I dedicate this post, as I did The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey, “to the unknown civilization that is growing in the world.”
On this Thanksgiving Day, I feel thankful for many things. First, my daughter came home today from San Francisco and I always love being with her. My lovely wife, daughter, and I had a nice quiet turkey dinner with apple and pumpkin pie.
I’m also thankful that I live in what is still a pretty good country. I have my criticisms–a lot of them, as regular readers of this blog know. But my criticisms are mainly of government and of those who want to maintain and/or increase government’s power over us. My day-to-day dealings with people are almost always good. And even when I get in potential conflict situations with other people, which is rare, I’m thankful that I’ve developed the tools over about the last 55 years to deal with them.
I’m thankful that I decided to become an economist. It led me to move to the United States, go to UCLA, become a resident alien (antennae and all), and become a U.S. citizen. And for that decision to become an economist, I thank the person who told me, when I was 19, that I was smart enough to do it: Harold Demsetz.
Also, my becoming an economist and, being a Canadian, saving in a typical year 15% of my gross income, has made my family relatively wealthy. It has allowed me to retire while still in relatively good health so that I can do other things. And, as I’ve told many others, if my wife and I had one third of our wealth, we would still be wealthy: we would still have two pretty good cars, a nice house, if not in California, and the ability to buy good food.
I’m thankful that there’s a Thanksgiving Day. It’s a way of making oneself slow down, visit family, and take stock.
Finally, I’m thankful to our thoughtful readers who are engaging in the exciting project of thinking through the consequences of economic freedom and of government control.