David R. Henderson  

I Feel Blessed

Rational expectations doesn't ... The Improvident Rich...

In the last 24 hours, four good things have happened in my personal and work life. Co-blogger Bryan Caplan, with wisdom beyond his years, said, when he was substantially younger, that we should feel gratitude. He's right. I've always thought that and have managed, from a very early age, to find the pony in the manure pile. And, of course, often what other people see as a manure pile--isn't. When I quit a job in my late 20s without having another job to go to, and then found another job within 3 weeks that started 5 months later, my friend Tom Nagle said, "David, you have a way of falling in a pile of s**t and coming up smelling like a rose." I answered, "Maybe that's partly because it's not a pile of s**t."

So every once in a while, I'll post about my gratitude.

Let me tell you about 3 of the 4 things.

1. The first one is the biggest and it involves a member of my family. It's just too personal to share and only my family and one friend know about it. I'm sorry to do this, but I don't want to say more, other than that in the last 96 hours we went through a tough time and things worked out substantially better than I had feared.

2. This morning, which was beautifully sunny and warm, I met with one of my A students and with a friend from Washington days over 30 years ago, Stanley Horowitz of the Institute for Defense Analyses. We wanted to pick Stanley's brain about some health care topics my student is thinking about for his thesis, and I think that one hour meeting alone saved weeks of dead ends and gave us some good ideas for a bite-size thesis. As a bonus, Chip Franck, one of my favored retired colleagues, who's attending the conference that Stan is attending, came by.

3. When I came out of the hotel, I saw some bicyclists and asked one of them if he was part of the Amgen Tour of California, which I call the Tour de Californie. He wasn't but he said his group bicycles 3 hours ahead of the Tour each day. When the Tour comes through, I seem always to be teaching, but today my classes are in the afternoon and so, later this morning, I'm going to a choice spot to watch.

4. I spent only an hour or two this weekend working with a leftist friend to organize a "Let's Stop this War Before It Starts" rally against war with Russia. We had the rally late yesterday afternoon and the local Monterey County Herald sent a photographer. We got this. See if you can identify me. My sign, which doesn't show, says "War Destroys Life and Liberty."

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CATEGORIES: Economic Philosophy

COMMENTS (11 to date)

I believe you are easy enough to identify in that picture linked from blessing #4. You wear the plaid shirt and shorts.(?) This is easier for me since I had the good fortune to meet you in person at the APEE conference last month.

David R. Henderson writes:

Richard O. Hammer,
Right you are. A real pleasure to meet you, btw.

Pajser writes:

#3. Very cute. Do you need approval from police for such actions?

#1. Then hopefully it will continue to improve. Good luck.

Jonathan writes:


One of the reasons I most enjoy reading Econlog more than most other outlets is the relentlessly good spirit that you, Bryan, and the others demonstrate (even - especially? - towards those who are uncharitable to you). When discussions of economics and economic policy are increasingly unpleasant, Econlog is one of the few oases that can combine keen insight with persistently decent attitudes. Many thanks!

(Coincidentally, just yesterday I used the pony-and-manure analogy to describe myself to a higher-up in my organization. Find happiness in whatever life throws at you, and everything else will work out.)

All the best.

Tom West writes:

Just chiming in to absolutely agree with Jonathan. Civility by the posters and the sure hand of the moderator make this a pleasure to read, even (especially?) when I disagree with article.

David R. Henderson writes:

#3. Very cute. Do you need approval from police for such actions?
Thanks. I’m not sure.
#1. Then hopefully it will continue to improve. Good luck.
Thanks so much, Pajser.
@Jonathan and Tom West,

Greg G writes:

David even though we often disagree I do believe that if everyone was as responsible, talented and generous as you are that libertarianism would work.

Mark V Anderson writes:

This is getting smarmy, but I will pile on. I read this blog first mostly because of the intelligent and on-point posts of the commenters, but I think it is the attitudes of the bloggers that lead to the superior comments.

Kurt Schuler writes:

4. It is "a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing," then?

David R. Henderson writes:

@Greg G and Mark V Anderson,
Thanks to you both.
@Kurt Schüler,
It is "a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing," then?
Please clarify, Kurt. I’m not sure what you’re asking.

Gregg writes:

An atheist is walking across campus on a cool day through a beautiful stand of old oaks; the sun's rays fall between the leaves striking the lawn below. He is transfixed by the beauty and for a moment lost in time. In his heart he feels grateful but why? After all there is no god. Why feel gratitude?

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