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No, greed is not good

August 18, 2008
Categories: observations
  1. Lucas
    August 18, 2008 at 11:03 | #1

    All human emotions have their downsides.  Greed has a pretty large upside, though.  I think much bigger than its downside.  How many people would start businesses, comparison shop, work harder to get a raise, create new products that people want, sell you things, etc., if not for greed?  There would be some of this going on, but a whole lot less.  Greed is a great motivator.  Like most motivators, it can be destructive as well as creative.  People and society need to learn to channel it effectively and morally rather than declaring it evil.

    `Greed has been the primary cause of job loss in this country.’

    Greed is also practically the only cause of job creation.  People tend to get fired when they are not making money for the business (or as much as someone or something else could) (greed!), but they get hired when they will make money for the business.

    `Greed was, in my opinion, the major factor in the “mortgage crisis.” ‘

    Greed was also the reason that anyone gets a mortgage.  Even credit unions expect to make money off of loans, so that account-holders can get interest.

    Greed isn’t all of the motivation that people have for economic activity, but it is a big motivation.  By and large, it produces good results.  The faults of greed are no reason to throw out the baby with the bath water.

  2. August 18, 2008 at 11:12 | #2

    “Greed” implies something beyond just the capitalistic impulse or a desire to improve one’s circumstances.  At some point it becomes avarice, a tendency to discount consequence, an unregulated desire.  “I’ve got mine, the hell with you.”

    Greed is a pure reagent of what should be alloyed with care, with compassion, with the long view.

  3. August 18, 2008 at 18:29 | #3

    `Greed was, in my opinion, the major factor in the “mortgage crisis.” ‘

    Greed was also the reason that anyone gets a mortgage.  Even credit unions expect to make money off of loans, so that account-holders can get interest.

    Here’s a good explanation of the Mortgage Crisis.

  4. August 20, 2008 at 05:58 | #4

    Thanks for the link.

  5. August 27, 2008 at 05:51 | #5

    It is possible to provide jobs, to be successful in a business, and to achieve wealth with good will, instead of greed. Believe it or not, some people are in it for the game.

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