Don’t know much about history

Alex Tabarrok reminds us what really happened at the first Thanksgiving:

It’s one of the ironies of American history that when the Pilgrims first arrived at Plymouth rock they promptly set about creating a communist society.  Of course, they were soon starving to death.

Fortunately, “after much debate of things,” Governor William Bradford ended corn collectivism, decreeing that each family should keep the corn that it produced.

So America quickly moved away from an economic system based on sharing equally, where there is no incentive to work.  Unfortunately peasants in Russia, China, Cambodia, and North Korea were not so lucky.  With no incentive to produce, farm output plummeted and tens of millions starved to death.  Collectivization of agriculture was (along with WWII) one of the two great tragedies of the 20th century.

Like many “progressives,” Paul Krugman seems to think fear of  socialism is a big joke.

Here’s how it went down: a bunch of people got together, with each group bringing what it could “” the Wampanoag brought deer, the Pilgrims apparently shot some birds, etc.. Then everyone shared equally in the feast “” regardless of how much they brought to the table. Socialism!

Worse yet, many of the lucky duckies benefiting from the largesse of this 17th-century welfare state were illegal immigrants. (That would be the Pilgrims).

We need to stop celebrating this deeply un-American event, and start celebrating something more in tune with the things that make America great, such as the Ludlow Massacre.

In fairness, Krugman probably doesn’t understand what actually happened at Plymouth.  He certainly doesn’t favor an extreme form of socialism where there’s zero incentive to produce.  But if you want to mock conservatives for believing that an economic system based on sharing could leads to all sorts of unspeakable evils, you might want to pick an example that doesn’t prove their point.

PS.  Read Tabarrok’s entire post.  It’s excellent.

Matt Yglesias on racist Republicans

I should probably stick to monetary economics, but I can’t resist commenting on a couple Yglesias posts.  Not because I disagree with Yglesias (I mostly agree), but rather because I think I have something to add that puts things in a bit more perspective.
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