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Forum Post: The Bloggs meet Greed

Posted 7 years ago on Nov. 9, 2011, 6:52 p.m. EST by amarkincairns (0) from Cairns, QLD
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The Story Of The Bloggs (original writing by A M Palmer, anybody may make and use copies)

Everybody agreed, Joe Bloggs was the very salt of the earth. We all admired his even disposition and the careful approach to life which had gained him a high place in the town, and we all loved him and his beautiful wife Betty, with whom he had brought up a couple of youngsters who themselves were local sporting stars and the duxes of their schools and seemed to us all to be the light of the district. Now here's the story of how through a simple mistake our most admired citizens came to help the evil god of Greed, who bids foul to destroy all life on earth, except maybe the cockroaches. It all started when Aunty Edith died and left Joe the house. Of course Joe already had a perfectly good house, and considering Aunty Edith's was quite some way away in the big city where Joe never went it wasn't much good to him as a dwelling. So for a few weeks after the funeral the house just sat there while the Bloggs went about their ordinary lives as they had always done, and then the sale went through, and a very large amount of money arrived in their bank account. At first the Bloggs didn't know what to do with so much money. They weren't in any rush at all, and it was a few weeks before Betty had an idea that excited her so much she could hardly wait for Joe to get in the door to tell him about it. "Joe!" she cried as soon as he had decently sat down, "Joe I know what we can do with the money from Aunty Edith! Let's not leave it in the term account like we'd been planning, but invest it in the stock-market!" She held up the newspaper. "Look, here's an ad from a firm in the big city which is set up just to help people like us. We can give them the money, and they'll pick out a good share portfolio, and instead of just giving the money to Stan and Julie for their university we can get a lifetime of modest income for us all and oh, Joe, it's everything we ever dreamed of!" Of course Joe wasn't going to rush into anything new but then again he was no fool either and he could see a good thing when it was in front of his nose, so after he'd thought it over for the weekend he said yes and Betty was really thrilled as you can imagine. The next day down at the Drop Inn coffee bar Betty told Hazel and Hazel told Sue and before long it was all over town and all the wives told their husbands how clever Joe Bloggs really was and what a good provider for his family so that before long the firm of stockbrokers in the big city had millions of dollars all from that one little town and all because of Betty who of course kept quiet and took every opportunity to say how wonderfully happy she was with her man Joe. And that's where you'd think the story would end, with everybody happy and prosperous and with no losers. But there was something that Joe and Betty had forgotten, so let’s do a little bit of thinking for them. What the Bloggs had done was to give all that money to an investment adviser with one very simple instruction: they wanted to make money out of the money they already had. The investment advisor chose a portfolio of shares with an eye to the annual income that would be generated for Joe and Betty (and himself), and the companies whose shares the Bloggs ended up owning got the message: "the more money they could make for the Bloggs, the more the Bloggs would be prepared to invest next year". Now, let's see what companies the Bloggs invested in. Among them was a construction company which specialised in cheap houses for poor people in a neighbouring country. Sad to say, those houses tended to fall down. There was an insurance company which started finding ways to raise premiums for public gatherings so that farmers' markets and school fairs and amateur drama groups ended up being unable to operate. And there was an armaments manufacturer which specialised in remote controlled bombs which it sold both to their own country's army and to their enemy in an unjust war fought on soil which belonged to neither protagonist. Joe and Betty have a responsibility for the behavior of their companies, and a share of the blame for the things their companies did to generate the profits the Bloggs wanted. With no mandate from their owners but the generation of profit, the companies destroyed the happiness of millions of people. They polluted lakes and forests and the sea and they just don't care if they destroy the whole Earth, and even now they walk over the rights of ordinary people just like Joe and Betty Bloggs wherever they go. Through the combined greed of ordinary people, Greed itself has become embodied and alive on the Earth.



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[-] 1 points by ronjj (-241) 7 years ago

And greed IS a cultural problem - not an economic one. Greed is not in any way limited to economics is it???

[-] 1 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 7 years ago

Greed IS economic problem. People wouldn't have much greed, if at all, if not for the economic system which intensifies accumulation of capital.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 7 years ago

That is a statement that simply does not hold water. Greed is a human condition whether it involves money, things, food, wives, power, guns and ammo, oil, or a squirrel and the nuts under the tree.

Greed is wanting or taking more than can be justified or deserved at the expense of another whether it is within the economic system, the social system, or any other system you can come up with.

If you don't recognize greed for what it is, you will be fighting windmills the rest of your life.

Look at the animal world, the plant world. Throw a hand full of corn into the chicken run and see what happens. Watch the buzzards next time fighting over a dead animal. And we are different because........?

[-] 1 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 7 years ago

Greed is a natural response to scarcity of necessities or expectation of scarcity. And market system not only creates artificial scarcity, when in reality we can have abundance, it also rewards greed which actually reinforces the behavior. Greed is not a problem, it's natural response to environment.

You gave examples from animal life, of cause, nature is a scarcity environment in which only scarcity can regulate the population. Humans on the other hand, when educated enough, can control their reproduction themselves and scarcity only interfere with their development.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 7 years ago

Great - then I have NO problem with the banksters who others are describing as greedy. They are merely responding to their expectation of scarcity of money in the general economy, their world, their environment or something else and and this is natural.

Same thing goes for the corporations that are being accused of being greedy by hording cash instead of hiring more workers, etc. They are merely portraying a natural response to their expectation of a scarcity in the future that would require them to have this commodity on hand to meet their needs for survival.

As to your second paragraphy. Does this hold water either? If only scarcity can regulate the population, why do we have such a low reproductive rate among such abundance when other countries (third world or whatever) have an exploding population. Scarcity may control life expectancy etc. but it doesn't seem to have a lot of control over reproduction rates unless perhaps at the very extreme limits of scarcity.

[-] 1 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 7 years ago

"Great - then I have NO problem with the banksters who others are describing as greedy." - Well, I don't, they are just winning at the game that we all agreed to play. What I have a problem with is the game itself. The game needs to be changed, not the players.

It's like you playing monopoly and blaming you friends for being greedy. Or playing poker and arguing that people are tricking you.

"As to your second paragraphy." - You misunderstood it. Scarcity regulates the population in animal life. With people on the other hand, it doesn't for multiple reasons one of which being education which leaves much room for improvement.