Mike Kueber's Blog

November 5, 2012

Greed

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mike Kueber @ 11:58 am
Tags: , , ,

My first thought about the word “greed” is the famous line from Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street – “Greed is good.”  Actually, he said the following:

  • Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A.  

Of course, Gekko was a villain, and his statement was intended to be outrageous and provocative.  Earlier this week, however, I heard a more serious defense of greed by Fox News pundit John Stossel.  According to Stossel, it doesn’t make sense to blame Wall Street greed for the Great Recession because Wall Street is inherently greedy and its DNA requires that it try to make as much profit as it can. 

I agree with Stossel.  In a recent blog posting, I wrote about President Obama’s economic patriotism and my enlightened capitalism.  Although one might idealistically wish for moral individuals to reject some of the harmful or wasteful excesses of capitalism, the reality of competition requires such behavior in ultra-competitive environments like Wall Street.  According to Stossel, free competition will almost always keep people honest.  If that doesn’t work, then regulation is required.  The Dodd-Frank bill should have been a last resort, not a first resort. 

 

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