The Ten Things for Which Robert Reich Is Most and Least Thankful

I am re-posting Robert Reich’s Thanksgiving message because I largely agree with it.

In a period in which partisanship requires almost absolute conformity to the “party line,” even when there is actually still no consensus on where or what that line should be, the adverb “largely” seems to have become a largely abandoned modifier.

Yet, especially as I prepare to sit down to our Thanksgiving meal, all forms of the word “large” seem to be apposite.

(I have been prepping for the big meal for about six hours. I adhere to the theory that you need to have a series of small “meals” to rev up your metabolism ahead of the “big meal.” But, when I shared this theory with my wife after she expressed concern that I might be “ruining” my appetite, her response was very un-holiday-like.)


On this Thanksgiving, here are the 10 things I’m most grateful for:

1. Wonderful family and friends.

2. My dad, who’s still going strong (if he makes it, he’ll be 102 in February)

3. My health and health of my loved ones.

4. The kind and generous people I meet in my travels around America.

5. My fabulous students (in my 35 years of university teaching I haven’t encountered a generation of 18 to 25-year-olds as idealistic and as dedicated to the public good as this one).

6. Bernie Sanders.

7. The indefatigable, tenacious, and tireless advocates and organizers for equal opportunity, against voter suppression, for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, for Black Lives Matter, and for a more just society.

8. Teachers, who despite low pay and often impossible odds, continue to do one of the most important jobs in America.

9. Barack Obama.

10. Optimists.

And here are the 10 I’m least grateful for:

1. Pfizer, which is deserting America because it doesn’t want to pay its tax bill here.

2. Walmart, which is spying on its employees.

3. Donald Trump, who’s leading America’s hate brigade.

4. Other Republican presidential candidates, who are also spewing venom and lies.

5. Wall Street lobbyists who are at this moment trying to water down regulations against excessive speculation.

6. Martin Shreki, CEO of drug company Turing, who raised price of drug used by AIDS patients from $13.50 a pill to $750 when he took over the company, and still refuses to lower the price.

7. Charles and David Koch, whose political organization is spending as much on the 2016 election as is each of the two major political parties.

8. Fox News, which continues to fill the heads of Americans with lies, distortions, hate, bigotry, and right-wing propaganda.

9. Republican governors and state legislators who are busy trying to suppress the votes of minorities through voter ID laws and gerrymandering.

10. Cynics–because cynicism is a self-fulfilling prophesy making it almost impossible to do anything about 1-9 above.

What are you most grateful for? What are you least grateful for? Click here to share your Thanksgiving thoughts with me and other Democracy for America members on Facebook!


Robert Reich

Former Secretary of Labor




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