Thursday, December 23, 2010

Giving Thanks at Christmas

Victor Davis Hanson puts the comforts of modern life in perspective:
(T)his Christmas we should all at least give ourselves some credit. In the last three decades, the United States — through technological breakthroughs, improved worker productivity, and the importation of globalized production from abroad — has achieved a level of material prosperity for its 300 million citizens unmatched at any time in the history of civilization.

Quite simply, yesterday’s royalty would not make it into today’s middle class.
It's astounding the quantity of luxuries we have at our fingertips, many of which were unavailable at any price a mere thirty years ago. Cell phones with cameras, the internet and all its content, GPS navigation, reliable safe and economic automobiles, iPods loaded with thousands of songs. All these things are available to almost all. To Hanson's list, I would venture to add a host of household luxuries that are but two generations old: clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, automated climate control systems. In short, almost every electic convenience in a modern household. Conveniences that freed a generation of mostly women from the drudgeries of continuous homemaking chores and sent them out to explore all manner of careers and intellectual pursuits.

This Christmas 2010, I am thankful not only for my wonderful, healthy family, but to live with them in such relative oppulence.


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