Editorial: The Mayflower Compact Had It Right; Today's America Doesn't
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
So reads the heart of the Mayflower Compact, adopted as the ship of that name lay at anchor off the coast of Cape Cod in November 1620. It was the first governance document adopted by America's European settlers, who a year later would celebrate the first Thanksgiving. Notice this line:
[A]s shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good....
They hadn't even stepped ashore and already they were pledging themselves to the common good. Odd how, 391 years later, there no longer is universal agreement on these shores that the common good should be a goal.
He notes that according to the Pew Foundation'sstudy of Economic Mobility in America, 40 percent of Americans who were raised in the bottom quintile still are there as adults. That's twice the percentage that a random distribution of socioeconomic indicators would suggest.
Read the full article at stltoday.com.
- Economic Mobility Project