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.