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LWW
01-13-2012, 06:32 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What human motivation gets the most wonderful things done? It's really a silly question, because the answer is so simple. It turns out that it's human greed that gets the most wonderful things done. When I say greed, I am not talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, lobbying for special privileges from government or other forms of despicable behavior. I'm talking about people trying to get as much as they can for themselves. Let's look at it.

This winter, Texas ranchers may have to fight the cold of night, perhaps blizzards, to run down, feed and care for stray cattle. They make the personal sacrifice of caring for their animals to ensure that New Yorkers can enjoy beef. Last summer, Idaho potato farmers toiled in blazing sun, in dust and dirt, and maybe being bitten by insects to ensure that New Yorkers had potatoes to go with their beef.

Here's my question: Do you think that Texas ranchers and Idaho potato farmers make these personal sacrifices because they love or care about the well-being of New Yorkers? The fact is whether they like New Yorkers or not, they make sure that New Yorkers are supplied with beef and potatoes every day of the week. Why? It's because ranchers and farmers want more for themselves. In a free market system, in order for one to get more for himself, he must serve his fellow man. This is precisely what Adam Smith, the father of economics, meant when he said in his classic "An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" (1776), "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." By the way, how much beef and potatoes do you think New Yorkers would enjoy if it all depended upon the politically correct notions of human love and kindness? Personally, I'd grieve for New Yorkers. Some have suggested that instead of greed, I use "enlightened self-interest." That's OK, but I prefer greed Free market capitalism is relatively new in human history. Prior to the rise of capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving one's fellow man. Capitalists seek to discover what people want and then produce it as efficiently as possible. Free market capitalism is ruthless in its profit and loss discipline. This explains much of the hostility toward free market capitalism; some of it is held by businessmen. Smith recognized this hostility when he said, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." He was hinting at government-backed crony capitalism, which has come to characterize much of today's businesses.

Free market capitalism has other enemies -- mostly among the intellectual elite and political tyrants. These are people who believe that they have superior wisdom to the masses and that God has ordained them to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Of course, they have what they consider to be good reasons for restricting liberty, but every tyrant who has ever lived has had what he considered good reason for restricting liberty. A tyrant's agenda calls for the attenuation or the elimination of the market and what is implied by it -- voluntary exchange. Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrant thinks they should do. They want to replace the market with economic planning and regulation.

The Wall Street occupiers and their media and political allies are not against the principle of crony capitalism, bailouts and government special privileges and intervention. They share the same hostility to free market capitalism and peaceable voluntary exchange as tyrants. What they really want is congressional permission to share in the booty from looting their fellow man.</div></div>
Inconvenient truth. (http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2012/01/04/i_love_greed/page/2)

Soflasnapper
01-13-2012, 02:21 PM
When I say greed, I am not talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, lobbying for special privileges from government or other forms of despicable behavior. I'm talking about people trying to get as much as they can for themselves.

But greed may well lead to all the things the man says he's not talking about! <u>Will</u> lead to them, even.

In fact, such greed and attendant bad behavior are built into human businessmen, who conspire together in restraint of trade, and the destruction of the market and its benefits. (According to the father of capitalist theory, Adam Smith, 1776.)

Greed without the leavening of human regard, humanitarian concerns and religious-like honoring of others interests, is a bad thing. And of course, therefore, greed (avarice, coveting) is forbidden by God, and counts as among the mortal sins.

Acting in self-interest is not greed, necessarily, and that is what the man is thinking of praising, using the wrong word. What is the difference?

It is often, probably usually, in ones best interest to NOT BE GREEDY, and honor the equal right of others to act in their own self interest, on an equitable and fair basis.

As you may have learned in kindergarten. If everyone wants everything, and has no tolerance for others to have a single thing, that is a recipe for a state of war of all against all. As social animals, there must be some cooperation, or life would be nasty, brutish, and short. (Hobbes, Leviathan)

Qtec
01-13-2012, 05:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed was "<u>a sin against God,</u> just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." In Dante's Purgatory, the avaracious penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground <u>for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts.</u> </div></div>

Greed can never be good. It was greed that has brought the world to the brink of financial ruin. Its why people all around the world are having to work longer for less pensions, losing their jobs, houses and having their whole lives turned upside down.

Q.

ugotda7
01-13-2012, 05:51 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed was "<u>a sin against God,</u> just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." In Dante's Purgatory, the avaracious penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground <u>for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts.</u> </div></div>

Greed can never be good. It was greed that has brought the world to the brink of financial ruin. Its why people all around the world are having to work longer for less pensions, losing their jobs, houses and having their whole lives turned upside down.

Q. </div></div>

Nope, wrong again.

It's race based policies pushed by democrats to placate their supporters in order to stay in power that led to all of that.

Get a clue.

Qtec
01-13-2012, 05:57 PM
What race based policies? Food stamps?

Q

Soflasnapper
01-13-2012, 06:07 PM
Assuming you believe that, you have been tricked by a propaganda campaign that says it was the sub-prime borrowers and the CRA that caused it all. That is not remotely plausible, as it ignores 95% of the evidence, history, and reason.

It was really the result of a) a huge amount of global money, b) searching for a way to get double digit returns in a very low interest rate environment who c) put obscenely leveraged positions (30-1 and higher) into d) entirely opaque investments that e) Wall Street bribed the ratings agencies to rate AAA.

None of these factors had a thing to do with racial constituencies (other than the WASPs and the recycled Chinese savings), and the CRA also had nothing to do with any of the above.

The CRA did not force any bank to accept liar loans, no doc loans, no income no job loans (NINJA loans), nor to steer borrowers qualified for standard financing into gimmick loans.

LWW
01-14-2012, 06:15 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When I say greed, I am not talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, lobbying for special privileges from government or other forms of despicable behavior. I'm talking about people trying to get as much as they can for themselves.

But greed may well lead to all the things the man says he's not talking about! <u>Will</u> lead to them, even.</div></div>

This is actually true, in a Josef Goebbells sort of way.

Now would you like to discuss whether such corruption is more common, and also more deeply entrenched, in capitalist demand driven economies ... and save your breath because we haven't had one in a long time ... or in fascist command driven economies such as we have now?

LWW
01-14-2012, 06:17 AM
Why did things get "OBSCENELY LEVERAGED" at this point in history and not in the 1935-2000 era?

Keep in mind ... I agree that they did, but why?

Did bankers operate by saintly motivation in the past and become greedy overnight?

Or, was it for another reason.

When you find the answer ... you will find enlightenment.

Soflasnapper
01-15-2012, 02:04 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When I say greed, I am not talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, lobbying for special privileges from government or other forms of despicable behavior. I'm talking about people trying to get as much as they can for themselves.

But greed may well lead to all the things the man says he's not talking about! <u>Will</u> lead to them, even.</div></div>

This is actually true, in a Josef Goebbells sort of way.

Now would you like to discuss whether such corruption is more common, and also more deeply entrenched, in capitalist demand driven economies ... and save your breath because we haven't had one in a long time ... or in fascist command driven economies such as we have now?

</div></div>

I am somewhat undecided on the question you raise here.

My view is that this is a common human failing, and will be present in any form of governmental or economic system in which mankind is involved. Which means that 'greed is good' is wrong, and to the contrary, for the health of markets and the welfare of the people, greed must be tempered by personal or religious morality together with regulatory regimes like the law, as Adam Smith said so long ago, in the year of our declared independence.

The main differences would be which cohort of the population is empowered to engage in such behaviors: in the command economies or totalitarian situation, it is the party membership, high governmental officials, and those connected with the same-- their own parallel version of 'the elite.' Here, or in some simulacrum of a mixed economy, or pure market economy for that matter, it is the REAL elite-- the monied interests-- wagging the tail for the governmental side, which they control.

Soflasnapper
01-15-2012, 02:18 PM
Why did things get "OBSCENELY LEVERAGED" at this point in history and not in the 1935-2000 era?

Because they COULD, after 2000, when they could NOT, prior to that. So as soon as they COULD, they DID.

How was this allowed?

I'd say regulatory capture (which see), and the rise of the Ayn Rand fanatics to high levels of government.

THEY said all regulations were harmful, and best removed, for the efficiency of the markets. Insane free-trading advocates stripped the protections of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers from this country's industries, allowing them to outsource major capital investments, and the attendant profit proceeds were also expatriated.

Then you had the rise of the shadow banking system to control more assets than in the traditional banking system, and the creation of the derivative instruments of mass financial destruction. Neither was regulated, under the influence of such Randians as St. Greenspan.

LWW
01-15-2012, 04:55 PM
Oh no ... they could have become just as leveraged before, but if you think it through you will have an epiphany.

Soflasnapper
01-15-2012, 06:07 PM
Then I'd say it was the very low interest rate environment, and the vast liquidity and easy credit this represented.

One of the major factors in buying on margin is the interest rate. If the interest rate goes very low, it's pretty much like free money.

This was the reaction of the Fed to the bursting of the NASDAQ/tech stock/I-net stock bubble: reflate another asset bubble with very low interest rates.

What else was extremely cheap, considering buying it at very low interest rates and with 5-1 or greater leverage? Real estate. Sharpies, speculators, and the like all beat the average Joe into the 'flip this house' money machine, and constituted about 30% of the demand for these assets.

LWW
01-16-2012, 03:03 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Then I'd say it was the very low interest rate environment, and the vast liquidity and easy credit this represented.</div></div>

Keep trying ... we have had low interest rate environments before.