"A word in earnest is as good as a speech"
~Charles Dickens: Bleak House

Saturday, July 7, 2012


The American Heritage Dictionary defines GREED as: "An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines GREED as:  "a very strong wish to continuously get more of something, especially food or money."

The Urban Dictionary defines GREED as:
1. The defining characteristic of human nature. 2. The desire to own or control more resources than others. 3. The root of all evil.

Webster's Dictionary defines GREED as: "a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed."

The Bible discusses GREED as:
Luke 12:15 ~ Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
Proverbs 15:27 ~ "The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live."

There are hundres of quotes about GREED:
"Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power." P.J O'Rourke

"As time goes on we get closer to that American Dream of there being a pie cut up and shared. Usually greed and selfishness prevent that and there is always one bad applie in every barrel." Rick Danko

"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction." Erich Fromm

So, why am I spouting off about Greed? I have spent a great deal of time defining and researching greed this morning. It was an article that popped up when I turned on my computer: Bailed-out AIG wants $30.2 million in tax interest.

I was shocked and dumbfounded. I mean wasn't AIG one of those companies that contributed to the mess we are all facing? Wasn't it my tax dollars that bailed them out and allowed them to post billions in profits this year? And yet they want more.

I have talked about it before and will probably vent about it again. I am not against capitalism. When the market economy began, as we moved from agriculture to industry, local business owners sole purpose was to turn a profit. That profit was then given back to the community ~ jobs, taxes, supply chain, civic improvements ~ and of course some went into the pockets of the business owners. The community gave to the business and the business gave to the community.

Today it seems that the community gives to the business - and we are not getting much in return. Corprations want more and more tax breaks - jobs are going overseas (and the ones that are here don't pay enough or have enough benefits for people to live) - they cut corners on safety - all in the name of the almighty profit. And in return for billion dollar profits and million dollar bonuses, crumbs are thrown to the peasents in the form of corporate social responsibility. It is the modern day fiefdom and our rulers are Exxon, Walmart, Nintendo and AIG.

Greed trickles down to the peasants as well. While there are examples of companies that are extremely socially responsible: Green Mountain, Stonyfield Farm, TOMS Shoes and ADIDAS, the are always examples of people who scam the system and take from the government without giving anything back. Both are exceptions to the rule. It always amazes me when people get angry about welfare and say things like "they should just get a job." Especially today, when companies like Home Depot only offer temporary 45 day seasonal employment with no benefits, someone would have to work 80 hours a week at $8.00 (minimum wage), to make $33, 280 a year (before taxes). And since those people would probably be working several part-time jobs, they wouldn't have health insurance or any benefits.

Greed comes in many forms, with many faces, and it angers me ~ but I am big enough to admit I am not immune - I spent the 4th of July doing the most American thing I could think of .... I went to the mall.  

1 comment:

  1. In a perverse way it's good to read that things are just as bad on your side of the pond as here in the UK. Greed and avarice are alive and well across the globe! I feel another blog coming on to support your views, Leann!