Time to be thankful

By DAVID MOON, Moon Capital Management, LLC
November 20, 2011

I love the week of Thanksgiving. When I was in college, Coach Majors would deliver a heartfelt speech this week about our many types of blessings including, our health, families and the physical beauty of east Tennessee.

Coach Cafego would then give us a profanity-laden speech – just as heartfelt – about the hated dirt dobbers from Vanderbilt, our traditional Thanksgiving weekend foes.

I will bore my kids with the same type of homily before our Thursday meal – excluding the George Cafego part, despite my temptation to share that important information.

One old friend of mine told me that “a man ain’t got no problems ‘till he’s got a health problem that money can’t solve.”

Based on that metric, most of us ain’t got no problems.

Even people with those malignant health problems, however, are often surrounded by the love of family, friends or even a caring stranger. That is a small blessing, but a blessing nonetheless.

Of course, there are other, much less important things for which many of us can be thankful.

I’m thankful I don’t live in Greece. How many times does the same society get to fail?

I am grateful for Al Gore and George Bush. I love the Internet and The Google.

I’m thankful for diversity of opinion. And elections. And two percent milk.

If I was Goldman Sachs, I would be thankful for low interest rates. Very quietly.

I’m thankful for the liberal thinking of 19th century French theorist Frederic Bastiat. Every now and then someone comes along and captures a few hundred years of useful thought into a few accessible words. Frederic Bastiat, the diesel engine and Bridgett Bardot... thanks France.

This week we should all thank the pilgrims for inventing casseroles.

I am thankful for anti-inflammatories.

Knoxville may not be the best place in the world – I don’t know, I haven’t been everywhere – but it is a very easy place to live. I’m so thankful to have escaped from Alabama.

I’m thankful I am able to help my government subsidize people’s mortgage payments, although I much prefer to do it myself.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has its flaws, but it is the best securities regulator in the world. We should all be thankful for that.

I am thankful for entrepreneurs. You shouldn’t love things, but I love my iPad. I love Sien, Wheeler and Bethany in a much different and deeper way, of course. But I do love my iPad.

Thanks Steve.

I’m so thankful for property and casualty insurance. It generally works like insurance ought to. Imagine repairing the hail damage to your roof without it.

I’m so grateful that my kids don’t play X-box Station, Angry Farm Birds or any similar nonsense.

Television remote controls. Wal-Mart. Those rotisserie chickens in a bag at the grocery store. Keith Urban. Taxpayer-funded medical research. Long walks with my wife. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I’m blessed to have friends who make me a better person, at least when I watch and listen to them.

David Moon is president of Moon Capital Management, a Knoxville-based investment management firm. This article originally appeared in the News Sentinel (Knoxville, TN).

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