Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Greed and free markets

"And is it true that greed uniquely drives free markets? ... What is it if not greed that prompts retirees to vote to tax working people so that these retirees' public pensions remain funded? What is it if not greed that motivates domestic corporations and their workers to lobby government for protection from foreign competition?"

-- Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University


Anonymous said...

"Greed for lack of a better word is good" Gordon Gecko from the movie Wall Street 1987.

Greed can be a good thing because it drives people to want more and to work harder to obtain it. However, greed must have a moral companion for a person to understand when they are being greedy to the detriment of others. How can we get society as a whole to understand that wanting to succeed and wanting to make more money is a good thing, but you have to have morals and principles that guide your drive to be good and succeed?
Geoff from Texas

Julie Jacobson said...

I'm right there with you, Geoff. People tend to apply the pejorative to people who work hard, employ people, are rewarded for it, and pay taxes for it.

To me, greedy are the folks that claim disability when they're perfectly able to work, or welfare moms who crank out babies without a way to support them, or people who would rather buy new $200 nikes and flat-screen TVs instead of health insrance. (OK, yell at me ... yes, there are more than a handful of these cases)