Tis the season!! Unfortunately not for our hearts. A study back in 2004 found a 5% increase in heart attacks during the Christmas season. Then last year, a study published in the British Medical Journal found Christmas Eve to be especially risky for those who are prone to heart disease. Let’s dissect why….
The cold has long been associated with heart stress. Cold weather causes blood vessel constriction and this adds extra work for the heart. Moreover, it causes less oxygen to reach vital organs, including the heart.
Snow shoveling has been infamous for inciting heart attacks for this same reason. The heart demands extra blood due to the increase in activity and the cold restricts blood flow.
Alcohol, especially in excessive amounts, can put stress on the heart by increasing blood pressure, worsening diabetes, and causing abnormal heart rhythms. Moreover, it interferes with the metabolism of medications, hence many of these may not work at their best. Which brings us to…..
Medical providers take vacation too. And if a patient forgets to refill his medication he may go without during the two weeks of holiday season. Moreover many forget to pack everything they need for a Holiday trip and without anticipating delays, one could be without crucial medication dosing. The heart does not like this.
Holiday travel is never easy. Delays, long lines, the cold, traffic and then…..family. We may love our family but prefer seeing them in small doses. All the family at once can be a little overwhelming for some. As for coping with the in-laws…..well a guide is available for you all here.
Firstly, we must know our risk factors. These include:
and even short stature has been cited as a potential risk factor.
As you can see, many of us can be at risk for heart disease. Therefore, secondly, we should be evaluated with an EKG, echocardiogram and any other exams our medical provider and/or cardiologist deem necessary.
Thirdly, reduce your risk by the following:
Plan ahead by doing the following:
Holiday time should be a happy time. Let’s make it a healthy one!!!
A minister's wife came up to me after seeing my due diligence in seeking out the Scriptures and said, "You're so heavenly-minded that you're no earthly good.”-Bradlee Dean
When I was first saved from my sins (Matthew 1:21) back in 1998, I remember how much the Lord had broken me down to nothing, and I mean nothing. A man of God once said that until a man becomes nothing, God will create nothing out of him (Isaiah 66:2; Psalm 34:18, 51:17). The Lord has definitely taken the time to show me this truth by showing me what I am not, by showing me who He is (Malachi 3:6).
During this breaking process, I also remember feeding on the Word day and night (John 6:35). For me, it was like King David when he said:
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” -Psalm 42:1-2
I'm also reminded in Matthew 5:6 where Jesus said: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
This is where I am after 21 years of working out my own salvation with fear and trembling and in studying to shew myself approved unto God (Philippians 2:12; 2 Timothy 2:15).
I did not want to have anything to do with the old man.
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” -Ephesians 4:22-24
This is what being born again means and looks like (John 3:3-5).
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” -Titus 3:5
We are new creatures in Christ.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17
I had new desires and my affections were set on Christ (Colossians 3:1). I wanted His will; and how was I to do that if I did not know His Word (John 7:17)?
Now, in the beginning process of growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18) and being rooted and built up in Him (Colossians 2:7), this minister's wife tells me that if I was so heavenly-minded that I would never be any earthly good. I almost fell out of my chair. The first thing that came to my mind was that if I am not heavenly-minded, how is it that His will can be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10)?
How was I supposed to give the answers to the world that they so desperately needed if I didn’t have them to give? (Matthew 10:8; 2 Timothy 2:6-7)
Furthermore, “our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Our conversation is to becometh the Gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).
For anyone one to say, I care not for whom it may be, that if we are so heavenly-minded that we are no earthly good, it is one of the most backward, as well as, unscriptural things to say (Galatians 1:3-12).
The fact of the matter is if you are not heavenly-minded, you will be no earthly good!
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, the will of God.” -Romans 12:2
After all friends,
“You can’t go on heavenly missions without heavenly fire." -D. L. Moody
This week the CDC reports a 5th pediatric flu death as we face a season, many have predicted, to be “severe.”
And in previous years, once healthy children and young adults fell victim to severe circulating flu strains prompting parents this year to fear the worse when it comes to theirs or their child’s flu symptoms.
Who can blame them. Flu symptoms can last up to 2 weeks, and most patients are told to go home and rest as antibiotics do not help fight the flu and symptoms will usually “resolve on their own.” This is true, but then why are some people..healthy people…dying?
To understand why people are often misdiagnosed for flu-related illness when something even more serious is occurring, let’s first list the common symptoms of the flu.
As opposed to a cold, in which symptoms are less severe and come on more slowly, the flu seems to hit you within hours. The fatigue may be the first symptom, followed by body aches, scratchy throat, cough, runny nose and fever. The fever could range anywhere from 100 – 106 F. The fever usually lasts 2 days and the majority of those affected by the flu will average symptoms from 3-5 days.
There are multiple ways to die from the flu. The most common cause is pneumonia. A secondary viral or bacterial infection can affect the already weakened lungs. Pneumonia can be deadly, especially if untreated. Symptoms of pneumonia are very similar to the flu: shortness of breath, cough, fever, fatigue, body aches, etc.
Respiratory failure from inflammation can be fatal as well. The flu virus affects the respiratory tree causing acute inflammation and distress of the tissues whose job is to bring oxygen to the blood. Additionally, other organs including the heart may become inflamed, impeding their duties.
Flu can increase one’s risk of heart attack and stroke. A study in 2007 found coming down with the flu doubled one’s risk of heart attack and stroke.
Moreover, having the flu could worsen any disease states already being battled. Hence a diabetic, if suffering from the flu, may struggle to control his blood sugar numbers.
Rarely, some may go into multi-organ failure as a result of septic shock initiated by the flu. This is what killed 21-year-old bodybuilder Kyler Baughman.
But one risk that doesn’t get discussed as much as it should is coming down with an illness during flu season and being mis-diagnosed, a “guilty by association” picture.
Four days before her death, 12-year-old Alyssa Alcaraz was sent home by an urgent care with a flu diagnosis when in fact she had a strep infection in her blood that put her into septic shock.
How will I know when the flu is turning deadly?
Since symptoms of the flu start to resolve in a couple of days, any symptoms beyond those few days should spark suspicions. These can include:
Understanding what the flu virus can affect and not underestimating its severity is paramount in preventing flu fatalities. If symptoms start improving after 2 days it’s a great sign!! However, any symptoms that either do not resolve, lag on for days, evolve into something worse, or recur are red flags that something more than the flu could be going on.
Most importantly, if one has not been vaccinated yet against the flu, they should still consider getting the flu vaccine.
You finally get your dream and are selected to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. You get to see Pat Sajak and Vanna White! You win a vacation to some country that you don’t really want to see. You cannot get the cash equivalent. You have to take 10 days off of work to take the free vacation you did not want. You discover that you have to pay the tax on the free vacation.
Or you win a free car. You have a perfectly functioning 3-year-old car. The free car was not really the car you would have selected. You accepted it because it was free. Then you see that you have to pay tax on the list price of the free car. You also discover that the collision insurance and Department of Motor Vehicles registration for the free car are significantly higher than for the car you currently own.
These are examples of why nothing is “free.” This applies to medical care as well. You may have to see the “health care provider” the government program or private insurer makes available to you. You don’t particularly want to see a nurse, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles with free health care. Oh well, you convince yourself that it’s okay because, just like that car on the game show, it was free.
Here’s a new spin on “free.” Yes, your medical care should be free – free from the restraints of government control. Free from the government rules that have raised the price of insurance premiums. The Affordable Care Act mandated ten essential benefits that all insurance plans must include free of out-of-pocket charges to patients. Of course, this does not include the initial out-of-pocket charge: the insurance premium. Insurance premiums shot up over the post-ACA year because the insurance plan has to cover conditions that the insured persons may not even encounter in their own lives. A glaring example is obstetrics coverage in a menopausal female. Preventive and wellness visits are also labelled as free.
Moreover, a recent AMA study revealed that over the last four years the competition in the commercial insurance market has decreased. In over 50 percent of metropolitan areas, representing about 73 million persons, one insurer has half of the market. The more concentrated the market, the higher the premiums.
Remember that free car? We all know and readily accept that car insurance does not pay for the gas and basic maintenance. So why should maintenance medical care be covered by insurance? Car insurance would be unaffordable for most car owners if it paid for gas, oil changes, new mufflers, radios, and batteries. Most states require drivers to have car insurance. If people can’t afford the insurance, they lose the benefit of owning a car.
Similarly, if you lose your health due to long waits or delayed diagnosis because the CT scan was not authorized or poor medication response because you had to take the formulary drug that was not the doctor’s first drug choice for you, the care is not free, but very costly.
The underlying message of free “health care” is disempowering. The message is that we are incapable of taking care of ourselves. Empowerment is having control over our own lives. First, we take charge of our own health by thinking about the choices we make. We choose to not smoke, overindulge in food or drink, or engage in foolhardy behaviors. Second, we decide what is important for our own health. If you do not want insurance coverage for obstetrics or fertility treatment because you are 50 years old and do not want children, there should be a less expensive insurance product available to you. Third, we need to be free to choose our own doctor as well as the treatment the doctor—not the invisible third-party payer—recommends.
The promised free health care would increase the payroll taxes on all workers, even if that worker does not want that particular brand of free medical care. The next time you hear that medical care is free, just think about that “free” car that is the wrong color, is too small, has uncomfortable seats, inadequate headroom, and overall is not what you really want.
Dr. Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist. She is Immediate Past President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Her opinions are her own. This is an edited column that originally appeared at www.pennypressnv.com, reprinted with permission.
When I was Nevada controller, my deputy James Smack had an inspired idea.
On the Transparent Nevada web site of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, he searched pay levels of state employees with “controller” in their job titles. After eliminating air traffic controllers, he found he was ninth and I was tenth.
We knew his pay was higher than mine because our salaries were dictated by statute. What was surprising was that eight state employees with a controller job title made more than us. They were all employed in the colleges, universities and Desert Research Institute.
This illustrated that non-academic pay in Nevada higher education is above market levels, as we already knew. Full-time academic pay is also high because it competes with only the bloated levels at other colleges. Throughout academe, full-time faculty and administrative compensation is very high, while that for part-time (adjunct) faculty is very low.
I don’t raise this matter to complain that our pay was too low. Even if it should be higher, no one forced me to run or James to take his job.
However, Nevada local government pay, especially in the two large counties and in public safety, is unduly high due to very powerful unions. In higher education, the problem is the board of regents is as weak as local governments. Thus, costs – and taxes – continue to rise due to ever-increasing staffing, especially in administrative areas, and very high compensation.
Total compensation for Nevada state employees is closer to private market levels and in the mid-range for state employees around the country.
Now, however, state employees can bargain collectively for compensation. So, we can expect their compensation and staffing levels to soar too – unless governor Steve Sisolak and his successors make good use of their statutory power to restrain the results of collective bargaining. I commend my former regent colleague the Governor for insisting that a gubernatorial veto be included in the legislation allowing state employee collective bargaining.
I also commend his two other recent thoughtful actions on related fronts. First, reining in the excesses, overreach and illegal actions of state boards and commissions, especially those regulating occupations. Second, taking on the use by such agencies and others of outside lobbyists to get more funding from the legislature, often contrary to the governor’s proposed budget and usually at very high fees. (They also spend too much staff time lobbying an d on public relations.)
All these costs contribute to raising our taxes.
And to making state government ever more opaque and less accountable.
Government at state and local levels, just as much as the federal government, has shifted from limited and enumerated powers, spending restraint, and resulting accountability to unlimited powers, wanton spending and tax increases, and an uncontrollable administrative state.
While state and local governments may not yet have developed the really sinister Deep State “intelligence,” spying and police powers now being exposed in Washington, they are working on creating such a nationwide swamp with extensive police powers.
None of this should be surprising, because it’s all in the nature of government and public employee unions.
The people who run and staff public agencies, just like those in the private sector, want more pay, power, perks and prestige. And less work for each of them to do, less accountability and fewer restraints on their actions and prerogatives. They’re only human.
This leads them to seek ever higher pay rates and benefits, more people to work with and for them, and higher expenses and capital budgets. And especially less accountability to voters, taxpayers, governors and legislatures.
People in the private sector have the same instincts. This isn’t a matter of better or lesser folks in either sector.
The difference is that in the private sector there are inherent restraints, especially on spending, pay and staffing levels. Businesses can’t just raise their prices willy-nilly, as governments do taxes, because they’ll lose sales, customers and revenues. And their powers are restrained by law and government.
That’s why, in general, the private sector works better than government, which keeps metastasizing and burdening us further. Government and public employee unions are, by their very natures, predatory upon the public, interest and taxpayers. And little restrained.
Whenever I hear some left-wing wacko spewing moronic hatred for President Trump, I think, Wow! If this President can make a whack-job like that hate him, he must be doing a pretty good job.
Think about it.
Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Jerrold Nadler, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Juan Williams, Chris Matthews, Joe Scarboro, Mike Brezinski, Rachel Maddow, Chris Cuomo, Peggy Noonan, George Conway, Peter Strozk, Lisa Page, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Hillary Clinton, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Gerson, Bill Kristol, Peter Wehner, Trevor Noah, Tom Hanks, Shakira, Russell Simmons, Rosie O’Donnell, Ricky Martin, Miley Cyrus, Mac Miller, Louis CK, John Oliver, John Legend, JK Rowling, George Clooney, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, Chrissy Teigen, Chris Brown, Joe Walsh (not the Eagles’ Joe Walsh, the phony politician Joe Walsh.)
Whew! And that’s mostly the rookie league. (Maybe Pelosi is AA.)
We haven’t yet gotten to the Democrat politicos running for the Democrat nomination. (Triple A)
There, you have one billionaire (Tom Steyer) who called Trump a “failure” in a TV spot he’s paying for himself, hopefully to get past 1 percent.
Then you have another billionaire, a former New York Mayor who just “apologized” for the stop and frisk policy he inherited from his predecessor—Trump’s personal lawyer—but cannot otherwise explain the dramatic drop in violent crime during his term.
If you look at just the list above, there are some common threads.
First are the overstuffed Hollywood types—some of whom I’ve only briefly heard of—who just know so much about politics that we should be overwhelmed by their intelligence quotients. Then we have the writers and TV personalities who fall into the category of “pundits”. They are trying to make a living by badmouthing the President. And, finally, we have the politicians who are green with envy. They should have his political skills.
Why do they hate this guy so much?
Well, he stands for the concept that this is the United States of America, as my father used to say, and any little boy or girl can grow up to be President or accomplish anything they want to accomplish by simply putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward.
Contrary to what the clowns on the list above would have you believe, Donald Trump is not successful because his father was rich. In fact, he went against the wishes of his father when he went into Manhattan real estate.
He’s successful because he took some giant risks.
Not everything he did worked.
His experience in Atlantic City as an example. Hillary Clinton famously asked in a debate, “I mean, ask yourself, how can anybody lose money running a casino? Really.”
Of course, she demonstrated her ignorance of that business because she asked that question without knowing that one of the two largest casino companies in the nation, Harrahs, was almost two years into Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. That’s right, the company now known as Caesars Entertainment because, yes, it happened to own Caesars Palace in both Las Vegas AND Atlantic City.
Caesars today operates approximately 47 casinos in 13 U.S. states and five countries, including the Caesars, Harrah’s, Horseshoe and Bally’s brands. When stupid people ask stupid rhetorical questions, they often get they asses handed to them.
I mean, ask yourself, how can you take any of the clowns I have listed above seriously?
Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 to encourage generosity and altruism. The holidays are an ideal time to share our blessings and fortunes with others who may be less fortunate. Many charities find this time the busiest of the year and funds are needed to help the great work they do, hence #GivingTuesday couldn’t come at a more opportune time. Donations of any size can be life saving.
However, some of us may be on very tight budgets and unable to donate money. No worries …. Giving Tuesday is not just about monetary donations. There are TONS of meaningful ways one can give to help others.
The winter season is a challenging time for many of our blood banks and every 3 seconds, someone needs blood. When one donates a pint of blood it can help save up to 3 lives. And it doesn’t cost a cent.
The American Red Cross is accepting blood donations. Local blood drives can be found at redcross.org.
Vitalant has locations throughout the country that can accept your blood donation as well. Contact Vitalant here.
Collecting non perishable food items from your pantry, neighbors or coworkers can be done quickly, easily and when taken to a shelter or organization can feed hungry and malnourished people in your community.
How many of us have saved our clothes from high school hoping we’ll fit into them again? Well we won't ...so why hold on to a lost dream. Tons of clothes in your closet can clothe those in need of the community…and an extra benefit is now you’ll create extra space in your closet.
Many shelters and charities need all hands on deck during this time of year. Churches and temples organize community events as well and could use the extra manpower. Donating your time is worth hundreds of dollars for charities who sometimes need to hire people to help them accomplish the great work they do.
This is easy and fun where the neighborhood comes together to donate items they wish to sell, and all the money raised goes to a charity of choice.
Some families could use a service or product that your company provides. Offering a family in need of some surplus or an hour of your time could go a long way.
The fastest growing addiction in the US is online shopping. Ads pop up on our social media, news feeds and email. Boxes pile up in your closet of unopened packages. And then one day you notice you purchased the same item twice! Are you addicted to online shopping or any shopping for that matter? Let’s break down this latest epidemic.
A “Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD)” was first described in the early 20th century as a compulsive disorder that left the patient with debt. Later in the century its classification was debated and eventually included with the personality disorders.
Compulsive buying is known as “oniomania” where one buys impulsively and excessively to the point that it leaves them in financial hardship. And despite their financial issues they continue to make purchases. We’ve used the term “shopaholics” to describe those addicted to shopping but compulsive buying connotes the lack sense of financial ruin that can ensue. The spending is an attempt to satisfy a need that never gets fulfilled.
Compulsive buying disorder may be seen in those who suffer from mania and bipolar disorder. During manic episodes excessive spending may occur. Additionally we may see CBD co-morbidly in those who suffer from eating, gambling, substance use, and mood disorders.
Compulsive online shopping occurs when purchases are made online, without much thought or planning, and at a frequency where it may interfere with one’s life. People who might have never become a compulsive shopper in a traditional store may become easily addicted to online shopping. Those who are compulsive online shoppers may exhibit any of the following:
So compulsive online shopping, as well as compulsive buying disorder, can affect relationships, employment, finances and health.
Various sources have put the range at 5-8% of the US population.
When one is able to shop from the comfort of one’s desk or work station, the “ease” factor drives more shopping. Avoiding the need to leave work or home to battle traffic and weather and long lines, is one of the biggest draws. Moreover, those who hate going into a store or dressing room, concerned others will see the sizes of clothes they are trying on, can now shop in the privacy in their own home. Additionally shopping allows one to fight the boredom they have at work or home and give one a sense of accomplishment. And once one has a successful and satisfying purchase, the reward centers of the brain are activated making one want to shop more.
Hence, shrewd marketing will appeal to the human psyche by any of the following:
Don’t give in to the ads. People must realize they are being bombarded with some of the most creative marketing manipulation known to mankind. We can’t fall for it. Why are we letting our smart devices dictate to us what we need in our closets, pantries or garages?
But to fight the urge to shop online excessively, we must:
If needed, compulsive shopping can be treated with therapy as well as medications including SSRI’s, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are efficacious in those with impulsive personalities or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“Where the roots of private virtue are diseased, the fruit of public probity cannot but be corrupt.” -Felix Alder
Let me start off by acknowledging that since the inception of this ministry 22 years ago, I have never based my opinion on the things that I highlight either on radio or in my articles, never once. Yet, those that have disputed or have attempted to debate me on whatever topic that I may be highlighting have given their opinions and that without fail.
I have always based every topic in correcting the errors of opinion on the Word of God and that of the United States Constitution (Psalm 119:89; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:25). By doing so, it becomes the stumbling block or the rock of offense to their opinions (1 Peter 2:8). These topics that I highlight usually apply to those in the Church and to those in government, which Jesus told us to beware when it comes to their leaven-doctrine (Mark 8:15).
“They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.” -Proverbs 28:4
As for me and my house, I AM FOR THE LAW (Biblical and Constitutional - Joshua 24:15)!
Remember that “political language is designed to make lies sound truthful” and yet, these are the games in which these men that debate with me are caught up.
One example of this is how many people have been led to believe that when the unconstitutional Republican Party is in power that they are a law unto themselves; or how about when the unconstitutional Democrats are in power that they are a law unto themselves. This is merely a con system to further divide the American people (Mark 3:25). We are ruled by law, not by an unconstitutional party system.
How far can this go if we let it?
Just the other day, I heard a preacher that I like, speak of how thankful he was that the president lets him do the things that he does (Hosea 4:6). This preacher needs to understand that he is to have the law of truth in his mouth, which is to turn men from iniquity and bondage (Malachi 2:6).
This preacher has it backward and upside down. Little must he know of his own history. This is what our forefathers exhibited in throwing off tyranny in 1776.
It is absolutely astounding to see how people will praise administration after administration based on what a candidate may be running on (promises made), or what a president may say and yet, Scripture commands that we are to judge them by what they do.
“ Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree brings forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” -Matthew 7:16-20
Again, the foolishness of men praise a man for what he says, and that to their own demise rather than what that man does (Isaiah 30).
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
I can just hear someone say, "We should praise our leaders for the good that they do, not the wrong that they do" (Romans 7:9-12). They are servants, not leaders.
That public servant is entrusted with delegated authority from “We the People” to do what they swore that they would do, which is to uphold the enumerated laws found within the United States Constitution.
Let me say it this way: when you are driving down the highway abiding by the laws of the land, the police officer does not pull you over to tell you how wonderful a driver that you are, does he? However, he will pull you over for driving erratically or dangerously? So it is with us, the Bible teaches.
“Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.” -Luke 17:9
Son of Liberty Patrick Henry said that Americans are to “guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.”
And so should we.
I end with this: How many politicians have run for office, regardless of capacity, where we have found what they promised to do what was right, and what they actually did when they won the office, they instantly turned on the people by doing the opposite of what they promised to do?
Yet, it falls to the people that tolerate this.
How true it is what Joseph de Maistre said: “Every country has the government it deserves.”
Thanksgiving dinner is always a big event at the Knecht home, but it will be delayed this year. Ron will be in the hospital recovering from major back surgery.
When folks have heard about this, they have given the normal and appreciated expressions of concern and support. Ron’s response has been to thank them and say that, really, it’s a great event, a source of joy and real thanksgiving.
For, if anyone had the conditions that require this surgery 100 years ago, it was not then available. So, by this point in life or fairly soon the person would have been in a wheel chair or bed for the rest of his life.
Instead, while it is a major event today, it is something that can be scheduled for minimum time away from the job and when it’s convenient in a person’s life. Soon, Ron expects to be free of pain he has experienced for years, then fully recovered and restored to what he was able to do before the back problems began to seriously crimp his life.
We can all be thankful for the doctors, physical therapists and other medical professionals who do the remarkable things to provide such services and otherwise restore us to good health and function. And, of course, to the incredible people and businesses that developed and commercialized these near miracles.
In the words of the Founding Fathers, we also thank Divine Providence.
But we also see something else that’s essential and for which we are thankful. None of this would be possible without rapid economic growth and the limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom that foster such growth.
What’s the connection between those three factors, rapid economic growth and modern medical wonders?
For almost all human history, people did not have limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom. So, for thousands of years, economic growth was glacially slow. Thus, it could truly be said that one’s lot in life for almost everyone was that of their parents. From this fact, philosophy, religion and people’s approach to life tended to be quite fatalistic. The modern American ideas of opportunity, self determination and Horatio Alger tales was unknown and would have seemed strange, or even heretical, to most people.
But about 350 years ago, Britain began to develop the political and economic institutions, practices and policies that flowered even further in its colonies and became the framework for American government and society, as well as that of Britain. So, in the 19th Century, the US and Britain came to dominate the world economically and otherwise. Other countries followed, and to the extent they adopted those institutions, etc. that economists have identified, they also prospered.
Economic growth means people’s lives are not wholly consumed with providing the basics of food, shelter, warm clothing, etc. Instead, they have time and extra resources remaining after taking care of those needs to devote to other matters.
For example, they can gain education and indulge music and the arts. They can build the big businesses that make cities possible. And they can create institutions that take care of the poor, conduct research and ultimately create the medical, communications, transportation, industrial and other wonders that make modern life so rich.
Thus, today’s poor people enjoy goods and services that would have been unthinkable even for the richest nobles a century ago.
This is how rapid economic growth, fed by limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom produced the remarkable services and goods that will give Ron and millions of others a new lease on life instead of ending their productive times and joy of life. Without the rapid economic growth we have enjoyed the last 200 years, those things would not be possible for people even a millennium from now.
So, we invite you to join us this year in giving thanks for the limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom that produced rapid economic growth and these tangible blessings.
We’ve noted before that rapid growth has disintegrated in the last decade because those three factors have eroded over many decades and especially recently. Let’s work to restore all parts of this equation to yield even greater miracles for our children.