Thursday, November 28, 2013

Give thanks for what you hold most dear, and the conveniences that make it easy....

"Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home."
Wilbur D. Nesbit

The poet indeed captured the essence of this day. It's all about home and celebrating the love of family---Thanksgiving Day is beautifully simple.

Beautifully simple, that is, until we stop and consider the miracle of the marketplace. The system that somehow delivers the basic amenities we so readily take for granted---the conveniences that allow us to relax and celebrate the things we hold most dear.

Take, for example, the turkey; how does that happen? Where the heck do all those birds come from? There has to be millions of them brought to market. That's right, and the operative word there is "market"---the place where people exploit their property rights and pursue their own objectives. Thank goodness they do!

A virtually uncountable number of profit-pursuing folks, most remaining strangers to one another, organized to bring you today's main course: From the land owner to the fertilizer producer to the farm equipment maker to the fuel provider to the feed farmer to the turkey farmer to the turkey processor to the freezer manufacturer to the truck manufacturer to the trucking company to the grocery store (and, yes, I skipped myriad relationships in between). And of course all the workers who freely bargain the terms of their production, their labor, with the individuals who, while focusing merely on their respective specialties, miraculously got that butterball rolling. Not to mention the cranberries, the cranberry sauce, the potatoes, the gravy, every ingredient in the stuffing, the pies, the pie pans, the plates, the utensils, your kitchen appliances, your fuzzy slippers, the thread that holds your fuzzy slippers together, the thin rubber soles of your fuzzy slippers, the etc, etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum... As Adam Smith put it:

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."


This is the world we live in: 

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