Redefining Greed (or "Greed is Good")

Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 9 months ago to Culture
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I'm both preaching to the choir and stating the obvious here, but I'd like to incentivize (is that really a word? let's say, "motivate") people to start arguing this point when they see progressives and other slavers abuse the word "greed" or "greedy".

In "Wallstreet", as a sign of his despotism, Gordon Gecko asserts, "Greed is good". But "greed" is never defined in the context of the movie.

People generally seem to define "greed" as "excessive desire for profit". Yet, in what context is it excessive? When and why is a desire for profit "excessive"?

Until this evening, I defined "greed" simply AS "a desire for profit", in which case greed IS good. But, I've discovered a different, better definition (the same way Columbus "discovered" America...)

Greed, quite simply, is a desire for the unearned. That covers it. "Excessive profit" would be the acquisition of the unearned. To fail to trade value for value.

A "greedy corporation" would then be one in which the corporation sought the unearned, as in lobbying for legislation that benefited them personally, or, more significantly, discouraged competition.

But it then also allows the definition to more easily include employees... "greedy workers", by previous definitions, would be almost an oxymoron. But by this definition, it would be any worker who wanted more pay than his labor/skill/creativity was worth to his employer.

By this definition, all modern unions are "greedy unions".

it's not all that original a thought, but it gives me some clarity on the notion where I wasn't quite comfortable before, knowing something was wrong with the usage, but not what that something was. I'd had bits and pieces of this new definition before, but had not yet thought through it.

"Greed" is a desire for the unearned.

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