It's been exciting seeing how much press the real story of Thanksgiving has been getting this year - even in the L.A. Times children's section, the story is being told. Rush Limbaugh tells it every year. Sandy is telling it at JFS. It's also found here.
Long story short - the Pilgrims farmed communally in Plymouth, and the results of their labors were put into a communal store from which everyone was free to take what he wanted. Predictably, there was very little produced, so little that the people were starving and freezing and dying to death. They were selling the few possessions they had to the Indians just to survive. That's what communism does. They thought Plato had it right.
Then the governor said "We're dying - time to try something new." So each family was allotted a plot, and anything they produced on that plot was theirs to eat or sell. All of a sudden people who couldn't work before found the strength to do so. They produced such abundance that there was plenty for the coming winter, plenty to sow the following spring, and plenty to have a ginormous feast and invite the local Indians to partake of it with them, as they gave thanks to God for the free market, which had made this all possible.
This is how it always works - I will never understand why so many people are eager to implement socialism when all it spells is death, hunger, and destruction of the very people they claim need help - to hear someone like McEwan saying how Obama ought to just implement a "proper socialist system" - you have only a couple options there. They're either lazy, stupid, ignorant, or evil - or some combination of those. There are precious few other possibilities, because it's well known, there really is no excuse for ignorance of what communism does, and there is really very little excuse for ignorance of what the free market does. (I don't mean phony companies insulated from the actual MARKET because they're backed by the government; those don't even count ) and while I realize some people might have gotten confused because Alan Greenspan seems to have turned his back on the truth and reality of economics (and that Keynesian shithead ended up winning the Nobel for his cycle theory LOL ) I can give people a LITTLE leeway for ignorance on what free markets actually do. A little. But they get no pass for pretending communism isn't what it is - like I say, that leaves such people either lazy, stupid, ignorant, evil or some combination thereof. Of course I tend towards "evil" but I'm a cynic.
But this year, don't forget to thank the existence of free trade for the abundance on your table. Unless you're a congressman/senator, and then you ought to thank those of us who worked hard all year so you didn't have to and could just take it from us.