The holidays are here again. It's a time of congestive travel, hustle, bustle, shopping, preparing, cooking, long lines, cleaning, and visiting in-laws. That's exhausting enough, but heap on top of that the gloomy world news of war, credit crunches, housing foreclosures, spiraling health care costs, global warming—and it's downright overwhelming.
Even the presidential races are running full throttle, with aspiring leaders of the free world chattering on about our planet's ills. It makes one wonder what the heck to be thankful for this year. We might as well be a punched-up, destitute, George Bailey pondering our own demise at the edge of a bridge (if we didn't know better, of course!).
The Thanksgiving tradition dates back to the early 1600s and is most commonly attributed to the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians, who shared in celebration of the autumn harvest.
"Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday ... The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production."
– Ayn Rand
As a nation, we value the progress championed by individual producers and innovators. Our liberty allows us to achieve, produce, and profit; and since the birth of our nation, has attracted droves of immigrants and seekers of freedom. In 1926, one of those immigrants was Russian-born Ayn Rand, leaving her homeland behind after the Bolshevik revolution.
October 10th, 2007 marked the 50th anniversary of Rand's magnum opus: Atlas Shrugged. In it, Rand takes a then unfamiliar story where titans of industry are demonized by society and punished for their accomplishments, and turns it on its head, transforming industrialists and innovators into heroes.
Tired of the "moochers and looters" who increasingly restrict business practice and usurp their wealth, Rand's heroes decide to stop working. The bureaucrats and pilfering social programs are left nothing to co-opt as the bright minds that were driving the economy disappear—the world slows to a grinding halt.
"This country was the only country in history born, not of chance and blind tribal warfare, but as a rational product of man's mind."
– Ayn Rand
Despite the spoonfuls of bitter muck media pundits and White House hopefuls offer the public, we should remember and give thanks for the American virtues Rand held dear. Enjoy with your family, friends, and in-laws a feast symbolizing the fruits of your work and pursuit of self-interest. Ayn would thank you for it.
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*The content contained in this article represents only the opinions and viewpoints of the Fisher Investments editorial staff.