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How Pilgrims learned capitalism

DEAR EDITOR:

If you watch television or read the newspaper on a regular basis, you witness a struggle for the soul of America. This political battle is between those who believe ownership and production of goods and services should be distributed by the state or central government and those who believe individuals are responsible for their own well-being.

Socialism, in my opinion, is the same form of government as fascism or communism. Some progressive politicians, mostly Democrats, want the federal government to take care of you. They promise free college tuition, free health care, free everything. To pay for all of this free stuff, they will tax you until they have exhausted all your money. Once they take all your money, they will spend until they run out of it. If you think the country cannot go broke like Venezuela, think again. Remember, the bigger government grows, the more your freedom contracts.

Conversely, I believe Americans are uniquely different. Capitalism is opposite of socialism and is based on the concept of private ownership. At its core is the concept that each individual, not the state, is responsible for his own soul and spiritual state which enables him to stand up for the right to be called American. This is called religion. Because of this, the original colonists, such as the Puritans, started a new society, far different from what they had in Europe. In this new society each individual, in the pursuit of happiness, can fulfill his or her own destiny — the American dream.

The seeds of capitalism were sown at a settlement called Plymouth in 1620. It began as a socialist society. After about two years, some pilgrims, formerly known as Puritans, were not contributing to the welfare of the settlement, so it was decided to abandon socialism. Instead, each family was given a plot of land and told to take care of it. They learned how to garden, hunt and fish. For warmth, they were told to chop wood. As part of their spiritual beliefs, it was preached that hard work never hurt anyone, that such sacrifice was a good theory and if you didn’t work, you didn’t eat. This is work ethic.

Because the colony was now functioning under capitalistic values and principles, it began to prosper. To celebrate this new-found prosperity, a grand banquet was held, along with their Wampanoag Indian friends. This banquet coincided with the harvest and is considered our first Thanksgiving.

Today Thanksgiving dinners are held to honor our ancestors, to celebrate our good fortune and to give thanks to its creator.

STEVE YOVICH

Howland

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