John Stossel provides some background on the Pilgrims and their ill-fated first policies in The Tragedy of the Commons. (via Bookworm)
It's my understanding that the Jamestown colony had much the same problem, which cleared up when a "If you don't work, you don't eat" policy was instituted. But I like the Pilgrims' solution better. (See Stossel's column for how they finally learned how to produce enough food.)
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