Source:David Lockie– Economics Professor Milton Friedman on the Phil Donahue Show, in 1979.
“On the Phil Donahue Show in 1979, Nobel Laureate helps liberal host understand what drives real economic growth and prosperity.”
From David Lockie
Before I write a post about greed and arguing what it’s good or not, we should first know what greed is: “The inordinate want to obtain wants for oneself.” In other words, the want to obtain things just for ourselves. For us to have for ourselves which covers everyone in every country in the world including the most socialist countries in the world from social democracies like Sweden to the state-owned communist republics like North Korea all run on a certain level of greed.
I write this post for myself and for others to see and so I can obtain things for myself. Not do it just for the hell of it or just to give information and opinions to people who read it. The fact is we are all greedy and are all motivated by greed at least to a certain level. For us to function in life, we all want our own home, our own cars, our own clothes, own food. We all want to go on vacation for ourselves and whoever we may vacation with. Rather than stay home so we can go to work for the betterment of whatever company we happen to work for.
We work to give ourselves the ability to obtain things for ourselves. Greed or be greedy is things we are able to do as we become more successful in life. So the question is not whether people are greedy or not. And even religious leaders and Saints run on some level of greed, including people who serve in the military or armed forces, teachers, doctors, etc. You name the profession and it has at least a certain level of greed in it. And this is important because we tend to use the word greed like it’s an insult. Or call someone greedy like we would call them a bastard or jerk or something. When the fact is we are all greedy.
So the question is not whether we have greed or we are greedy. But what happens when greed goes uncheck and we have too much greed in society. Because that’s when greed becomes a problem. Somebody who runs a company whose company provides better products than their competition and is rewarded for that financially and everything else, that’s a good form of greed, beating the competition.
Greed is a problem when companies literally try to destroy the competition so they no longer have competition. Like lobbying for laws that benefit them over their competitors. Or pay their employees slave wages so the executives can profit more. It’s when greed goes uncheck that it becomes a problem.
Which is what I believe Milton Friedman was trying to explain in this video. That greed is used to put the other guy down, but we as individuals are never greedy. It’s just those people who do better than everyone else that are greedy. When the fact we are all greedy as individuals. It’s just a matter of how greedy that we are. And when it goes uncheck it’s, then when greed is bad and not good. Which is why we have regulations over the economy including taxes. So we all pay for the services that we consume.