Counting Our Blessings

11/24/2011 10:00 am EST


Igor Greenwald

Chief Investment Strategist, MLP Profits

There’s no shortage of reasons to be thankful even in these trying times, writes senior editor Igor Greenwald.

This is the day for giving thanks, and even those of us sentenced to the financial arena have much to celebrate.

I’m thankful that colonial settlers, huddled on the fringe of an uncharted continent, survived by building a community, with nary a worry about "moral hazard."

I’m thankful that Abraham Lincoln picked up on Sarah Hale’s suggestion to celebrate that heritage. (Too bad this clever bit of propaganda followed Lincoln’s disastrous decision to fight a civil war.)

I’m thankful that we’ve forged a transcontinental economy that, for all its myriad problems, remains one of the world’s wealthiest.

I’m thankful that our currency is fully functional, hoarded all over the globe, and isn’t bankrupting millions of its adherents, like the euro.

I’m thankful for the Federal Reserve and its keen interest in promoting growth, a foreign concept at the European Central Bank.

I’m thankful to have work at a time when millions don’t have enough, and millions more are jobless altogether.

I’m thankful to live in a state where there’s clear and abiding support for spending hundreds of extra dollars per household to provide health insurance for everyone.

I’m thankful that US corporations have been such successful Robin Hoods, transferring unimaginable wealth, technology, and hope to the regions of the world formerly short on these essentials.

I’m thankful they’ve managed to do so while keeping living standards on their home turf stagnant for decades, rather than precipitously deteriorating.

I’m thankful that the hard times we’re going through have revived the long tradition of social protest, and even for the heavy-handed police response that’s boosted the cause immeasurably.

I’m thankful for the attention focused on the great disparity of wealth, and ways in which these undermine democracy.

I’m thankful that the shortcomings of our system of government are now getting the attention they deserve.

I’m thankful that the CEOs playing global Robin Hoods are being challenged on their other-worldly compensation.

I’m thankful skepticism is rampant, if only because it’s preferable to blind faith.

I’m thankful hope springs eternal, smoothing cynicism’s jagged edge.

Thanks for reading.

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