Reasons to be Thankful

It may be the day after Thanksgiving, but it’s worth thinking more about reasons to be thankful.

Hopefully we can make it through the next few weeks until the Electoral College meets and Biden takes office.  If that happens there are good reasons to be optimistic.

– The coronavirus siege will end.  It looks like the vaccines will work and can be manufactured.  We have all kinds of logistical problems to solve, but we will get out of this and move on (having killed off far too many in the interim).  You can contrast that with the despair when Obama took office, and it wasn’t clear when or if we were ever going to get out.

– As a result, economies will start doing better.  This will happen sooner if Republican don’t try to sabotage it and make recovery unnecessarily painful (as they did last time), but it should happen eventually in any case.  That can give us a second chance at what ought to have happened under Trump.  Trump’s economic policy of a deficit-funded bubble in good times (an unprecedented act of self-serving immorality) wasted the chance to rebuild national infrastructures.  We should have a chance at prosperity and wise use of its opportunities.  That would be good for everyone.

– The virus should provide ample incentive for progress on the many festering issues of international governance.  Regardless of what anyone says, the virus showed how bad it can get when there is no effective means of dealing with a critical world-wide problem.  Climate change is the prime example, but there are many other issues with globalization that need work.  A Biden administration has a chance of dealing with international standards for trade, labor, environmental protection, etc.  There is tremendous upside to this—defusing the climate crisis, worldwide economic growth, diminished domestic unrest, reduced threat of war.

None of this is guaranteed, but we have a chance.  By the skin of our teeth we have managed to beat back fascism in this country.  That’s no small achievement, and if we’re diligent and lucky there can be dividends.

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