Denouncing “Greed”

Today there are adults — including educated adults — who explain multimillion-dollar corporate executives’ salaries as being due to “greed.” Think about it: I could become so greedy that I wanted a fortune twice the size of Bill Gates’ — but this greed would not increase my income by one cent. …One of the reasons why central planning sounds so good, but has failed so badly that even socialist and communist governments finally abandoned the idea by the end of the 20th century, is that nobody knows enough to second guess everybody else. Every time oil prices shoot up, there are cries of “greed” and demands by politicians for an investigation of collusion by Big Oil. There have been more than a dozen investigations of oil companies over the years, and none of them has turned up the collusion that is supposed to be responsible for high gas prices. Now that oil prices have dropped big time, does that mean that oil companies have lost their “greed”? Or could it all be supply and demand — a cause and effect explanation that seems to be harder for some people to understand than emotions like “greed”?

— Thomas Sowell

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