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The Myth of the Greedy Capitalist

October 27, 2009 4:53 PM

"Progressives" (if you're just tuning in, that's the new name that the intellectual heirs of the Communist Third International have given themselves) love to associate "greed" with capitalism, and to label capitalists as greedy. The "greedy capitalist" meme is rampant throughout the mainstream media. This has led me to ask myself two questions: 1. What actually is greed? and 2. Is the association between capitalism and greed true, and legitimate? Here's what I found:

Greed is a synonym of the word "avarice" which is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, part of the Roman Catholic and other Christian doctrines. Wikipedia reports "St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed was 'a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.'" In other words, liking things of this world so much that a greedy man is distracted from considering the afterlife. Is that all greed is? If so, does that make "Progressives" less greedy than the kind of people who create wealth through productivity and trading? Absolutely not! "Progressives" are not interested in any kind of afterlife, but focus entirely on the material benefits of life on earth, of which they desire to control as much as possible.

However, the concept of greed consists of more than disregard for an afterlife. Many sources describe it as an excessive lust for wealth. The Catholic Encyclopedia, for examples, calls avarice "the inordinate love for riches." Since I never run out of questions to ask, that leaves me with three more: 1. What are riches? 2. Who loves riches more, "capitalists" or "Progressives"? and 3. Who gets to decide what is "inordinate"?

My laptop's built in dictionary says riches are "material wealth" and "valuable natural resources." OK. There is no doubt about it that successful entrepreneurs (which means private sector businessmen) in a capitalist society utilize valuable natural resources to create material wealth. Do they do it because they love riches? In my opinion it depends on the individual. For some the material wealth might be their ultimate goal, for others it is the process by which they create the wealth. That process involves, as a by-product, not a goal, hiring people and creating jobs. The real goal is productivity.

Now for the next question: do "capitalists" (successful entrepreneurs in the private sector) love riches more than "Progressives" love riches? My answer is a resounding NO!!! Entrepreneurs create wealth through productivity, whereas "Progressive" elected officials and their cronies cannot create wealth. They can only acquire it by mooching and looting. Their entire careers are spent mooching and looting the wealth from those who have produced it. Who, then is more greedy?

Remember that greed is not merely a love for wealth, but an "inordinate" such love. Now for the third and most important question: who gets to decide how much love for material wealth is "inordinate"? The "Progressives" have a quick and automatic answer: "We do!" Not the actual producers. Not the employees of the businessmen who actually participate in the process of producing the wealth. Not the investors who risk their savings to make that production possible. Not retirees who have worked their whole lives to produce wealth and are now too old. Not the buyers of the goods and services who have made choices as to which to buy and which to pass by, thus deciding who gets rich and who goes out of business. No, the high-and-mighty politicians think that they have earned the privilege of deciding when love of material wealth is "inordinate." And if these politicians are "Progressives," then they think they have the right to seize the material wealth by looting and mooching (mostly looting) and passing it on to someone else, while (of course) keeping the lion's share for themselves.

A sucker is born every minute, Barnum reportedly said, and those who buy into the myth of the "greedy capitalist" are suckers. If there is a greedy person in your world, you or your neighbors have probably voted for him.

[Keywords: impeach-them-all.org greed greedy love material progressives riches wealth ]