Thanksgiving, 400 years ago, was a community thanking God for His blessings: particularly of the natural consequence of private property.

The first immigrants to America experimented with communism. They each got the exact same reward – I’m sure it was based on need as assessed by the government, thank you Marx – as every other pilgrim. In reality, they had a contract with their merchant-sponsors in London. That contract stipulated that all produce went to a common account, and each member was entitled to one common share. Pure communism. It didn’t matter how much you produced, you held the same common share as anyone else.

Guess what? It didn’t work. The pilgrims nearly died. Bradford, the governor, quickly realized they weren’t going to make it, so he tried free enterprise. Now pilgrims, while still equal before the law, each family had their own plot and the right to retain all the produce from the plot. This was the explosion of productivity that allowed the pilgrims to trade with Indians and England. It sparked massive numbers of new immigrants.

That’s what the pilgrims gave thanks for – an understanding of natural law. Private property leads to productivity.