GREED: It can be both a very bad thing... and a very GOOD thing. What kind of greed holds you?

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Zeke's Chaingun, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Zeke's Chaingun

    Zeke's Chaingun Gold Belt

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    I want to take a minute to talk about GREED. On Facebook, online, and in person I constantly hear about “the problem of greed”. I think that the majority of the times that I hear about this the person bringing it up doesn’t understand what they’re talking about. In turn I usually find that they are the ones being greedy. So let me get into a few things here…

    There are two kinds of greed, as far as I am concerned:

    1) There is greed in wanting as much as you can for yourself (or others) that is achieved through consensual uncoerced business transactions.

    2) There is greed in wanting as much as you can for yourself (or others) achieved through force, fraud, or some other unsavory tactic.

    The first is 100% okay, from all that I can tell. There is not a finite amount of wealth in our country or in the world. If a person pursuing their own greed achieves massive wealth through the first method, they are not taking anything away from other people that wasn’t offered of their own will. There is not a lesser amount of wealth remaining for the rest of us when someone increases their wealth through this first method. In fact, to become massively wealthy through this method, you almost certainly had to create more wealth for everyone else. Steve Jobs became insanely wealthy, but did he leave the rest of us with less? Or did he leave the world with more? Our lives are BETTER because of people like Steve Jobs.

    The second kind of greed is not okay. Achieving your greed through the 2nd method typically does deprive others and causes damage. How many people lost much wealth as a result of the fraud of Enron? This type of greed will suck others dry in order to enrich those pursuing this method. This method isn’t limited to scandals like Enron, however. Stealing is this type of greed. Borrowing money you never intended to pay back is this kind of greed. And more importantly, taxing the rich more than the poor IS THIS KIND OF GREED.

    When you want Government to use FORCE to make the rich pay more simply because they have more… this is YOUR GREED. This is your envy. Just because they can afford more doesn’t mean its right to put a gun to their head and force them to. Does the mention of a gun sound like an exaggeration? It’s not. What happens if a rich person refuses to pay their higher tax rate? They get fined and arrested. What if they refuse to pay their fine or be arrested? In come the guns, in comes the force.

    Just because you can make something like a graduated or progressive tax a law doesn’t mean that it is right. It doesn’t mean that you’re not being greedy to support something like this, even if you convince yourself that it’s for the greater good. It absolutely does mean that you’re willing to enforce the notion that a wealthy person will be separated from their wealth at the end of a gun. That is what you’re setting up with this type of law. Are you fine with that? Sounds an awful lot like robbery to me, only you’ve enlisted the Government – which has a monopoly on the use of force - to hold the gun for you. Does it make you feel better about yourself to rob people if you’re not the one holding the gun?

    But what about all the poor people that the rich can help alleviate with their excess money? Why shouldn’t they do more for society?

    Okay. Let’s set aside the fact that you’re STILL justifying using a gun to take fairly earned property from wealthy people because you’re greedy in the second way… Let’s look at how a wealthy person got that wealthy in the first place. Some inherit it, but that’s fine. If you get rich fairly and want to pass your wealth on, you should be able to. It’s your property. You could win it in a lottery, but that’s fair. You could win it in a lawsuit, and sometimes that might be fair and others it won’t be. Instead, let’s focus on those who get wealthy through running a successful entrepreneurship.

    If you want to accumulate as much wealth as possible with your business, how do you do it? Imagine that your end goal is to have your own Trump Tower. How do you get this insanely wealthy? Well, you could try to do it by following the 2nd method I mentioned above. You could commit fraud or theft, but that’s pretty risky. What if you decide to do it through the 1st method?

    If you want to maximize your wealth you have to create a good or service that other people want. This means you must spend your life putting in the time and effort to create something that someone else feels is more valuable to them then their own money. This is called a “Two-Way Benefit”. If the business man is offering a product that doesn’t benefit the consumer… then he isn’t going to get very wealthy, is he? If he is offering a beneficial product but is charging so much that the consumer isn’t willing to agree to the terms… then he isn’t going to get very wealthy, is he? If a consumer agrees to the purchase of their own free will, then they are agreeing that the product or service being offered is WORTH MORE TO THEM THAN THE MONEY THEY ARE GIVING UP. That means the consumer fees that after the transaction their life will be slightly BETTER. There is nothing wrong in this transaction. Of course a buyer may feel remorse afterwards, but is that in of itself a problem or a sign or foul play? No. Perhaps they miscalculated, but that’s on them.

    So how do you maximize your wealth in this way? You would have make this product or service – that benefits the lives of people – available to the maximum amount of people. That means that in order to get wealthy you have to provide a LOT of people with a good or service that they feel is BETTER for them than the money that they spend. So you’re improving the lives of all of these people to varying degrees.

    Does this greed sound that bad to you? If it does, I’d say you’re being irrational and perhaps a bit greedy yourself… in the bad way.

    It goes further than this. The business doesn’t just bring these goods and services to the people to better their lives. In order for the business to do this well on a grand scale - to become insanely wealthy - they had to CREATE JOBS. They couldn’t do all of this all by their lonesome. In their pursuit of the dream of wealth they bettered the lives of the maximum amount of people that they could serve. In doing so they also created jobs, jobs that didn’t exist prior to their venture. Jobs are created, goods and services are created, and so on. All of this was created by the greed of one person who is pursing their dream through mutual uncoerced business transaction. Their dream of greed isn’t just helping themselves, they are employing people and giving them a livelihood that will put a roof over their head and put food on the table. Society itself gets more wealthy as a result, as these employees are now producing and purchasing within the marketplace. People now have access to new goods and services that bettered their lives. It keeps on rolling, as the business grows contractors are given work to build offices. The local economy gets a boost. All of this results from this person’s pursuit of their own greed.

    But it doesn’t stop there. Where does this wealthy person keep their money? Fast forward to when they’re filthy rich. Where does their money go? In their own vault? No, it goes into INVESTMENT, which in turn creates even MORE opportunity for growth. It goes into BANKS, giving them money to lend out to other people, money the bank would not otherwise have to help boost the local economy through loans and entrepreneurship investments. Their contribution to society continues on.

    When greedy people of the 2nd stripe complain that they want the rich to pay more, they’re being greedy in the 2nd way. They misguidedly want to gain access to that wealth – for their own benefit or for that of others – and are willing to support force being used against this great entrepreneur in order to get it. They ignore ALL that the greedy person of the 1st stripe has done and continues to do for society. That person gained wealth through hard work, personal sacrifice, and they have benefited society by enriching the lives of countless people by bringing them goods and services that the consumers felt improved their lives, they created jobs in order to manufacture and spread those goods and services, they improved the local economies through a combination of these benefits, they invest their money in other productive investments, and they store their money in banks which is then accessed again by the populace in the form of loans.

    And you don’t think they’ve done enough? You think that they should do MORE? And you think yourself or the Government is going to be able to do more for society with the taxes taken by force than this great entrepreneur would have done had he been able to continue to invest and grow as he had so successfully done? Is the United States Government more productive for society with the money they took from Steve Jobs than Steve Jobs would have been had he kept that money?

    It is neither moral nor accurate to think you’re benefiting society by supporting a progressive tax. What have you done for society? Are you benefiting society? Certainly not on this scale. It seems to me that the good guys are the guys who pursued the 1st form of greed and that the progressive tax advocatesare the 2nd type of greedy people. No matter how they try to con you or guilt you into supporting it - even if they BELIEVE it – they’re still embracing the 2nd kind of greed.

    I would like to think these concepts are well understood here, but from what I see it isn’t.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  2. Zeke's Chaingun

    Zeke's Chaingun Gold Belt

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    I personally like the idea of a spending tax ONLY. This would force the Government to remain small and limit it's power. If you're envious of the wealth of the rich, rich people can only enjoy their wealth when they spend it... hence they'd pay more by default of their own choice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  3. ripskater

    ripskater Guest

    Our politicians are too greedy for money and power.

    The more of our hard earned money they take from us, the bigger they can make the govt and the more powerful they become.
     
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  4. HunterSdVa29

    HunterSdVa29 Respect, tho Platinum Member

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    people are largely motivated by appetites and aversions. Either they want to gain something for themselves, or if that's not possible (very likely in our current economy and sepreation of wealth), they try and avoid something else, or even worse avoid letting OTHERS have something else that maybe they don't....

    in other words, everyone is greedy. Its inherently part of being a human.

    Just depends on where you stand in terms of property. If you don't have any, you'll likely be for wealth distribution. If you do have some, you probably won't be.....
     
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  5. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with papakhka

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    Tl;dr

    Just kidding good topic.

    In my Definition there is also the concept of time frame.

    Example : modern capitalism that emphasises short term profit.

    Like firms that focus on quarterly earnings but that lack a long term view. Eventually they may destruct wealth in the LT for a quick profit.
     
  6. ripskater

    ripskater Guest

    You gotta work hard to make that money for your family. That is important. But money and possessions won't make you truly happy. There are rich people that for them, it's never enough. "If I just make a little more, then I can buy this and then I'll be happy."

    I think you've gotta do good for others, donate your money, your skills and time. That gives you the right perspective. It causes you to think about someone less fortunate, and it keeps you from always focusing on yourself.
     
  7. Renard

    Renard Black Belt

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    Productivity increased 80% since 1973 but workers have only seen 10% of that increase reflected in their compensation. But pay no mind, the people are just greedy and it's better to live in a country where the rich are buying gold-plated fixtures for their homes while other people are starving


    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Zeke's Chaingun

    Zeke's Chaingun Gold Belt

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    You answered none of my points. This is a Red Herring.

    This is so broad and vague that it doesn't answer anything. It doesn't show what the cost of business has done in the same time, it doesn't show what taxes have done, it doesn't show how the business/Government relationship has changed, it doesn't show what's happening with the prices of goods and services and what the purchasing power of the people is, it doesn't show anything.

    And where are people starving? Your entire point is coming at me with lies. There is no starving epidemic in this country, despite the fact that the system is rigged against Capitalism in many respects.

    Two things.

    First, even if we granted that this were true, it is still only a problem if the wealthy engaged in the 2nd form of greed. If all of this increased wealth resulted from uncoerced trade, then nothing nefarious happened. Everyone would be voluntarily engaging in trade of labor, wages, goods, etc.
    If "the people" were miring in poverty, then there wouldn't be anyone to purchase the goods to make the wealthy any money. That fact right there shows that you're not even close to showing the whole story. What good is a business operating in a market where no one can buy anything? The market would correct itself or these businesses would fail. The wealthy WANT a rich and prosperous society so they can make more money and be more prosperous. No business wants to operate in the Congo. They want to operate where people can actually purchase their goods or services.

    Secondly, we do not have the ideal system now, because Government is wed with so much of Corporate America, far more than ever before. The more they are wed the more we DO lose our free choice. If the Government is telling us who we can or cannot use for our doctors and whatever else is next, this DOES remove choice from the equation and it DOES set up to where the common people get stepped on while the crony's get fatter.

    I am not advocating a Crony Corporate Society, I want a Free Market Capitalist Society.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  9. uncommon

    uncommon Brown Belt

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    can the 2nd greed you are reffering to actually envy?

    i agree greed can be good if not most of the time, can the same be said for envy?

    envy might push you to self betterment i guess. turn the negative nature into a positive
     
  10. Tobacco

    Tobacco --------------------------------------------------

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    Mostly juvenile babble and I couldn't make it through all of it. I gave up because there is so much that is grey and in the middle which is where the contention lies. Good flashback to hearing kids talk in junior high though.
     
  11. ObsoleteSoul

    ObsoleteSoul Silver Belt

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    It seems it's all in your definition of greed. Where do you stand?

    I want more to help myself, of course, but also family and loved ones. I enjoy helping those close to me who wish to help themselves too, and that sometimes takes me having to acquire more in order for that to happen. You could say that's greedy or not, but I help more than I hurt.

    Maybe it depends on how much you are willing to give away too. Not too sure if that tips the balance back towards being less greedy though.
     
  12. Trotsky

    Trotsky Gold Belt

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    I grapple with this concept a lot. I've never wanted to have money or possession or the appearance of a rich person, but have always craved the power and validation of making that money, which I largely give away.

    However, your distinction between lawful and malicious is a little simplistic. There are a lot of legal and on-the-face ethical business practices that are immoral in effect and exploitative.
     
  13. dr_hellno

    dr_hellno Black Belt

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    Warren Buffet still wears Wranglers, so... no.

    And how, exactly, would you propose we tax the Goldman Sachs higher-ups on all the high-end prostitutes they hired and no doubt continue to?
     
  14. Zeke's Chaingun

    Zeke's Chaingun Gold Belt

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    You're so brilliant that you managed to show me where I was wrong. Incredible! Thank you for taking the time to come here and post, educating us all on your superior knowledge.
     
  15. Zeke's Chaingun

    Zeke's Chaingun Gold Belt

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    I stand with #1. I cannot think of a situation where I am for using force or deception to steal from people.
     
  16. ObsoleteSoul

    ObsoleteSoul Silver Belt

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    Well no, I am not on the side of exploitation or general devious manipulations. Should have said that from the start, but I am pretty sure most here would not consider #2 a good way to live by.
     
  17. Zeke's Chaingun

    Zeke's Chaingun Gold Belt

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    There are, but would they exist outside of the first and second kind of greed, or do they exist within it?

    If it's the first kind of greed, even if it appears to be crappy, it's not wrong. For example, fighter pay in the UFC. It appears pretty shitty that fighters are fighting for what they fight for when Dana White makes 300 million. But then again, what's the reality? The reality is that the fighters aren't forced to fight, they aren't forced into their contract, and if they don't want to agree to it then that's fine but they will be replaced by someone who will. If their replacement value fighter is willing to fight for 20k/fight then you can't really make a good case as to why the company should offer you 80k/fight. If you demand that you just priced yourself out of the market value.

    I agree that sucks, but why should the UFC pay the fighters that much more? There needs to be a real reason that's in the best interest of the company. If the fighters all revolt, then it would be in the interest of the UFC to pay more. If not, then the market it what it is. If it's too much then another career is in order.
     
  18. Zeke's Chaingun

    Zeke's Chaingun Gold Belt

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    They will say that they're not for #2, but they are. They will find ways to justify their stance in adopting a #2 position.

    They're already trying to do it. One poster shared a chart that doesn't tell us much of reality at all, but it was meant to manipulate our feelings and justify his greed of the 2nd kind.
     
  19. Zeke's Chaingun

    Zeke's Chaingun Gold Belt

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    So? How is that a counter to my point? Maybe it makes him happy to wear wranglers. Where does his money then go? It's not like he's holding it away from the world. He has investments, he keeps his money in banks, etc.

    If you have proof of this and they've committed some form of fraud, you can press charges. If you can prove this but they did it in a legal yet shitty way, you can expose them to the public and damage their brand.
     
  20. Jack V Savage

    Jack V Savage Secretary of Keepin' It Real/Nicest Guy on Sherdog Platinum Member

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    Yeah, OP was an unreadable, horribly written wall of text, but generally, people act the way they act. It's a mistake to attribute any social problem to individuals behaving badly.

    Also, it doesn't seem that the TS appreciates the extent to which force is used in market transactions. A market-based economy itself is a result of a social-engineering project by the state involving massive use of often deadly force. It's pretty amazing that an MMA fan can fail to appreciate the extent to which the UFC's success is a result of state-sponsored force.
     

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