On Sept. 6, 1620, a group of travelers (English Separatist Puritans) boarded a ship and departed from Plymouth Harbor, England, and embarked on a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic to what was then being called, The New World or New England.
Two months later, after enduring violent storms and other hardships, the ship, Mayflower, put in at what we now know as Cape Cod, Mass. Four days later, on Nov. 15, a small group of men rowed ashore on a small boat, where they saw a group of “savages” who ran away.
The explorers tried to follow the natives but soon foundered in the thickets and gave up. Exploring the next day they found an abandoned settlement containing evidence of planting, the remains of a shelter and a large kettle with sand heaped around it.
While digging out the kettle they found several baskets of stored food, some of which they took for themselves to carry back to the ship, while reburying the rest. The next day the group found a good place to put ashore and the entire complement of the ship, about 100 people, began Plymouth Colony.
Starting a new colony at the beginning of winter proved a daunting task, and about half of all the settlers died. If not for the food pilfered from the Indians that winter, all might have perished.
The following spring a couple of Indians (one who had learned English from fishermen and another who had been taken into slavery but escaped) befriended the pilgrims and taught them how to plant and fish and gather fruit. Their first harvest that fall was plentiful for the colonists and they and the Indians shared their food during a three-day festival—a time that is known as the first Thanksgiving.
It turns out the celebration was premature. The group structure was designed so that everyone placed the fruits of their labor into a common store. People were then to take what they needed for sustenance. But during the following summers, with some people toiling diligently at farming, fishing and gathering, and others refusing to work, hard feelings developed and food shortages occurred.
So Governor William Bradford assigned each family a plot of ground and allowed the people to use the fruits of their labor to eat or trade as they saw fit. It wasn’t long before so much was being produced that they could use it to trade with others.
The free market had won out over socialism.
Today we live in a country where the top 1 percent of income earners take in 19 percent of the country’s wealth but pay 37 percent of the taxes. The top 5 percent of earners take in 33 percent of the wealth but pay 57 percent of the taxes.
The top 10 percent of income earners take in 44 percent of the wealth but pay 68 percent of the taxes. And 85 percent of all taxes are paid by the top 25 percent of income earners.
Did you get that? The top 10 percent of wage earners bear 68 percent of the tax burden and the top 25 percent of wage earners bear 85 percent of the tax burden.
Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent of income earners take in 13 percent of the wealth but pay only 3 percent of the taxes.
More and more the tax system is slanted to create a growing dependent class that pays little or no taxes while society’s producers are burdened with a growing tax liability. That will only increase if Obamacare and Cap and Tax are foisted on United States citizens.
It’s a system that is doomed for failure today just as it was in the 1600s.
But today is a day for Thanksgiving, and most of us have much to be thankful for. Those of us who practice a religion have our loving God, His grace and the blessings He gives us.
We have our health—granted some are better off than others—but if we look around us we can always find someone dealing with a situation that would for us be a terrible burden.
Four out of five of us have a job (according to shadowstats.com); while the government says about nine out of 10 are working.
Finally, we Americans live in the greatest country in the history of the world, even if it is saddled with a few warts.
And, for a few days at least, Congress is not in session plotting to steal our wealth and liberty.
So let’s relax today and count our blessings. Eat a hearty meal—or two. Enjoy a football game. Recharge our batteries.
And get ready to take up the fight again anew, because tyranny is but a step away.
Meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!