Saturday, November 06, 2010

Greed Is Good?

The original idea of capitalism by Adam Smith is that the seller would have enough empathy to understand what his customer actually needs and provide it to him. The customer, of course, helps determine the cost by whether he buys it from this seller or the next.

But capitalism is completely different than the way Adam Smith imagined it. Modern capitalism is not so much empathy for the consumer, but a manipulation of the consumer to convince the consumer of "needs" that she never had. Modern capitalism is emotional blackmail, and a blight on civilization.

It is greed that allows a two liter bottle of Pepsi cost less than a loaf of bread. It is greed that makes banks and utilities charge the poor for the fact that they don't have much money. And it is a society of greed that looks down on hardworking people and tells them that they are worthless. And that same society, if those hardworking people lose their job, that tells them that they don't deserve to sleep, or even to use a bathroom. Greed is not good, and has never produced good, except to both the greedy and the lucky.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I think the econ system of greed being good is much more Ayn Rand than Adam Smith. Smith said he wanted to keep things local so that man could be held accountable and also so that any one man wouldn't mess too much up if they did mess up. Smith said he was more afraid of the damage one 'bad' man could do than the good that man could do.