Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Greed Isn't Just Good—It's Necessary For Capitalism
IBD Editorials ^ | January 3, 2012 | WALTER E. WILLIAMS

Posted on 01/03/2012 4:46:38 PM PST by Kaslin

What human motivation gets the most wonderful things done? It's really a silly question, because the answer is so simple. It turns out that it's human greed that gets the most wonderful things done.

When I say greed, I am not talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, lobbying for special privileges from government or other forms of despicable behavior. I'm talking about people trying to get as much as they can for themselves.

Let's look at it.

This winter, Texas ranchers may have to fight the cold of night, perhaps blizzards, to run down, feed and care for stray cattle. They make the personal sacrifice of caring for their animals to ensure that New Yorkers can enjoy beef.

Last summer, Idaho potato farmers toiled in blazing sun, in dust and dirt, and maybe being bitten by insects to ensure that New Yorkers had potatoes to go with their beef.

Selfless Takers

Here's my question: Do you think that Texas ranchers and Idaho potato farmers make these personal sacrifices because they love or care about the well-being of New Yorkers?

The fact is, whether they like New Yorkers or not, they make sure that New Yorkers are supplied with beef and potatoes every day of the week.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 01/03/2012 4:46:44 PM PST by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

My definition of greed is taking money and property away from others because you are too lazy to get off of your fat ass to earn it yourself.


2 posted on 01/03/2012 4:52:47 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (Stop BIG Government Greed!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Too a certain extent, greed is a survival mechanism. Obviously a person can be too greedy but that’s between them and God.


3 posted on 01/03/2012 4:57:01 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Making a profit is not wrong. However, anything taken to extremes can become sinful.

It is not merely our economy that is under attack at this juncture in history. It is the entire moral foundation of the nation.


4 posted on 01/03/2012 4:57:21 PM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Self-determination isn't greed anymore than the free market system is capitalism.

Socialism (i.e. totalitarianism for the greater good...yeah, right!) likes to switch language to confuse the pseudo-intellectual (i.e. ignorant) masses.

5 posted on 01/03/2012 5:07:19 PM PST by RoosterRedux (Times up!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SumProVita

There are some very wealthy very generous people in America. John Huntsman Sr is a billionaire and major philanthropist. The Koch brothers put big money into hospitals and various forms of cancer and other medical research. One of our local 1 percenters was just named citizen of the year for all the charity work he does. (Al Glick owner of Alro steel) Their “greed” allows them to give to the needy.

It may be hard for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle but nobody said it was impossible.


6 posted on 01/03/2012 5:16:17 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Walter E. Williams is right. In the free market system the only way to prosper is to provide something valuable to your fellow man. The more you produce (or the better quality you produce), the more you prosper. But the public education system has most people's heads so screwed up they think this is evil.
7 posted on 01/03/2012 5:18:22 PM PST by Upstate NY Guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FlingWingFlyer
I agree with you he used the wrong word. I rarely disagree with my favorite contaminator but i have to this time.

The way I would put it using your definition:
Ever system has greed and in Capitalism it can be corrected and resolved in socialism it can not.

8 posted on 01/03/2012 5:23:36 PM PST by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Steve Van Doorn

I agree. You put it better than I did.


9 posted on 01/03/2012 5:26:09 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (Stop BIG Government Greed!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Upstate NY Guy

Va. 3rd graders sing an anti capitalism occupation song. The teachers claim they came up with it on their own.

Some people have it all
But they still don’t think they have enough
They want more money
A faster ride
They’re not content
Never satisfied
Yes — they’re the 1 percent

I used to be one of the 1 percent
I worked all the time
Never saw my family
Couldn’t make life rhyme
Then the bubble burst
It really, really hurt
I lost my money
Lost my pride
Lost my home
Now I’m part of the 99

Some people have it all
But they still don’t think they have enough
They want more money
A faster ride
They’re not content
Never satisfied
Yes — they’re the 1 percent

I used to be sad, now I’m satisfied
’Cause I really have enough
Though I lost my yacht and plane
Didn’t need that extra stuff
Could have been much worse
You don’t need to be first
’Cause I’ve got my friends
Here by my side
Don’t need it all
I’m so happy to be part of the 99

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/va-school-district-defends-shocking-occupy-themed-song-performed-by-third-graders-im-so-happy-to-be-part-of-the-99/


10 posted on 01/03/2012 5:26:50 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Steve Van Doorn

contaminator = commentator oops :)


11 posted on 01/03/2012 5:28:58 PM PST by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Question for Mr. Williams: Does "greed" include buying off legislators such that government picks the winners and losers in the economy; i.e.

None of that is "free market", yet that is what the Free Traitors® have tried to pass off as "free market" policies for the past couple of decades.

And our 15+ Trillion national debt and a second Greater Depression are the results.

12 posted on 01/03/2012 5:34:22 PM PST by meadsjn (Sarah 2012, or sooner)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FlingWingFlyer

Actually I think you are closest. “Greed” is to covet, or want that which isn’t yours or what you don’t deserve or have not earned. It is inappropriately used today to replace the term “self-interest” in order to promote socialism.

A redefinition of the term has been attempted to imply to want more than you need; Here in lies the problem. It leaves to someone else to define what it is that you need, in the same way that “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs” leaves it to a higher human power to define your “ability” and your “needs”.


13 posted on 01/03/2012 5:36:09 PM PST by Wildbill22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

Pathetic, isn’t it? Young minds getting so polluted at such a young age. Hopefully some of them have parents who can set them straight at home.


14 posted on 01/03/2012 5:59:39 PM PST by Upstate NY Guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: FlingWingFlyer
My definition of greed is taking money and property away from others because you are too lazy to get off of your fat ass to earn it yourself.

People who are poor, for what ever reason, always define greedy as someone who has money and won't give it to them(the ungreedy poor). Take the classic Charles Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol. It is all about a business man who keeps his wealth to himself, granted he is tight fisted and mean, but the reason people don't like him is because, wait for it, he won't give them his money. At the end of the story when he wakes from his night among the spirits, he starts spreading money around, and then everyone loves him. Of course they are NOT defined as being greedy because they never worked their butts off making money,(except for Bob Crachett, who worked his butt off but didn't get paid for it).

OWSers are the true greedy of the world, along with every other marxist, communist, progressive, socialist SOB in the world.

15 posted on 01/03/2012 6:02:25 PM PST by calex59
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Upstate NY Guy

Almost as pathetic as the claim that the students came up with it themselves.

You’d have to be a moron to buy that. How many 3rd graders are likely to say they want less of anything or that they worked all the time and never got to see their families?


16 posted on 01/03/2012 6:04:14 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Max Weber has a different take. Deferred gratification, the willingness to spend enough hours at the counting desk. Benjamin Franklin’s secular Puritanism , which is more or less the same as Smith’s moral philosophy.


17 posted on 01/03/2012 6:07:23 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: calex59

Bob Crachett admires Scrooge, and feels sorry for him because his pursuit of wealth brings him no happiness.


18 posted on 01/03/2012 6:13:12 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
Their teachers are probably closet occupiers. Third grade kids sure didn't write these lines:

I used to be one of the 1 percent
I worked all the time
Never saw my family
Couldn’t make life rhyme
Then the bubble burst
It really, really hurt...

19 posted on 01/03/2012 6:19:45 PM PST by Upstate NY Guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS

But his family, and especially the wife, hates his guts, but love him later after the money flows. Granted Scrooge is a dick but at the same time the story really points out that people like you more if you are free with your money.


20 posted on 01/03/2012 6:32:28 PM PST by calex59
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
It turns out that it's human greed that gets the most wonderful things done

All the political insiders, banksters, the well connected Wall Street crooks and fat corps who received *trillions* in tax payer bailouts, could not agree more!

21 posted on 01/03/2012 6:38:24 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I heard Mr. Walter E. Williams on Rush’s show the day he went on about this. I was so disheartened. I thought he was a follower of Jesus.

Luke  12:15-21
Then he [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Luke 16: (Jesus told his disciples...)
    19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
   22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
   25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Luke 6:46
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Luke 3:7-11
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

“What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”


22 posted on 01/03/2012 6:42:25 PM PST by .30Carbine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: calex59

I think it depends on the presentation of the story. The first sound film version, in 1935, was very Christian in tone. “Bob” is as important a character as “Scrooge.” “Marley” is not a horror, but a spirit invisible to all but Scrooge, come to bring him back from the brink. The most touching scene is Bob grieving over the dead body of Tiny Tim, who is laid out in the bedroom of his house. One would have to have a heart of stone no to be moved by it. It, more than his own doom, moves Scrooge to repentance, and, unpon waking the next day, to sheer joy at being alive. For Scrooge was dead but is now alive again.


23 posted on 01/03/2012 7:08:54 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: meadsjn

Come on, selling out your fellow Americans in the pursuit of more profit has been great for this country! The USA doesn’t need to produce anything, we will be fine just selling each other ‘services’. /s


24 posted on 01/03/2012 7:22:07 PM PST by edge10 (Obama lied, babies died!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]


25 posted on 01/03/2012 7:40:19 PM PST by RedMDer (Forward With Confidence!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: FlingWingFlyer

I agree with William’s premise, but don’t think he gets to re-define “greed”.

Webster says “Aquisitive desire beyond reason”. Avarice, selfishness, etc.


26 posted on 01/03/2012 8:03:26 PM PST by Freedom4US
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Greed and government make the perfect fit. Who do you think make the rules. Let’s ask the ‘inside traders’ themselves how well greed and government fit.


27 posted on 01/03/2012 9:55:09 PM PST by Enough is ENOUGH (Demand a real conservative enter the race. This election is too important to gamble away.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Greed and government make the perfect fit. Who do you think make the rules. Let’s ask the ‘inside traders’ themselves how well greed and government fit.


28 posted on 01/03/2012 9:55:52 PM PST by Enough is ENOUGH (Demand a real conservative enter the race. This election is too important to gamble away.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Greed is the wrong word to describe trying to make a living.

Greed is when a kid steals his little brother’s desert.

Or when a welfare bum takes taxpayer money.


29 posted on 01/03/2012 11:41:14 PM PST by Impy (Don't call me red.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

Actually, a person with a very competitive nature often works to make money....in order to accomplish any number of other goals. I would not categorize that as “greed.” For me, as a Christian, a greedy person is one who puts far more value on things rather than God. Such a person is one who is obsessed with things. True greed/avarice motivates a person to lie and use falsehood to acquire more...at the expense of others.

Here’s another thought as well: People can be materially poor and spiritually rich ... AND ... they can be materially rich and spiritually poor.....or any combination thereof.


30 posted on 01/04/2012 5:12:18 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux
Socialism (i.e. totalitarianism for the greater good...yeah, right!) likes to switch language

Most greedy people are leftists, for example Madoff. That's because true greed is just an extreme form of envy, and leftism is driven by envy. Leftists have to constantly switch the language as a disguise, which does work until the hijacked words wear out. They've destroyed the meaning of the word liberal so now they call themselves progressives. Leftists are the exact opposite of liberal or progressive.

31 posted on 01/04/2012 7:30:25 AM PST by Reeses (TV gives men a window into what women want, and it isn't pretty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SumProVita

Exactly. Rich reward for the pursuit of excellence in service of others is not greed. It is justly deserved. Greed is to want what you don’t deserve; in other words to demand charity is greedy. To steal is greedy. To think you deserve what you didn’t earn is greedy.
Turn it against the socialists and the term will expose them.


32 posted on 01/04/2012 3:27:56 PM PST by Wildbill22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson