November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, John Stossel

When I am President, I will hand out medals to Jimmy Pethokoukis and John Stossel. Today, Stossel shares the lost lesson of Thanksgiving.

When the Pilgrims first settled the Plymouth Colony, they organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share everything equally, work and produce.

They nearly all starved.

It's the Tragedy of the Commons, served with Pumpkin Pie.
What private property does -- as the Pilgrims discovered -- is connect effort to reward, creating an incentive for people to produce far more. Then, if there's a free market, people will trade their surpluses to others for the things they lack. Mutual exchange for mutual benefit makes the community richer.

Secure property rights are the key. When producers know that their future products are safe from confiscation, they will take risks and invest. But when they fear they will be deprived of the fruits of their labor, they will do as little as possible.

And they still let this guy be on ABC.

Hat-tip: Prof Mankiw who also brings us the Milton Friedman Choir

Economics and Markets Posted by John Kranz at November 21, 2007 3:28 PM

They have him as their designated 'cod piece'. Of course, since he is a libertarian, he has no problem ripping into whatever he fancies. I LOVE it when he takes a crack at Public Education and No Child Left Behind.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at November 21, 2007 6:11 PM | What do you think? [1]