Greed is not good. We have only to observe what happens when greed takes ahold of ourselves, to recognize that an unbalanced desire for wealth, and a willingness to do anything to get it, leads to an ignoble form of the human person.
Yet decades of economists have taught us that it’s pure self-interest that drives the marketplace. Theory after theory states that exchange is built on the principle of people looking out for number one. And the words of Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film Wall Street (and many films since) unabashedly proclaim that “greed is good,” and what fuels commerce. Even in recent years, the mantra of the “occupy” movement rails against corporations that care about nothing but the bottom line. At best, business is perhaps a necessary evil – it gets us the things we want. But we’re suspicious of its origins, and wary to look too deep, lest we see the avaricious monster lurking underneath. Read more