Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Gordon Brockhouse

The news headlines over the past couple of weeks have been anything but cheery: stock-market meltdowns all over the world, failures of once-mighty financial institutions, a tumbling loonie, bitterly divisive elections in Canada and the U.S. So it’s understandable if Canadians head into this holiday weekend with a high degree of anxiety.

I think we’ll all be happier on Tuesday morning if we can stop worrying for a bit. The fact is we have a lot to be thankful for on Canadian thanksgiving.

Even if our portfolios have taken a shellacking, we still have a functioning economy: one that added 107,000 new jobs in September, when the meltdown began. Our own industry is making a contribution, as you can see by the story on our main page about Future Shop hiring 6,000 seasonal associates for the holidays. Regardless of where the markets go next week, the vast majority of us will still be working and providing for our families.

Of course, many individuals and families have been hurt by the economic turmoil. Thankfully, our blessed country has the institutions and generosity to assist those who aren’t so fortunate.

Even if we’re witnessing two unusually nasty elections, the mere fact that we have elections is another reason to give thanks (and to get out and vote on Tuesday!). Even if we don’t always think well with our leaders, we get to choose them and hold them to account. We have constitutions that let us change governments peacefully, rather than at the barrel of a gun.

There are many other reasons to give thanks: family and friends to name two of the most important.

So instead of worrying, let’s all do what we’re supposed to do on Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which is 1) relax and have some fun, 2) give thanks, and 3) eat a really big turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers from the Marketnews team!

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