Monday, 27 November 2017

"Greed is good" revisited

"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. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind."
Gordon Gekko was a Hollywood caricature of villainy, so obviously he was wrong, wrong, wrong. Or was he? Maybe there are worse things than greed, at least for certain values of greed.

I'm starting to wonder whether Gordon Gekko had a point, after reading this, by Andrew Rawnsley:
"The cowardly, the desperadoes and the unscrupulous will take the national conversation in darker directions. If they can no longer plausibly promise to make people better off, some pursuers of power will seek to create dividing lines around identity and nationality. That ugly trend is already manifest at home and abroad."
Rawnsley just gave an example of someting worse than a greed-driven political economy; one driven by spite.

If you vote for politicians because they're credibly promising to make you and your family better off, isn't that greedy? You could say that, but it's still better than voting for some bullying motormouth who can't make you any better off, but has a plan to punish the designated scapegoats.