Is greed really a bad thing?

Every time you hear the word greed only negative thoughts and feelings come to mind. Greed is often associated with heartless businessmen like Michael Douglas’ character in the movie Wall Street. For those that haven’t seen it, you should. However, only thinking of greed in a bad way is not only incorrect, but it can also be costly.

Greed is a part of human nature. No matter how you think of yourself or how much you sometimes try to not be selfish, every person that has ever lived has been greedy. Obviously some people are greedier than others and some let their greed over power their cooperative and thoughtful sides, but greed is a major factor to why humans are not extinct. Greed is also what has allowed people to live longer, healthier and happier. Without greed, the best social and political system we currently have (capitalism) would not exist. I can also bet that greed will be crucial to the system that may one day replace capitalism (which has likely not been invented yet).

Making a lot of money is fuel for greed, but it is not always the only fuel. Power and control (which can also be very positive things) are also good fuel sources. Power and control allow entrepreneurs to grow businesses which put millions of meals on the table and thousands of kids through school. Without greed, people would not look after their own needs such as food and shelter and would end up dying.

Greed does have some negative sides however. Too much greed will make a person lose site of right and wrong and this will make you end up like Bernie Madoff (the biggest scammer in history). Greed is very important and useful but too much of it can be counter productive and even land you in jail. However, everything in life is only good as long as you don’t have too much of it. Even broccoli is good only in moderation.

Therefore, when you hear ignorant people talking about business people all being greedy you should tell them that they are greedy as well, only their also in denial about it, which is actually bad in any dose. Greed in reasonable amounts should be praised and celebrated, not punished and criticized. After all, if it wasn’t for greed, no one would be alive to be able to criticize anything.