This Thanksgiving, I will give thanks for all the wonderful blessings of the free market

Of all the things we have in common, one of the most pervasive is the quest for happiness. Of all the things that separate us, there is one goal we all have and that is happiness.

As soon as we try to define it, we run into trouble.

However you define the happiness you seek in life, I can almost guarantee you that the free market has made it easier for you to find and enjoy happiness.

Obviously, almost everything you can buy has gotten better and cheaper over the past few decades. Fantastic inventions that people couldn’t even imagine a hundred years ago are so commonplace that we take them for granted.

Do not believe me? Let me give you a few examples.

The miracle of fracking has made energy significantly cheaper. This incredible process has allowed mankind to extract far more gasoline from the earth than we once thought existed. In fact, all of those predictions that we would run out of oil this century were shattered by this one incredible operation.

The miracle of modern fertilizers allowed mankind to grow more produce per square inch than anyone could have imagined before their invention. Indeed, before this wondrous invention changed everything, humanity tumbled against its limitations of space on farms.

The incredible invention of the antibacterial soap has revolutionized medical effectiveness. Soap has made our lives safer, health cheaper, and medical care amazingly better. Why don’t we thank God for soap every day? Because we take this wonderfully everyday progress for granted. And what about the guy who tried to tell everyone about this miracle? Society shunned him and he died penniless in an insane asylum. But this is Another Story.

Even considering things are more expensive than they were last year or two, the free market has made them available to us when only wealthy people could afford them in years past.

I’m not the first to note that many of the conveniences and advances that are commonplace for many of us in the modern world were simply not available to anyone a few hundred years ago, no matter how wealthy they were. Think of your iPhone, think of your TV, think of your car, think of international and domestic airplane flights. None of these things were even remotely available to the wealthiest king or priest hundreds of years ago.

And even taking all of that into account, there’s one huge caveat.

Basically, the wonders of the free market are limited. The things that bring us the most joy have almost nothing to do with any market. They are our families, our communities, our faith and all those intangible things that cannot be bought.

Above all, be thankful for these. But thanks also for the free market. This Thanksgiving, I will give thanks for all the wonderful blessings of the free market

Laura Coffey

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