Consumer spending, as we hear over and over again, accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. As goes our purchasing, so goes the economy. So while we take time on Thanksgiving Day to give thanks for our good health, our families, our homes, our democracy, and all the myriad things we enjoy in this nation, we should be aware that many people out there are extremely thankful for our spending behavior.
Perhaps we can listen in on a few of their silent prayers on what me might call "Thanks-getting" Day, a time when we receive the heartfelt thanks of millions of people around the world, starting with our own central bankers.
From Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors
Against the backdrop of this bounteous buffet of prandial delights, we incline our collective, collegial heads while cogitating upon the latest exuberances that have bubbled up to proffer our thoughts on the uncustomary acquisition of credit that allows for our robust economy. We give gratitude in the extreme to those more irrational than us who willingly enburden themselves with debt in order to create the most resilient and flexible economy on terra firma. Amen.
From Credit Card Operators
Although Thanksgiving grocery shopping doesn't run up credit card debt the way Christmas holiday shopping does, it's the right time for us to say thank you for using your plastic early and often.
Without your late fees and ever-increasing balances owed, we would be mere community banks rather than financial behemoths. We love you for allowing us to create debt junkies who need to be fed with countless offers of more credit jamming your mailboxes.
We want you to keep purchasing goods and services, even ones you don't need right now, because, after all, it's for the greater good of the U.S. economy (and it sure gives our bottom lines a boost).
We pray, too, that you won't notice that we're now asking for a larger minimum payment each month, thanks to new regulations by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Your continued compliance in these matters is most appreciated -- and more mandatory than ever.
From Manufacturing Employees in China
Dear American Consumers,
We thank you for your massive purchases of the goods we produce that used to be manufactured in your own country. Now that we are able to match the quality of U.S. goods, you have recognized that you can pay less for them than if they were still made in the U.S.A.
This change in your formerly manufacturing-based economy has brought us welcome new factories (thanks to subsidies from our central government) that employ us and pay us so that we can save some of our wages and send them back to you via our government's purchases of your Treasury debt. This, in turn, helps you to buy more of our goods, which helps our economy to grow. Thank you for your kindness and your global economic vision.
From Political Consultants
We are grateful as ever for your past donations to our good and worthy candidates, particularly on a day like Thanksgiving that is truly apolitical (unless you and your libertarian Aunt Francine start talking politics over the pumpkin pie).
Have you noticed that the increasing anger in politics these days seems to be a reflection of how social mood is becoming darker in this country? As political consultants, we benefit from dark social moods, because they make people angry and fearful; that's when people want to blame the "other guy" for the troubles, and that's when they're more willing to open their pocketbooks.
So, thank you for getting angry. Please stay that way. Polarization (that us-against-them feeling) is good for raising money. Thank you, too, for sending us your contribution by return mail, and remember to match it with your level of anger: Outraged Outlaw, Polarized Pioneer, or Danger Ranger.
From Pharmaceutical Companies
As we gather around this abundant and cholesterol-laden meal, we thank you for your avid attention to our television commercials and magazine ads. You have understood our message about how important it is to check your symptoms and to inform your physician that you want our most recently developed drug to cure what you think ails you, regardless of what your doctor thinks.
We also appreciate your continuing belief that a new drug, a new medical procedure, or a new and expensive test can help to keep you healthy and to prolong your life – even though it drives up the cost of health insurance so that more corporations are forced to ask employees (including you, perhaps?) to help pay for these increasing costs out of their own pockets. Thank you, too, for remembering not to ask for generic drugs.
From Hedge Fund Operators
Let us give immense thanks that this "turkey of a year" is almost over. As you can imagine, these past three quarters have seen a difficult market environment in which to beat the percentage growth of the stock market averages by a large margin.
However, we are ever pleased that you continue to believe in our ability to put your investments at risk in such a way as to promise you large rewards while actually taking your money and then going belly up. Much of our best thinking and financial creativity lately has gone into devising ways to cover our losses while sending you encouraging quarterly reports. We thank you both for your continued confidence and for your money, without which we could not enjoy the unspeakably extravagant lifestyle we now have.
From This Business Columnist
As you check in on the Business page of FOXNews before Turkey Day, I thank you for taking the time to read this column. Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day on which you both give and receive thanks.
Susan C. Walker writes for Elliott Wave International, a market forecasting and technical analysis company. She has been an associate editor with Inc. magazine, a newspaper writer and editor, an investor relations executive and a speechwriter for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She received her B.A. in Classics from Stanford University.