Monday, November 5, 2007

Lets Talk About "Greed"

by Julian Edney
After thirty years of deregulation, cutting back social programs and promoting free market ways, elements of a frontier-style economy are reappearing in America. The profit line, and uncertainty, rule. This, according to Peter Gosselin, is the result of the laissez-faire ideal which has been promoted since the 1970s and was accelerated under President Reagan (1).
Laissez-faire? Where? Last time I checked, we are regulated and taxed to the point of businesses going under. It's funny how liberals complain about big corporations, but they favor taxes and regulations that undermine the ability of smaller businesses to exist.
Free marketers proudly point: there is freedom in this new volatility. It is a more open system so each person can rise on his merit. But these personal boom-and-bust cycles leave less in the bank. Caught in a downdraft, with rent or mortgage still due, the worker must borrow. Across the nation, personal debt is up.
This is not the fault of deregulation. In fact, it is government borrowing that causes even more inflation, and guess who pays that difference? You do. So by deregulating and cutting spending, you have more money to spend, and in this way, you aren't caught by government induced inflation. You have more to spend and less to borrow. Another problem is not the market itself, but the fact that we have a centrally planned economy in a sense. You can thank the Federal Reserve for that.

Cheating has always occurred, but Callahan traces a marked increase since 1970s. He says it’s connected to the free market ethic. It jumped after President Reagan was elected in 1980 and in the subsequent hands-off policy, led by the belief ‘business knows best,’ it has infected all sectors. Now there is a kind of lawlessness in economic life.

It’s not just erasing inconvenient numbers on a tax form. Callahan cites evidence that eighty percent of high school students with A averages admit to some kind of academic cheating. And a fifth [!] of all job applicants’ resumes contain fictional college degrees.

Cheating comes from a free market? So in that sense, Communism would eradicate cheating! Maybe people are cheating because our school systems are failing our children (Because they are GOVERNMENT run), or maybe because taxes have become such a burden and impossible to file without help (once again, a problem of government).
The free market system, which generates great wealth, is running on a clutter of bizarre contradictions. Our nation is touted as a nation of abundance, yet it is a nation in which scarcities are common, and man-made, because scarcity creates value. It is a nation united, and the country is cleft. Everybody benefits from America’s business, but the poor are paying the price of the success at the top.
REALLY?? I thought it was the top that paid the bulk of taxes? How many more entitlements do you need?

The young generation is confident, assertive and independent. It puts self first, puts personal happiness before the group, and before duty. People in this age group do what will make them feel happy. They are nonpolitical, they don’t follow the news, they don’t want to vote. Unconcerned with developing a personal philosophy of life, they seem primarily concerned with making money.

This is true: we only care about ourselves...the problem is however, that most of us want to use others to get what we want. People who demand their "right" to your money, your wealth, your hard work; and yet, they do not recognize your right to property. The author is wrong in this way: it would be a blessing if the selfishness of the new generation was based on self-ownership. However, it has been extended to involve the leeching of resources from those who are wealthy for no other reason than that they "deserve it."

Rand excoriated communism, which deeply satisfied America of the ‘40s and ‘50s.

But some of her shouted-up public speeches were beyond antisocial, they were quite poisonous – in general, she urged against compromise because it was a sign of weakness. With her public rhetoric she scrambled to establish herself as a philosopher with a work she called Objectivism. Philosophers have rejected her. Economists have not.

Her work endlessly promotes selfishness. “It is only on the basis of selfishness . . . that men can live together in. . . . society”(36). And it indefatigably puts down altruism as a vice.

You know that when you involve Ayn Rand in the argument, it is a declaration of War. The author is distorting Rand's arguments. Her Objectivist philosophy allowed for selfishness without using others as means, a spin off of the categorical imperative. The characters in her books were largely overexaggerated and insane, but she used them to get a point across. I think we can find that many Rand followers are not ANTI-social; rather they are anti-SOCIALIST.

This is to say that Randians follow the idea that one who works for something, has earned it. That this property cannot be claimed by any others, and that one cannot demand ownership of the property of others. If the author is advocating an ethic of slavery, theft, and utilitarianism (shudder), than their claim to moral superiority is moot. Their soap box is disintegrated. If I am to find any system in which individual rights and morality are ignored, to the chains of mob mentality and entitlement, then I ought not look any farther than Marxism.

True Greed lies in those who demand property they will not work for.

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