It’s Thanksgiving week—time for Americans to pause and celebrate the many fortunes they enjoy.
I love this holiday, because if you know a bit about the real history of the Plymouth Plantation, you’ll know that Thanksgiving actually represents a celebration of capitalism over socialism.
Richard J. Maybury writes on that in the article “The Great Thanksgiving Hoax” for one of my favorite think tanks, the Mises Institute. He explains that in 1622, after a particularly poor harvest, the Plymouth colony leaders essentially told everyone that all profits and benefits from commerce were to be pooled into a common stock that all the colonists were to share.
Moreover, this sharing was to take place in a manner that made “a person put into the common stock all he could, and take only what he needed.”
This was basically a form of Marxism two centuries before Marx was even born. It was also a version of a most vile economic proclamation: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
It’s also why the colonists were starving.
Fortunately, the governor of the colony, William Bradford, quickly realized this scheme wouldn’t work, as he saw the young and strong refusing to work for the sake of others. And thus the total amount of food produced was never adequate to feed the colony.
So, in 1623, Bradford abolished this socialist scheme.
Here’s how Maybury explains it:
“[Bradford] gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of the famines.”
It is this triumph of capitalism over socialism that I shall be thankful for this year and every year, as it’s the reason why the colonists could enjoy the bountiful meal they had that year… a meal that we commemorate as Thanksgiving.
The prevailing of capitalism at the Plymouth colony also represents the first real understanding of the foundations of capitalism that’s made everything we have in America so bountiful.
So, when you sit down to eat Thanksgiving dinner this year, remember the idea behind it… the idea that freedom and free markets are responsible for all the bounty we enjoy.
Of course, part of celebrating capitalism also is celebrating our right to choose where we want to put our capital and which companies we want to own to enhance that capital and allow it to flourish.
This year, I’m thankful for many big winners, including social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), medical devices firm Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW), beverage seller Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), gun maker Smith & Wesson Holdings (NASDAQ:SWHC) recreational vehicle maker Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) and many others.
Each of these companies has delivered my Next Week’s Winner’s subscribers double-digit percentage wins in 2016… and that’s a big reason to raise a glass and toast the virtues of capitalism this Thanksgiving Day.
Jim Woods has covered the economy and stocks for more than two decades. His varied experience as a financial journalist, stockbroker and hedge fund analyst provides him with unique insights into the complex world of investing.
He is editor of Next Week’s Winners, and the co-author of several books, including “The Wealth Shield: How to Invest and Protect Your Money from Another Stock Market Crash, Financial Crisis or Global Economic Collapse,” and “Billion Dollar Green: Profit from the Eco Revolution.”
Think you have what it takes to trade with Jim Woods? Over the last five years, Woods has made 506 stock recommendations with a 75% success rate and a 17.5% average return per recommendation. Find Out More Right Now!