The last time Nick Gillespie, editor in chief at Reason TV, asked us to think about all the reasons to be thankful, it finished on a very pessimistic note. This time my friend Nick is a lot cheerier about Christmas, asking us without irony to consider our considerable blessings in a tough Christmas season. Unemployment is in double digits, jobless claims are still bouncing upwards, and the retail sector is about to lay a huge goose egg. Still, Nick reminds us that even with the temporary economic turndown, our free-market system has created a much higher standard of living, enabling us to rebound from our current dip — if we allow it to work properly:
We’re going through some tough economic times right now, but this holiday season, take a moment to appreciate how good we really have it.
Need proof? Just think about how much Christmas presents sucked in the 1970s compared to today.
Thanks to our market-based system, we’re wealthier, we have more choices, and we enjoy more leisure time than ever before.
I’m not sure whether I was more disturbed by Nick’s bitter irony in the previous holiday greeting, or by his cheeriness in this one. But he’s right about the power of the free market, its innovation, and its ability to lift the standard of living through competition and access. It’s a lesson we need to remember, perhaps especially as we go through one of our more difficult Christmases in a generation.