I always hear people talking about greed as if without it the world would be a beautiful utopia where everyone would be happy and lead perfect and wonderful lives. I don't understand this thinking. While I won't deny that greed has led to a great deal of horrible things throughout history, it's also responsible for pretty much everything good we have.
Look at your local supermarket. There is significantly more than enough food there to feed everyone living within several miles, with more food trucked in on a daily basis, because thousands of farmers, packagers, truck drivers, entrepreneurs, and who knows how many others, coordinate to make, process, package, and ship the food, all of whom have the exact same thought in mind; make money. You don't get this kind of effective coordination without the people involved being personally motivated to get their jobs done properly.
Throughout history, millions, maybe even billions of people have died from thirst. Today, we get an infinite amount of water pumped into our homes, and we don't even have to think about it aside from the monthly water bill. Why? Because there are people whose paycheck is dependent on water making it through underground pipes and into your home.
How about this fucking snow? Thousands of tons of society-crippling frozen death falls from the sky, and before the storm clouds roll in we have trucks dumping sand and salt on all the roads, and when the snow falls we have snow plows roll out and make the roads usable and safe. Why? Because every town has an asshole politician or two that know that they won't get re-elected unless they get someone to organize all of that.
Your favorite book? Printed, packaged, shipped around the country, and possibly even written, because some people wanted to make a lot of money off of it.
Vaccines. Antibiotics. Cancer treatments. Your computer. Your favorite video-game. Your car. Your home. The clothes you're wearing. The condom that broke and got your mother pregnant with you. Every necessity in your life. Every luxury in your life. All of these things exist simply because someone, somewhere, wanted a fat stack of cash in their pocket.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is that greed fucking rocks, and stop hating on it.
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Exactly correct, and I agree with you 100%.
Which is also why I agree with Kenny. Greed is not the problem. It's what you do with it that becomes morally questionable.
Good post. I appreciate it!
Okay, again I'm replying without reading all 17 pages of posts before this, but a quick skim seems to avoid this point: "Greed" is harming others to obtain excess for yourself.
The many (MANY) merits of a free market economy which operates upon a profit-motive exist without true greed.
Paying workers as little as possible to make goods that you sell for as much as possible is NOT greed.
Forcing people into slavery to produce those goods IS greed.
Passing measures, bills, etc. that can help get a politician re-elected is NOT greed.
Raising funds and having a thorough ad campaign to get re-elected is also NOT greed.
Rigging an election or having your competitor assassinated IS greed.
Saving your extra income for a rainy day or to pass down to your children or buy a giant golden statue of yourself is NOT greed.
Stealing money from a charity (or pretty much anywhere) IS greed.
Also, just to make clear, just because something isn't immoral doesn't mean it is moral. A great many things are amoral.
Ok, but how about this
Is it greed for instance for a business to fire employees once they reach a certain age, because at that age they would legally be required to pay them more? The employees do their job well and work well but are that age, and the business wants to keep its costs down.