The first is personal. I have so much to be thankful for. When I think about growing up on the cold prairies in Canada and going to our neighbors' house to watch Walt Disney on Sunday nights, I realize how far I've come. We were the last family in town to get a TV. In 1961, we bought a used 1955 black and white Philco TV. I couldn't conceive of a color TV, let alone one that is 42 inches and that I can pause when the phone rings. If you had told me I would ever get to go to Disneyland, I would have thought you had been smoking something. No, that's not quite right, because the thing that people say you smoked is something I had never heard of. And I've been to Disneyland at least six times. If you had told me that my family would have two nice cars that would last over 100,000 miles each, I wouldn't have believed you. If you had told me I could fly to visit a friend on a weekend, I wouldn't have believed you. And I'm thankful for all of it, and for the somewhat-free economy that has helped me achieve it. I'm also thankful to some of my mentors who helped me along the way: my high-school vice principal, Brian Parker, my economist mentor, Harold Demsetz, of course my late friend Milton Friedman, my wife who has edited my writing for 25 years, Rena Henderson (although she doesn't edit these posts), and the leader of my first men's group, Fred Jealous, who is the proud father of the president and CEO of the NAACP. And I'm thankful for my wonderful daughter, Karen Henderson, who is coming into her own as a strong, joyous young adult.
Even if I didn't have this incredible wealth, I would be thankful. In my view, every day above ground and not in prison is a good day.
Second, I strongly recommend an article by Suffolk University economist Ben Powell, one of my favorite young economists, on Thanksgiving.