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Is Greed Fair?

Greed is good. The Rich should pay their fair share. Who is right and who gets to decide?

In the 1987 movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko famously stated, “Greed is good.” This quote is brought up on a regular basis to explain what is wrong with America. This movie put into words the political left’s disgust for the profit motive in the United States.

Success is the basis for the political speak of today, where the Left continues to argue for what is “fair.” President Obama regularly speaks of the need for the wealthy to “pay their fair share.” The law known as Obama Care is, at this very moment, moving to ruin the most effective medical system in existence. Despite the current system's success, Obama Care was designed to make things fairer.
Who is in charge of deciding what is fair? If all the kids in the neighborhood decided little Jimmy should not own the only bat and ball and take it away from him to share equally, is that fair? If a shopper buys a steak for her family, but another family can only afford pasta, is it fair to cut up the steak purchased by the first family and send half to the second family?

Once fair is decided by the group, how many more bats and balls will Jimmy’s parents buy him? If food is taken away from one family and given to another, how many more steaks will that first family buy?

Progressives want us to be equal. We’ve seen equal in action in the Soviet Union, North Korea and Cuba. Fairness does not equal success, fairness equals misery.
Despite the angst it causes Liberals, the world is not fair. There will always be winners and losers. The only difference is whether the winners are chosen by the market place or by the government. You can always walk away from a marketplace; the government does not give you that choice.

The left would like us to believe that fair is what makes a great civilization. They are wrong. Hard work, generosity, selflessness, charity and caring make a great civilization. Trying to make everything fair makes for a repressive, hostile civilization ruled by elites.

America was founded on the idea of business. Henry Ford did not develop assembly line manufacturing to be fair, he wanted to be successful. He wanted a profit. Along the way he provided jobs, created millionaires and moved the U.S. to become the leading manufacturing power in the world. You can call his success greed, but you would be wrong. The automobile industry was enabling for millions who made their lives working in the industry.

The pharmaceutical industry has made many people rich. The industry has also allowed people to live longer, be more productive, avoid painful illnesses and recover from diseases that only a few years ago would have been fatal. We now hear drug companies are greedy. Let’s hope that in the name of fairness, we don’t remove the profit motive from people starting companies to cure illnesses. We should wake up each morning praying that some greedy so-and-so starts a new company with the idea of curing diseases. The person who comes up with the cure for cancer will positively affect millions of lives.

Who decides how much the person who rids the world of cancer should earn?
According to Bloomberg our labor participation rate is down to 63.5%, a 31-year low. Our economy is growing at a 1.8% rate. For over four years we have tried fairness as the test. Fairness is a failure. Success will involve a return to business, low taxes and personal responsibility. Rewarding successful behavior will turn around the economy. Those who have suffered the most from the idea of fairness have been the very people Liberals suggest they want to help. Those suffering the most are the poor.

Wall Street was a movie about fictional people. The real people who made the movie are very wealthy. The people who made the movie have a point of view they wanted to sell. Bottom line, rich people getting richer, was selling the idea that working people should relax and let the film producers make the money while we watched a movie. It’s just not fair.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rosa Williamson March 18, 2013 at 07:42 PM
"Before our white brothers came to make us civilized, we didn't have any kind of prison. Because we had no prison, we had do delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he that he didn't have a horse, or a blanket, he would in that case receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn't know any kind f money & consequently the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were unable to cheat and swindle one another. We were in really bad shape before the wasichus arrived. I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things we are told are so necessary for a civilized society." Greed is unAmerican. Capitalism is unAmerican. Greed and capitalism is not indigenous to this hemisphere.
John Webb March 18, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Rosa you are comparing nomadic tribes in an undeveloped country with modern civilization. I enjoy reading history on native Americans. Unlike modern talking points would lead you to believe, they had wars, disease, lands they claimed and laws of conduct. You look at the life span of those folks and compare it to today. They did have methods of exchange, it was not money, but wealth was recognized. It is fun to romanize about a pre-modern time. I would suggest neither you nor I would exchange the life we have today for the constant struggle for survival faced by the natives. By the way, they were really not natives, they migrated here just like those who followed.
MFriedrich March 18, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Hi Rose, Thank you for your comment. You wrote: "We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were unable to cheat and swindle one another. " I disagree with what you wrote here about capitalism and morality. Just because a society didn't write down laws does not mean they lived in a 100% honest, moral and fair community. The Native Americans, and other indigenous cultures on the continent, exacted punishment on those in their society who committed theft, murder, assault, and even adultery. The application of criminal justice code helped justify wars with other tribes. There was also plenty of male bravado and greed (for power, notoriety and territory). The rivalries and wars between Native American tribes themselves were predominantly over land, hunting territory, as well as the theft of horses and women (or revenge for the theft of the latter). The indigenous American cultures also engaged in commerce and trade for goods and services. Some developed their own currency including wampum, cocao beans and gold coins and gold dust. This was capitalism on a localized scale. This is not to say that European invaders to the Americas are innocent in any way or do not have blood on their hands for exploitation. They do. But Native Americans from north to south were more economically sophisticated and less morally superior than you portray.
Tree Party May 16, 2013 at 09:46 PM
This blog was "posted" 2 1/2 months ago, and was extensively commented on; but now, the blog appears with all the previous comments deleted: what gives? The thesis of this blog is spectacularly wrong: that "greed is good", and fairness has no place among the values of a civilized society. Actually, greed has long been identified as one of the seven deadly sins. Even a "conservative" should appreciate that while self-interest is an instinctive and expectable part of human nature, excessive or rapacious self-interest (also known as greed) is generally destructive of social order. Webb's argument is so internally inconsistent, and is supported by so many demonstrably erroneous claims, that it really doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. Greed is a DEADLY SIN, John! Even a progressive knows that! Next you'll be telling us that gluttony is virtuous! Maybe someone could write a blog to defend sloth, or envy.. or sloth, or
Tree Party May 16, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Greed is not fair. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins; even people living 2000 years ago understood this. A social system based on greed is going to burn itself out pretty fast, like a social system based on sloth, or gluttony, or etc. On the other hand, fairness is something that EVERYONE appreciates. In fact, it was T. Jefferson, that slave-owning founder, who posited that "all men (sic) are created equal" - not some commune of slothful and envious progressives.

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