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It wasn’t working. The spring of 1623 saw the Pilgrims into their third year in America. But there was a serious problem. They were hungry: And because of it they had no energy with which to plow their fields and plant their crops. They knew winter would come again and with it death by starvation if they didn’t go to the fields. Yet many of them just seemed unable to get themselves moving.
Recognizing the seriousness of their situation, their Governor, William Bradford, called for a meeting of the leaders of the colony. They didn’t have to discuss their problem very long until they pinpointed what was wrong: It was the socialistic economy they were trying to labor under. They had long known this. The businessmen who had financed their trip had insisted they live by a common storehouse. In other words, they were to put all their produce into one storehouse, no matter which family had raised that produce. Then, they were to take out as little as they could get by with for their own needs, and send the rest of it back to England to their financiers as payment for their debt. The Pilgrims knew this would not work, but the businessmen insisted this is how they must do it. The Pilgrims knew the Scripture taught that, “If any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). And they knew that even Christian people, like themselves, had to know they could “reap what they sowed” if they were to produce well. However, they felt they had no choice. They had to pay for their voyage, and they certainly did not have that kind of money themselves. Thus, they submitted to an anti-Biblical economic system.
They had tried diligently to make it work for two and a half years. But an economic system outside the order of God (as revealed in the Bible) simply was not going to work well. They knew they had to change this. The leaders agreed that each family should have their own private property; that they should stake a plot of land and be able to keep most everything they raised on that spot for their own families. However, they did owe a debt to the businessmen in England who had paid for their trip, so they agreed to take twenty percent of the crops of each family as a means of paying their debt. The tax would cease once the debt was paid. It worked wonderfully! Governor Bradford would report,
“It made all hands industrious…”
(Of Plymouth Plantation, Bradford)
They were soon collecting more from the twenty percent tax than they had before— when the government was keeping most all of the produce. The Biblical principle that a man should be able to do with his own what he chose (Matthew 20:15) was proving to be true. Families worked harder and produced more when they could keep the proceeds from their labor. This new Biblical economy would give the greatest amount of economic liberty and the greatest material prosperity to more citizens than any economy in world history.
Our national government should take a lesson. Government ownership of business (including the medical insurance industry through a so-called “health care system”) is a recipe for disaster! The Pilgrims already tried socialism in this land and it didn’t work. Let’s not buy this lie again!
The Pilgrims were never again hungry after instituting a Biblical Free Enterprise system. The greatest economic engine in world history grew out of a simple change to private ownership that took place in the spring of 1623. It has made the American economy the most prosperous in all of history!
Why would we want to change back to a poverty economy? Why would we want to enslave our children with poverty?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.