Greed Is the Juice That Gets Things Going in U.S.

Being a man who always has favored the underdog, I feel that the time has come for someone to speak out in defense of greed. This has never been a very popular stance to take and is even less popular now, but I submit that greed is one of our most over-maligned and under-appreciated human emotions. In a word, greed is the grease that makes the wheels of progress turn in this civilized world of ours.

For instance: Everyone knows that this would be a better place to live if all tax shelters were eliminated and the simplified tax plan were to be enacted. Right? Maybe yes, and maybe no. Granted there are many evil tax shelters that have no justification for ever having been created, but one must also grant that there are many tax shelters that benefit society as much as they do the shelteree. There are many examples, such as: apartment buildings, office buildings, mobile home parks, windmills that produce power without pollution, research and development that produces a new device or machine, housing developments, etc., etc. These are all things that were accomplished with capital that was forthcoming for one basic reason--greed. Yet who can deny that in the majority of cases society also benefited?

One frequently hears the argument "that rich so and so pays less in taxes than I do." And this is difficult to defend because it is not fair. However, one could also argue that he has no right to be richer than I am in the first place. The hard cold fact is that in a capitalistic system, such as we live under, things are not always fair. The point is, though, that it is more fair than the alternatives such as communism or socialism.

I truly believe that we live better and have more freedom than people who live under those "more fair" systems. Things get done under our system and it is usually greed that is the juice that gets things going.


Sherman Oaks

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World