John Stossel Gives Greg Mankiw a Real Turkey

Why does Greg Mankiw think John Stossel knows anything? Stossel writes:

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.

So, the Pilgrims started off as Communists not understanding the tragedy of the commons? But when they understand the virtues of capitalism, they flourished. Stossel’s only source for this revisionist history is some fantasy from Henry Hazlitt.

While I’m not a historian, my understanding is that the Pilgrims bounced from place to place as their “patent” was never secured (as property rights were called on these matters then). They finally settled at Plymouth Colony Bay only to face a harsh winter. Did William Bradford blame communism for these deaths during the first winter in his Of Plymouth Plantation? I really don’t know as I have not read it. I have to wonder if John Stossel has read it either. But those that have say it mixes facts and interpretation.

If someone actually knows the real history of the Pilgrims – please inform us. But I tend not to trust the ramblings of John Stossel.