Sunday, September 3, 2023

The Big Short; Hartzman Edition; Some of my 2007-2009 Great Financial Crisis History

In 1999, after working at J. C. Bradford on the corner of Elm and Cornwallis in Greensboro, North Carolina, George Hartzman, the son a Phd. Nuclear Engineer who taught him what a normal Price to Earnings ratio was supposed to be for a publicly traded stock, found the US financial markets way out of whack.

The top of the stock market topped in 2000 after the world survived the Y2K scare, which ended up a relatively non-event, he set up stop loss triggers in many of the most overstretched names in his book of business at Merrill Lynch, which ended up working out very well for most of his clients. 

It's documented.

Hartzman got recruited by IJL/Wachovia in early 2001, which later became Wells Fargo.

On 3/13/2007, Hartzman purchased shares of SDS in his personal account.  SDS is a leveraged inverse Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), whose objective is to rise 2% for every 1% the S&P 500 falls.  In the fourth quarter of 2008 he sold SDS in two blocks, realizing a total gain of about 51%.

 To “Short” is to invest, usually as a hedge, to profit when other “long” or traditional investments, like shares in the stock market fall.

In July, 2007, he shorted Bear Stearns and closed the position with a 97% profit on 3/7/2008.  He shorted Pulte Homes, KB Homes and Lennar, and realized about a 65% gain.  During 2008, he executed short trades in Goldman Sachs, Capital One, MBIA, Merrill Lynch, Moody’s and State Street Corporation, as well as buying and selling inverse ETF’s covering financials and real estate.

The solid blue lines on the performance report charts, which are now public records, show how much more these clients made and\or lost compared to the dotted lines below which represent selected indices at the time;

He was one of the only advisors at Wells Fargo who did well in the downturn.

Many of his clients entered into many similar trades at relatively the same time as the account performance reports show, which illustrate some of the best un-audited Asset Advisor performance reports in his book of business as of June, 2010.

Hartzman began working as a financial advisor in 1993 and taught CPA and attorney financial ethics in North Carolina for 10 years.

On 3/31/2009, total assets under management in Aenbr's book of business was $35,595,572.83, including both fiduciary and non fiduciary accounts.  He had more than 60 Asset Advisor accounts, where financial advisers are legally obligated to act in the best interest of clients.

These accounts were governed by the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, which requires stock brokers be held to fiduciary standards for advisory accounts, requiring financial advisers to act solely in the best interest of their clients.

Advisers must disclose any conflict, or potential conflict to their clients prior to and during a business engagement.

Both Wachovia and Wells Fargo borrowed from the Federal Reserve's Term Auction Facility (TAF), whose loans were not disclosed to the public until December 1, 2010, subsequent to congressionally mandated legislation and civil legal action.

Wachovia, Wells Fargo, KPMG, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Federal Reserve amongst others illegally misled Wachovia’s shareholders.  Hartzman disseminated inaccurate advice to clients whose accounts were governed by the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, based on information audited by KPMG and withheld by Wachovia and Wells Fargo’s executive management.  His clients and Wachovia shareholders lost or could have made more as insiders profited from material undisclosed information.

According to Bloomberg News, on March 27, 2008, Wachovia borrowed $3.5 billion from the Federal Reserve’s Term Auction Facility (TAF) which was not disclosed to the firm’s shareholders and not reported in the company’s legally required SEC securities filings.

Bloomberg compiled and reported “21,000 transactions” from 2008 and 2009, ...obtained under the Freedom of Information Act” from the Federal Reserve, on August 22, 2011, including undisclosed loans to Wachovia and Wells Fargo amongst others which appears to include BB&T and Ally Financial, formerly GMAC.

The information has been taken down by Bloomberg

Not reporting Federal Reserve material borrowings, credit lines, terms and interest rates is a violation of Sarbanes/Oxley laws, and not informing employees who managed advisory accounts was a violation of fiduciary duties described in the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

KPMG was/is the auditor for both Wachovia and Wells Fargo.

An SEC interpretation states: "Many financial institutions, such as thrifts and banks, are receiving financial assistance in connection with federally assisted acquisitions or restructurings...If these or any other types of federal financial assistance have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to have a material future effect upon, financial condition or results of operations, the [Management Discussion and Analysis] should provide disclosure of the nature, amounts, and effects of such assistance..."

On July 22, 2008, Wachovia’s new CEO Robert Steel purchased 1,000,000 shares of Wachovia’s stock as the company’s TAF borrowing reached $12.5 billion, which appears not to have been disclosed in securities filings.

If Mr. Steel was “the principal adviser…on matters of domestic finance and led the [U.S. Treasury] department's activities regarding the U.S. financial system, fiscal policy and operations” before becoming Wachovia’s CEO in July, 2008, how could he not have known and acted on undisclosed material information?

Mr. Steel was at least aware of Wachovia’s Federal Reserve loans since July, 2012, if not undisclosed loans to multiples of other firms.

The Federal Reserve approved Wachovia’s merger with Wells Fargo on October 12, knowing of unreported Fed loans to both companies.

Wells Fargo's purchase of Wachovia closed on December 31, 2008.  The Wall Street Journal reported "about $100 billion in wealth disappeared from the Carolinas alone when Wachovia collapsed."

Wachovia’s shareholders were misled by Wachovia and Wells Fargo’s management, KPMG, and at least the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Department.  The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which he have taught in ethics courses for CPAs and others over the last 10 years, requires executive officers and directors to personally attest that SEC securities filings have been personally reviewed and financial statements fairly present, in all material respects, a company’s financial condition.

Financial information in press releases or other public disclosures must not “contain an untrue statement” or omit a statement of  material fact necessary to make statements not misleading.

After not reporting Federal Reserve loans and purchasing Wachovia’s shares while in possession of undisclosed material inside information, the CEO wrote "I, Robert K. Steel, certify that:  I have reviewed this Quarterly Report ...for the quarter ended September 30, 2008 of Wachovia  ...this report does not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary to make the statements made, in light of the circumstances under which such statements were made, not misleading with respect to the period covered by this report..."

Wachovia stock price on date of first TAF loan: 3/27/2008 - Last Trade: 27.07

Wachovia price on date of completed merger with Wells: 12/31/2008 - Last Trade: 5.54

As of January 31, 2008, there were 1,981,983,990 Wachovia shares outstanding.

27.07 - 5.54 = 21.53 x 1,981,983,990 = $42,672,115,304.70 Wachovia market capitalization lost between the first undisclosed TAF loan and Wells merger.

After most of Wachovia’s shareholders were locked into losses on completion of the merger, Mr. Steel ended up far better off knowing what most didn’t.  On June 22, 2010, Robert Steel was appointed Deputy Mayor for Economic Development by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  According to Morningstar data, Mr. Steel owned 601,903 shares of Wells Fargo in 2010, which would be worth $20,446,644.91 as of October 26, 2012.

The CEOs and CFOs of America’s largest banks certified their reports didn’t contain any material misstatements or omissions.  External auditors attested to the assessments.

Some banks which received Federal Reserve loans disclosed details in their securities filings, like Union Bank & Trust and Peoples Bank of North Carolina.

Wachovia’s, Wells Fargo’s and multiples of other firm's securities filings did not account for the loans, total credit lines, interest rates, collateral pledged or amounts of loans outstanding as other banks did.

Wachovia shareholders lost money as a select few profited from material insider information illegally provided, enabled and consented to by US taxpayer funded government regulatory authorities, elected officials, political appointees and employees.

Bloomberg estimated the profits from the undisclosed Federal Reserve Loans was $878.2 million for Wells Fargo, and $149.4 million for Wachovia.

Wachovia and Wells Fargo’s executive management misled taxpayers, shareholders and Congress concerning material information.  In doing so, executives violated fiduciary duties to the firms financial advisers and their clients while gaming executive compensation at the expense of Wachovia shareholders.

Monday, February 6, 2023

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George Hartzman

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Saturday, February 21, 2015; News and Record's Allen Johnson; "Matheny and DGI" stated;

"In what comes as only a mild surprise (at best), City Councilman Zack Matheny wants to head Downtown Greensboro Inc.

...One thing should be certain, though: If he gets the DGI job, no way in the world should Matheny be on the council as well.

It would be an obvious and blatant conflict of interest.

The City Council funds DGI and has had an increasing voice in its mission and its operations. In fact, the council almost has come to regard DGI as an extension of the city..."


This showed up in my Facebook memories from May 18, 2016.

Zack Matheny announced running for City Council again after resigning before taking a Greensboro taxpayer funded DGI CEO job.

Notice soon to be former City Manager David Parrish was knee deep in this deal.

Zack Matheny cheated with David Parish's help

DGI used David Parish as a reference in the proposal;


"Assistant City Manager David Parrish explained that the modification didn’t change the substance of DGI’s bid."

Margaret Moffett


David Parish was listed as Zack Matheny's reference in DGI's proposal.  Now David Parish is involved with explaining something about a modification of DGI's bid?

"Councilman Mike Barber then asked for a recess... Barber told council members they needed to stop the discussion until the city’s legal staff could investigate the matter... Barber said afterward that he stopped the meeting after “hearing an allegation from one of the legal bidders that completely put the process in another context...”

Margaret Moffett


As I recall, these are conflicts of interests;

Mayor and Council:

...Direct or indirect benefits are considered under the City’s conflict of interest policy and typically involve financial interests for the Councilmember, his or her immediate family, their partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ the member, family member or partner...


S. Mujeeb Shah-Khan

Mike Barber lobbied for Matheny's DGI job while involved in deliberations concerning the organization's funding while setting up Zack's successor for the benefit of Jim Melvin and the Bryan Foundation.

Greensboro’s Ethics Code says that if there is an actual or possible financial interest, a Council Member is supposed to publicly disclose the interest, and the remaining Council members are supposed to decide if a conflict of interest exists, which should happen in the case of Mike Barber and David Parish on anything to do with Zack Matheny and DGI.

Mike Barber just abused his position as a council member to advocate for taxpayer monies be allocated to Zack, a fellow council member who was positioned to compete for the same council spot under Trudy Wade's redistricting plan.

Mike Barber Lied On First Tee Federal Form 990s three times. Barber signed First Tee's 990's, which omitted Greensboro taxpayer subsidies on the tax returns.

Zack Matheny, then a sitting Greensboro City Councilman, an elected official who voted to fund DGI, placed himself in a position where his future employment became dependent on taxpayer money and permission from his collegues.

Then interim DGI CEO Cyndy Hayworth publicly accused City Council member Mike Barber of extortion over the job for Zack.

Matheny didn't end public comment and/or Council deliberations and votes on his announcement of going after a position Zack helped create by conspiring to get rid of Jason Cannon and killing Cyndy Hayworth's chance at the job by leaking information about her education credentials to the press.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

City of Greensboro Information Request; Legal opinion

 Please provide the legal department's opinion of Zack Matheny's need to resign before taking the DGI CEO job.



Monday, April 26, 2021

City of Greensboro Information Request "Conflict of Interest"

 Please provide in electronic form, all communications and documentation to or from the City of Greensboro's legal department containing opinions concerning questions of conflict of interest for the past two years.



Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Sharon Hightower, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Nancy Hoffmann and Goldie Wells voted against a measure requiring police to get written consent before they search a person, car or property.

In Greensboro, these searches overwhelmingly target our black population.

"Under a written consent procedure, police must inform you that you have the right to refuse consent and that if you are waiving that right, you must do so in writing. ...Consent searches, like many things in the criminal justice system, are subject to implicit racial bias because discretion is involved when it comes to choosing which motorists get asked.  There are some very concerning numbers about the racial disparity in Greensboro over who gets stopped and asked to have their cars searched. ...Despite contraband hits being roughly similar across the racial spectrum, black drivers are searched at more than double the rate of white drivers."
Nancy Vaughan, Sharon Hightower, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Nancy Hoffmann and Goldie Wells should not be reelected.

Greensboro's Search by Stop Cause; Black v. White.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Remember when Greensboro mayor Nancy Vaughan went after Duke Energy over tree trimming around power lines?

"Greensboro leaders, residents take on Duke over trees

...It was a David-and-Goliath battle between residents in several communities scattered across Greensboro who were outraged at what they said were extreme tree trimming practices by Duke Energy to protect power lines.

...At-large Councilwoman Nancy Vaughan, who several residents said had championed their cause, said a meeting between herself, Mayor Robbie Perkins, Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson, city staff and Duke Energy on Dec. 21 had been fruitful.

Nancy Vaughan, who got a restrictive tree trimming ordinance passed, 
is now wondering why fix it crews can't get to downed power lines
caused by trees falling over power lines, 
a situation which she led the charge to create an environment 
in which more downed trees would cause larger, longer outages

...Residents took their concerns to the city after several meetings with Duke Energy proved to be unproductive, they said, and they have been thrilled with the city council’s rapid and supportive response. While some are hopeful that the work team will be able to come up with solutions that residents will get behind, others are concerned it won’t go far enough or move quickly enough to prevent further cuts.

...Duke Energy agreed to temporarily suspend its line-maintenance work that entails cutting branches it says threaten power lines after the city council demanded the company cease and desist to provide time for discussion.

Gail Barger, the community watch chair in Westerwood who has been outspoken on the issue, said she hopes the city will pass a tree ordinance that would force Duke Energy to modify its practices enough to protect older trees, some of which she said have been around for 100 years.

...District 3 Councilman Zack Matheny, who represents Westerwood and Fisher Park, said he felt similarly.

“In some cases Duke has done kind of a hack job,” Matheny said. “It’s about keeping the green in Greensboro; it beautifies our city.

...Vaughan also said modifying the rules Duke is required to abide by on a state level might be necessary.

“They are changing the characters of homes and neighborhoods,” she said. “As a city we need to perhaps contact the utilities commission and see if we can perhaps get the tree-trimming plan changed.”

Greensboro, Duke Energy attempt to sort out tree ordinance

It’s been months since community outrage at Duke Energy’s tree trimming line maintenance work boiled over, but Greensboro Councilwoman Nancy Vaughan said the e-mails haven’t stopped.

“People certainly are still very passionate about this issue,” Vaughan said.

...Council established a work team including residents, city staff and representatives of Duke Energy to try and hammer out a tree ordinance that all parties would find agreeable and that would protect against what many residents said were extreme cuts. Vaughan, who chairs an ad-hoc council subcommittee on trees, said things have progressed.

...Vaughan said after the meeting that one of the most important aspects of improved communication wasn’t between Duke Energy and residents, but between Duke and Asplundh. Without a change in practice, forewarning of residents wouldn’t constitute enough change.

...A draft ordinance that has been passed between Greensboro City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan and Kendrick Fentress, an associate general counsel for Duke, included a proposed four-year trimming cycle but was rejected by Duke as unnecessary and possibly illegal. Duke Energy currently trims about every 10 years, and proponents of the change say the more frequent trimming would lead to less severe cuts.

...Vaughan and other council members are interested in modeling Greensboro’s ordinance after Raleigh’s and extending provisions to protect trees to private property...

...“From what I read, Duke Energy is a very profitable company so it really depends on how they choose to treat their customers,” Vaughan said. “We all want to make money, but at what expense?”

...After a major ice storm in 2002, when fallen trees and branches caused widespread power outages, Layne said the NC Utilities Commission recognized that restrictive tree ordinances led to longer power outages."

 "Greensboro tree ordinance beginning to bud

...Cusimano said branch trimming would sometimes require a limb to be completely removed rather than cutting a third off the end — Duke’s general practice on the books — for the health of the tree, while Vaughan said aesthetics needed to be considered and that it should be up to the property owner.

...Cusimano said homeowners shouldn’t be able to override biology and that he would be bound by professional standards in appeals. He said he has a professional responsibility to stick to trimming practices that would be most biologically sound for the tree, and Vaughan questioned whether the appeal should go to someone who was more of a neighborhood advocate.

“I was not happy with the answers I heard with the appeals process,” Vaughan said immediately after the meeting.

...The need for large debris removal would likely decrease with the new trim standards, Montgomery said. In some cases Duke Energy has removed trees when cuts are severe enough to warrant it, but the ordinance will give property owners the option to keep the tree in almost all instances, Montgomery said, further decreasing debris removal needs.

Duke Energy opposes the plan for appeals to go from the commission on the status of trees after passing through the urban forester’s office because it wasn’t an impartial body like the utility commission, Montgomery said. Vaughan said she hoped the appeals process could be worked out with Duke within the ordinance rather than sent to the utilities commission separately, but Montgomery said discussions on the issue had already reached an impasse."
"Greensboro passes tree ordinance

The city has a new tree ordinance that limits trimming by utility companies.

The City Council unanimously approved the ordinance Tuesday, giving residents more protection from what some characterized as overzealous trimming by Duke Energy.

“I think it’s a large improvement,” said Councilwoman Nancy Vaughan, who was the chairwoman of a committee that addressed the issue and worked closely with community activists.

...At issue: complaints of over-trimming by Duke Energy, which the N.C. Utilities Commission gives the authority to cut tree limbs that could interfere with power lines.

...The new ordinance applies to the entire city. Separately, Duke Energy has agreed to modify how it trims trees in parts of the city with older, lower voltage power lines.

Duke maintains that the more limited the company is in its ability to trim tree branches, the more — and more sustained — power outages the area will experience during winter and major storms.

...Under the new city ordinance, utility companies do not have to remove tree limbs larger than 6 inches in diameter.

It will allow the city to ask — with a single phone call — for work on tree trimming to stop, will extend the city’s power to stop Duke Energy from trimming on public and private property.

“Overall, definitely a substantial improvement,” Vaughan said."

Thursday, November 26, 2020


"May 23, 1541: Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
and the Teya Indians have a feast in Palo Duro Canyon in Texas
to celebrate his expedition's discovery of food supplies.

Many people consider this
to be the first true North American Thanksgiving.

Sept. 8, 1565: Pedro Menéndez de Avilés
lands in St. Augustine and he and his men share a feast with the natives.

1578: The first North American celebration
of European harvest festivals is held in Newfoundland
by the Frobisher Expedition.

...At Jamestown, established in 1607,
out of every shipload of settlers that arrived,
less than half would survive their first twelve months in America.

Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men,
the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites.

In the winter of 1609-10, called "The Starving Time,"
the population fell from five-hundred to sixty.

Dec. 4, 1619: 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish in England
land in Virginia and give thanks to God.

Dec. 11, 1620: The Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock.

"The English Puritans, who left Great Britain and sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620, were not only escaping from religious persecution in their homeland.

A couple of years before, there’d been an epidemic 
that wiped out most of the coastal population of New England, 
and Plymouth was on top of a village that had been deserted by disease

They also wanted to turn their back on what they viewed as the materialistic and greedy corruption of the Old World.

An engraving depicts the Mayflower pilgrims 
landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620. 

In reality, the pilgrims never wrote of any such rock. 

The first written mention of Plymouth Rock was in 1835. 

...In the New World, they wanted to erect a New Jerusalem that would not only be religiously devout, but be built on a new foundation of communal sharing and social altruism. Their goal was the communism of Plato’s “Republic,” in which all would work and share in common, knowing neither private property nor self-interested acquisitiveness.

"all profits and benefits that are got by trade,
working, fishing, or any other means" 
were to be placed in the common stock of the colony,
and "all such persons as are of this colony, 
are to have their meat, drink, apparel,
and all provisions out of the common stock."

A person was to put into the common stock all he could,
and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need"
was an early form of socialism...

So the young and strong refused to work
and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

What resulted is recorded in the diary of Governor William Bradford, the head of the colony.

The colonists collectively cleared and worked the land, but they brought forth neither the bountiful harvest they hoped for, nor did it create a spirit of shared and cheerful brotherhood.

...the harvest of 1621 was not bountiful,
nor were the colonists hardworking or tenacious.

1621 was a famine year 
and many of the colonists were lazy thieves.

,,,the colonists went hungry for years, 
because they refused to work in the fields.

They preferred instead to steal food.

...the colony was riddled with "corruption," 
and with "confusion and discontent."

The crops were small because "much was stolen both by night and day,
before it became scarce eatable."

The first "Thanksgiving" was not so much a celebration
as it was the last meal of condemned men.

The less industrious members of the colony came late to their work in the fields, and were slow and easy in their labors. Knowing that they and their families were to receive an equal share of whatever the group produced, they saw little reason to be more diligent in their efforts. The harder working among the colonists became resentful that their efforts would be redistributed to the more malingering members of the colony. Soon they, too, were coming late to work and were less energetic in the fields.

Social Security, Crony Capitalism  etc...

...Because of the disincentives and resentments that spread among the population, crops were sparse and the rationed equal shares from the collective harvest were not enough to ward off starvation and death. Two years of communism in practice had left alive only a fraction of the original number of the Plymouth colonists.

Their first winter in the New World is hard
and their number of 102 is reduced to 56.

Realizing that another season like those that had just passed would mean the extinction of the entire community, the elders of the colony decided to try something radically different: the introduction of private property rights and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own labor.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism.

He gave each household a parcel of land 
and told them they could keep what they produced,
or trade it away as they saw fit.

The Plymouth Colony experienced a great bounty of food. Private ownership meant that there was now a close link between work and reward. Industry became the order of the day as the men and women in each family went to the fields on their separate private farms. When the harvest time came, not only did many families produce enough for their own needs, but also they had surpluses that they could freely exchange with their neighbors for mutual benefit and improvement.

Fall 1621: The Pilgrims hold a three-day feast
to celebrate their first bountiful harvest.

They include 91 Indians in the festivities
to thank them for helping them with the harvest.

This is often cited as the first Thanksgiving.

...The desire to “spread the wealth” and for government to plan and regulate people’s lives is as old as the utopian fantasy in Plato’s “Republic.” The Pilgrim Fathers tried and soon realized its bankruptcy and failure as a way for men to live together in society.

Aug. 1939: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
declares the second-to-last Thursday in November
to be Thanksgiving Day
instead of the last Thursday in the month.

This is done to benefit retailers
by extending the Christmas shopping season by one week
as the holiday season officially starts
the day after Thanksgiving.

They, instead, accepted man as he is: hardworking, productive, and innovative when allowed the liberty to follow his own interests in improving his own circumstances and that of his family.

Thanksgiving Day, 1956: The first television broadcast
of the Thanksgiving Day football game."

And even more, out of his industry result the quantities of useful goods that enable men to trade to their mutual benefit..."

Thanksgiving Pilgrims, Indians, Christopher Columbus and Genocide

The Great Thanksgiving Hoax, by Richard J. Maybury

" children all over America are taught the official Thanksgiving story,
and newspapers, radio, TV, and magazines devote vast amounts of time and space to it.

...This official story is nothing like what really happened.

...The official story has the pilgrims boarding the Mayflower,
coming to America and establishing the Plymouth colony
in the winter of 1620-21.

This first winter is hard, and half the colonists die.

But the survivors are hard working and tenacious,
and they learn new farming techniques from the Indians.

The harvest of 1621 is bountiful.

The Pilgrims hold a celebration, and give thanks to God.

They are grateful for the wonderful new abundant land
He has given them.

The official story then has the Pilgrims living more or less happily ever after,
each year repeating the first Thanksgiving...

The problem with this official story is that the harvest of 1621 was not bountiful,
nor were the colonists hardworking or tenacious.

1621 was a famine year and many of the colonists were lazy thieves.

In his History of Plymouth Plantation, the governor of the colony, William Bradford,
reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields.

They preferred instead to steal food.

He says the colony was riddled with "corruption," and with "confusion and discontent."

The crops were small because "much was stolen both by night and day,
before it became scarce eatable."

In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, "all had their hungry bellies filled," but only briefly.

The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims,
it was famine and death.

The first "Thanksgiving" was not so much a celebration
as it was the last meal of condemned men.

But in subsequent years something changes.

The harvest of 1623 was different.

Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty,"
Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed,
to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God."

Thereafter, he wrote,
"any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day."

...After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford,
"they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could,
and obtain a better crop."

They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade,
working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony,
and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel,
and all provisions out of the common stock."

A person was to put into the common stock all he could,
and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need"
was an early form of socialism...

Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit
for labor and service" complained about being forced to
"spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children."

...So the young and strong refused to work
and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism.

He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced,
or trade it away as they saw fit.

In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market,
and that was the end of famines.

...At Jamestown, established in 1607,
out of every shipload of settlers that arrived,
less than half would survive their first twelve months in America.

Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men,
the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites.

In the winter of 1609-10, called "The Starving Time,"
the population fell from five-hundred to sixty.

Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market,
and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth.

...after the switch there was "plenty of food,
which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure."

...when the socialist system had prevailed,
"we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men
as three men have done for themselves now."

...Thus the real reason for Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is:

Socialism does not work;
the one and only source of abundance is free markets."

Richard J. Maybury