Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Gordon Gekko in the motion picture Wall Street regurgitated what socialists have been saying for a century: capitalism is based on greed. Here is part of his monologue:
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that 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.As I wrote recently, the definitions of greed are confusing. Even the poorest in Western countries are guilty of egregious greed if we adhere to dictionary definitions. The writers who put those words in Gekko’s mouth appear to agree. But if greed is to remain an evil, should we call the self interest that Adam Smith identified as the motive of business people? Is loving one’s family and wanting them to live more comfortably greed? Is trying to produce a better mouse trap greed? Is striving to have enough to give to charities or churches greed?
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 USA.
Socialists see only two evils in the world today: white people and greed. If they could get rid of both, the U.S. would finally be exceptional and a city set on a hill that conservatives claim it is. But what happened to envy? According to Helmut Schoeck in Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior, envy was considered the most terrifying of the seven deadly sins through history. He uses Chaucer’s “The Parson’s Tale” in the Canterbury Tales as an example: (finish at Townhall Finance)