granted but we’re going to need to clip that left wing”

  19. If your uncle wants government to tax imports or thinks police should seize people’s marijuana, tell him that he doesn’t have to smoke weed or buy Chinese products, but he should keep his hands off other people’s property

    I’ll keep my hands off other people’s property just as soon as other people stop taking 50% of my income and several percent of my property every year. How about that?

    Until other people stop doing that, I’m going to use my political power in an attempt to reduce the costs that other people impose on me, like through trade, immigration, and vices that impose costs on the government and therefore on me as a tax payer.

    1. Thing is that even reducing those things is not going to decrease your tax burden. Both parties are big government and will keep spending on something just different priorities. Both spend on what they think will buy the most votes.

      In a way I can see why people are hearing the siren song of the progressives. The trick they are promising things that will benefit people directly, health care, education, housing, paying off student loans. If you are already paying a ton of taxes why not get something for it? Plus they are promising to only increase taxes on someone else, the rich. Clever.

      Of course it won’t work. You run out of other people’s money.

      The real reason to oppose these things hardly exists these days. Individual liberty. That means smaller government, economic freedom, and individual responsibility. Hardly anyone sees those as intrinsic values.

      1. Thing is that even reducing those things is not going to decrease your tax burden.

        Getting rid of illegal immigration and low-skill immigration is necessary but not sufficient for reducing taxes.

        Both parties are big government and will keep spending on something just different priorities. Both spend on what they think will buy the most votes.

        Without low skill and illegal immigrants since the 1960’s, US voters would still be overwhelmingly for free markets and for low taxes.

      2. You want a “smaller govt.”, but with the same mandate to initiate violence, threaten, and defraud? So, you’re not focused on a political paradigm change, a non-violent govt. based in reason, rights, choice?
        We started with a small coercive govt. and this Police State Empire is the tyrannical result. Fundamental change will only come from attacking the root of the problem, violence over reason.

  20. A guy buys ocean-side property, and since the former owners once rented cabins there, the surfers ( who seem to share entirely too much entitlement with bicyclists) demand the owner provide access across his property so the surfers don’t have to detour a bit.
    This has been going on for years, but it seems a court has finally decided that A5 means something:

    “Martin’s Beach could be restricted again after billionaire Vinod Khosla wins appeal”
    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/martins-beach-access-road-private-property-14863810.php

    Given this is a lefty rag with no principles at all, you’ll note the ‘hint’ that billionaire’s property is somehow not protected by A5.
    Private.
    Property.
    Fuck the Chron and the entitled surfers with Tony’s dick.
    And I hope (most) everyone’s turkey was a juicy and delicious as was ours.

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  25. Doesn’t voting authorize an elite, i.e., lawmakers, to violate property rights, an elite, LEOs, to enforce those violations, an elite, i.e., judges, to uphold the violations? Govt. doesn’t protect rights more than it violates them. Govt. is an elite granted authority by the public to initiate violence, threaten, and defraud. I reject that coercive political paradigm. I would support a non-violent govt. based on reason, rights, choice. Isn’t that my right? Isn’t that humane? Or, is the present tyrannical paradigm too frightening to challenge? Are you brave enough? Do you respect yourself? Will you fight for your rights? Your sovereignty?

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