America's Founders did not delude themselves into believing that government was a moral institution with a responsibility to take care of people. They understood that government was violent force, and that the best way individuals to thrive was to chain that force down as much as possible. Those chains have obviously been removed, and the terrible results should not be a surprise. Ron Paul discusses on today's Liberty Report.
What are we thankful for at the Ron Paul Liberty Report in 2017? Tune in to our special Thanksgiving program today for a few of our favorite things...
This is the busiest travel day of the year. That means long lines at the airport, obscene groping of American travelers, and an obnoxious government bureaucracy that couldn't find a terrorist if one was introduced to them. The TSA is a government-funded sexual harassment agency and should be abolished immediately!
What is behind the sudden purge of dozens of high-ranking Saudi princes and their incarceration at the Riyadh Ritz? Lebanese scholar and geopolitical analyst Marwa Osman joins us to give a close-up perspective as war clouds continue to gather. Follow Marwa on Twitter: @Osman_Marwa1
By Richard M. Ebeling
This time of the year, whether in good economic times or bad, is when Americans gather with their families and friends and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. It marks a remembrance of those early Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the uncharted ocean from Europe to make a new start in Plymouth, Massachusetts. What is less appreciated is that Thanksgiving also is a celebration of the birth of free enterprise in America.
The English Puritans, who left Great Britain and sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620, were not only escaping from religious persecution in their homeland. They also wanted to turn their back on what they viewed as the materialistic and greedy corruption of the Old World.
Plymouth Colony Planned as Collectivist Utopia
In the New World, they wanted to erect a New Jerusalem that would not only be religiously devout, but be built on a new foundation of communal sharing and social altruism. Their goal was the communism of Plato’s Republic, in which all would work and share in common, knowing neither private property nor self-interested acquisitiveness.
What resulted is recorded in the diary of Governor William Bradford, the head of the colony. The colonists collectively cleared and worked the land, but they brought forth neither the bountiful harvest they hoped for, nor did it create a spirit of shared and cheerful brotherhood.
The less industrious members of the colony came late to their work in the fields, and were slow and easy in their labors. Knowing that they and their families were to receive an equal share of whatever the group produced, they saw little reason to be more diligent in their efforts. The harder working among the colonists became resentful that their efforts would be redistributed to the more malingering members of the colony. Soon they, too, were coming late to work and were less energetic in the fields.
Collective Work Equaled Individual Resentment
As Governor Bradford of the Plymouth Colony explained in his old English (though with the spelling modernized):
For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could husbands brook it.
Because of the disincentives and resentments that spread among the population, crops were sparse and the rationed equal shares from the collective harvest were not enough to ward off starvation and death. Two years of communism in practice had left alive only a fraction of the original number of the Plymouth colonists.
Private Property as Incentive to Industry
Realizing that another season like those that had just passed would mean the extinction of the entire community, the elders of the colony decided to try something radically different: the introduction of private property rights and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own labor.
As Governor Bradford put it:
And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end . . . This had a very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with them to set corn, which before would a ledge weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.
The Plymouth Colony experienced a great bounty of food. Private ownership meant that there was now a close link between work and reward. Industry became the order of the day as the men and women in each family went to the fields on their separate private farms. When the harvest time came, not only did many families produce enough for their own needs, but also they had surpluses that they could freely exchange with their neighbors for mutual benefit and improvement.
In Governor Bradford’s words:
By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their planting was well seen, for all had, one way or other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.
Rejecting Collectivism for Individualism
Hard experience had taught the Plymouth colonists the fallacy and error in the ideas that since the time of the ancient Greeks had promised paradise through collectivism rather than individualism. As Governor Bradford expressed it:
The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst the Godly and sober men, may well convince of the vanity and conceit of Plato’s and other ancients; — that the taking away of property, and bringing into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.
Was this realization that communism was incompatible with human nature and the prosperity of humanity to be despaired or be a cause for guilt? Not in Governor Bradford’s eyes. It was simply a matter of accepting that altruism and collectivism were inconsistent with the nature of man, and that human institutions should reflect the reality of man’s nature if he is to prosper. Said Governor Bradford:
Let none object this is man’s corruption, and nothing to the curse itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.
The desire to “spread the wealth” and for government to plan and regulate people’s lives is as old as the utopian fantasy in Plato’s Republic. The Pilgrim Fathers tried and soon realized its bankruptcy and failure as a way for men to live together in society.
They, instead, accepted man as he is: hardworking, productive, and innovative when allowed the liberty to follow his own interests in improving his own circumstances and that of his family. And even more, out of his industry result the quantities of useful goods that enable men to trade to their mutual benefit.
Giving Thanks for the Triumph of Freedom
In the wilderness of the New World, the Plymouth Pilgrims had progressed from the false dream of communism to the sound realism of capitalism. At a time of economic uncertainty and growing political paternalism, it is worthwhile recalling this beginning of the American experiment and experience with economic freedom.
This is the lesson of the First Thanksgiving. This year, when we, Americans sit around our dining table with family and friends, we should also remember that what we are really celebrating is the birth of free men and free enterprise in that New World of America.
The true meaning of Thanksgiving, in other words, is the triumph of Capitalism over the failure of Collectivism in all its forms.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
By Liberty Report Staff
Ron Paul takes on the GOP tax proposal and tells Larry King what it would take to get a yay vote from him. That, and some thoughts on Trump's recent trip to Asia:
By Ron Paul
It’s remarkable that whenever you read an article about Yemen in the mainstream media, the central role of Saudi Arabia and the United States in the tragedy is glossed over or completely ignored. A recent Washington Post article purporting to tell us “how things got so bad” explains to us that, “it's a complicated story” involving “warring regional superpowers, terrorism, oil, and an impending climate catastrophe.”
No, Washington Post, it’s simpler than that. The tragedy in Yemen is the result of foreign military intervention in the internal affairs of that country. It started with the “Arab Spring” which had all the fingerprints of State Department meddling, and it escalated with 2015’s unprovoked Saudi attack on the country to re-install Riyadh’s preferred leader. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and millions more are at risk as starvation and cholera rage.
We are told that US foreign policy should reflect American values. So how can Washington support Saudi Arabia – a tyrannical state with one of the worst human rights record on earth – as it commits by what any measure is a genocide against the Yemeni people? The UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs warned just last week that Yemen faces "the largest famine the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims." The Red Cross has just estimated that a million people are vulnerable in the cholera epidemic that rages through Yemen.
And why is there a cholera epidemic? Because the Saudi government – with US support – has blocked every port of entry to prevent critical medicine from reaching suffering Yemenis. This is not a war. It is cruel murder.
The United States is backing Saudi aggression against Yemen by cooperating in every way with the Saudi military. Targeting, intelligence, weapons sales, and more. The US is a partner in Saudi Arabia’s Yemen crimes.
Does holding hands with Saudi Arabia as it slaughters Yemeni children really reflect American values? Is anyone even paying attention?
The claim that we are fighting al-Qaeda in Yemen and thus our involvement is covered under the post-9/11 authorization for the use of force is without merit. In fact it has been reported numerous times in the mainstream media that US intervention on behalf of the Saudis in Yemen is actually a boost to al-Qaeda in the country. Al-Qaeda is at war with the Houthis who had taken control of much of the country because the Houthis practice a form of Shi’a Islam they claim is tied to Iran. We are fighting on the same side as al-Qaeda in Yemen.
Adding insult to injury, the US Congress can’t be bothered to even question how we got so involved in a war that has nothing to do with us. A few conscientious Members of Congress got together recently to introduce a special motion under the 1973 War Powers Act that would have required a vote on our continued military involvement in the Yemen genocide. The leadership of both parties joined together to destroy this attempt to at least get a vote on US aggression against Yemen. As it turns out, the only Members to vote against this shamefully gutted resolution were the original Members who introduced it. This is bipartisanship at its worst.
US involvement in Saudi Arabia’s crimes against Yemen is a national disgrace. That the mainstream media fails to accurately cover this genocide is shameful. Let us join our voices now to demand that our US Representatives end US involvement in Yemen immediately!
Massive spending on the US global military empire does not equal peace and prosperity for Americans, but the opposite. The new DoD authorization bill has passed in its final form and it is truly enormous...
So-called “government regulations” are not what most people think that they are. They don’t curb “greedy corporations,” but entrench them. They don’t harm “rapacious companies” but strengthen them. They don’t “protect” consumers, but hobble them. Government should only be there to prosecute against fraud or aggression. Once government starts “regulating,” the worst of the worst rise to the top of both government and big business.
Senate Republican Tax Plan Would on Average *Raise* Taxes on All Income Groups Earning Less Than $75K
By Robert Wenzel
Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation says the Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would raise taxes on most low and middle-income taxpayers.
Households earning between $75,000 and $100,000 will see, on average, no tax cut. And households earning less than $75,000 per year will see, on average, a tax increase.
Lily Batchelder, a tax professor at NYU who used to be the chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, has the chart:
Per the JCT’s tables, about 65 percent of households fall into the categories that are expecting tax increases.
Reprinted with author's permission from EconomicPolicyJournal.com