- Because competition fuels a market economy, many economists believe that people contribute to the greater good by focusing solely on personal gain.
- Yet greed is not good. Among its downsides: it can lead people of all income levels to spend more than they can afford, leading to bankruptcy, longer commutes and even divorce.
- The belief that greed is necessary for markets to flourish more likely reflects our ability to justify selfish motivations than true economic wisdom.
“I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them!
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” These are the words of Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas in the 1987 film Wall Street. The poster boy for unharnessed greed echoes the sentiment of rational free-market economists, who view greed as not only an inevitable aspect of human nature but ultimately a desirable one.
This article was originally published with the title The Price of Greed.