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Forum Post: What has caused this unbelievable greed in our society?

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 4, 2012, 3:29 p.m. EST by wigger (-48)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Is it the entitlement mentality? The destruction of the work ethic? How can people demand the fruit of another's efforts and not feel like a greedy low rent excuse for a human being?

How did we get here that people aren't embarrassed to beg for other people's money like this?

60 Comments

60 Comments


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[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Corporations are totally dedicated to profit.
If there were no regulations, a coal mine could dump its waste into your drinking water supply. duh!
If there were no regulations, a car companies could make dangerous cars duh!
If there were no regulations, a bank could sell you s....t and tell you it was cream cheese. Duh!
If there were no regulations, oil companies could make your tap water flamable. Duh!

The greedy corporations, starting with Powell and followed up by politicians like republiclan Reagan, deregulated everything the blind Ds let them get away with.

AND WE LET THEM !

American corporations must be regulated into serving America before corporate stockholders.
Sort of like grover's priorities.
It is that "simple"

START WITH - WHAT MONTANA DID ON FRIDAY

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Corporate stockholders are people

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Of course, Mitt

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Mitt? And I know but bensdad doesn't seem to think so.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20506) 2 years ago

Who's begging for who's wealth? The way I see it, the workers in this country are the ones having the fruits of their labor productivity robbed by the wealthy capitalists.

So, yes, how do the wealthy capitalists not feel like greedy low rent excuses for human beings? Good question.

[-] 0 points by wigger (-48) 2 years ago

Are the workers not paid a wage that was agreeable when they took employment? How are they being robbed?

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20506) 2 years ago

This is why capitalists like high unemployment rates. It keeps the workers in a state of grovel. When you need a job to feed, shelter, educate and clothe your family you'll take the job that's available. They don't want full employment. Full employment means the employees have power in setting the wage.

I once took a labor economics class and at the end of the year (6 credit course) after listening to all the dribble of the Keynesian professor I realized that his entire thesis was that it is normal to have 5% unemployment. I was like 20 years old and I said "Huh? That's weird." But it took me much longer to understand why he spent a year getting to that thesis.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

it is often the best they can do at the moment to feed their family and keep a roof over their head, not necessarily an agreeable experience

[-] 1 points by wigger (-48) 2 years ago

But how are they being robbed?

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

by not being paid what their labor is actually worth. by the employer getting the maximum profit from each 'working unit' instead of realizing that people need a working wage they can live decently from.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I bet half of the people making minimum wage probably aren't even worth that. How can your labor be worth that much when you have no skills and no work ethic?

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20506) 2 years ago

This is the big question. How do we value labor productivity? It is valued much lower when workers have less power. When we have high unemployment workers have less power. If we had full employment workers would be powerful and their wages would be higher. This is why capitalists like an unemployment rate of at least 5%.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I think if you asked the UAW workers laid off in Detroit over the past 30 years, some of them might say that too much power by the workers lead to higher unemployment.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20506) 2 years ago

I know that it is a big part of the argument against unions, but I don't buy it. There are a lot of complex issues that bring down industries. And, you know, I'd be the first to say that it is just as bad for workers to have too much power in deciding what their labor is worth as it is for employers to have too much power.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

your empathy and kindness are touching, but why are they even employed if their employer can't make a profit? are they secretly running charitable organizations under the guise of ruthless capitalist enterprises? that doesn't make any sense at all, now does it?

[-] 1 points by wigger (-48) 2 years ago

If someone can replace you with a week's training, you are getting every penny you are worth. I know it must be fun to pretend you're worth more than boss but don't you ever feel just a bit silly?

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

i'm self employed so i am the boss and yes sometimes i feel silly, it's actually fun to be silly, you should try it. it beats the shit out of being hateful

[-] 1 points by wigger (-48) 2 years ago

Is everyone who thinks differently hateful?

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

no, not at all but your lack of empathy isn't exactly what i'd call a loving attitude

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20506) 2 years ago

They are actually kind of hateful because they don't respect hard working people and they think they are better than others because they think they work harder, have more money, are smarter, you name it.

[-] 0 points by wigger (-48) 2 years ago

Why do you think I lack empathy? I can empathize but I also feel sorry for those who have been trained to look outward for sustenance rather than inward. Imagine if all these people spent all this time trying to improve their lot rather than begging others to take care of them.

What sort of work do you do? Do you employ anyone?

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

video installations and i have no employees because i'm extremely particular about my work. you come across as callous and disrespectful of others who aren't as fortunate as you. not everyone is as intelligent and as hardworking as you or i but that doesn't mean they should be treated like dirt. there's enough wealth on this planet for EVERYONE, we've just got misplaced priorities. and yes extra effort should be rewarded.

[-] -1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

Someone has to push the carts at WalMart. The state says they have to pay them at least $8 but there I am sure they could find someone to do it for $5 if they were allowed to. If others will do the same job as you for less money then you are being paid more than you are worth.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

desperation will make people do many things they ordinarily wouldn't do for less money than it's worth. employers know this and some employers will knowingly drive down wages below subsistence levels just to make more money, it's called capitalism and it is often not very nice.

[-] -1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

Your labor is worth whatever the market will pay for it. Like I said, if someone will do the same job as you but for less money, that is what your labor is worth.

I think we need to stop worrying about what someone with no skills and no work ethic makes and start worrying about why so many people have no skills and no work ethic.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

i think we should put limits on how much and how little people earn world-wide, in other words stop poverty

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

How can you make a world-wide law?

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

i can imagine it being done two ways, one would be the adoption of the law by all countries and the other with a world government. both very unlikely to say the least.

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

Most people, here in the US at least, would not go for this. If everyone's standard of living is to pretty much start to average itself out, it only stands to reason that the US will see a decrease in its wealth. Why would go for that?

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

i'm not tallking about averaging out everyone's income. what i mean is to clip off the top and bottom, there would still be plenty of incentive for hard workers to earn more but not excessively as we have now. also, i don't think americans would earn less, but that the opposite would occur. there're so many resources tied up in military spending world-wide and that's an incredible drain on the world's resources. i have no concrete figures for this but it's just a feeling/idea. (sorry for the time lag on my answers, i'm in europe)

[-] 2 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

What has caused this unbelievable greed in our society?

Jealousy, plain and simple. That is not a justification, just an observation.

[-] -1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

I think it stemmed from our ancestors' need to hoard food, furs, and other materials in order to survive.

"It looks like a storm is coming. If I kill 2 bison today, then I can eat for a few days and not starve through whatever is going to happen. I better get some more wood to keep my fire going..."

Today we see the same behavior, yet in today's society it is completely unnecessary. We don't need to hoard anything, since all of our food is available at a nearby store. Our "fire" is taken care of for us thanks to a utility company. We don't even need to go looking for "furs" since some 8-year-olds in China manufactured shirts for companies who sell to us.

We use money to buy these things. Money that we earn by helping a business operate, or by selling something that we create, or by selling something that someone else created. We trade time or resources for money, which we then use to purchase our lives. Money left over after paying for food, clothing, shelter, clean water, and heat can be saved, or "hoarded" as it will for those stormy days.

At a certain point this savings becomes superfluous. Sure, $100,000 in the bank in nice to have in case the company that you work for goes belly-up. That will provide for one person for a good bit of time while they find a new avenue to trade their time/goods for more money. But who needs to have $1,000,000 saved? $1,000,000,000? More? Unless Oranges end up costing $10,000/lb there's no need, in a survivalist sense, for any one person to have that much money. The money is redundant after a certain point. Its unnecessary, and effectively useless until it is spent on something.

If someone has more than enough to live off of comfortably, yet still gains resources, that is greed. If an entity makes some mistakes, and then takes money from others in order to recoup its expenses, that is greed. If someone owns 20 vehicles, that is greed.

When the utility bill increases again for no benefit to a consumer, greed. When food prices rise again because people in a stock exchange place their bets on natural resources in order to make more money, greed. When companies send labor overseas to reduce costs & increase profit, killing jobs, that's greed. When companies demand subsidies ($$$) to move into a town, where they will increase profits anyway, greed.

[-] 2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

um, wait! wait! I know the answer!

  • what is greed for two thousand Alec

How can people demand the fruit of another's efforts and not feel like a greedy low rent excuse for a human being?

and I dunno, that is an interesting question. How do those fraudulent lenders and investment banksters sleep at night?

Just a guess - but probably not as good as they used to. But better than they soon will . . .

[-] 2 points by Pelle (21) 2 years ago

Wealth is a sign of success, supposedly you become happy by being successful. Unfortunately, that is not true. You become happy by sharing your abundance.

I'm not saying that we do not deserve to be rich, but enough is enough.

[-] 1 points by sufinaga (513) 2 years ago

we are reincarnating spirits from generations of our slavery, black and white, so we have earned increased unemployment benefits because our jobs have been automated giving all the profits to the former employers so it is their duty of care, natural justice that we get our piece of the pie! fool the rewards are to SHARE!!! so what you are spouting is right wing pro war pro FEMA slave camps pro the AO PD! it is false religion that has caused this greed by making us oppress ourselves, our natures and use covetous consumerism to escape from our selves, from our minds listening to the OPPRESSION OF YOUR FELLOW MAN which you are preaching. you are an enemy of our community.

[-] 1 points by IslandActivist (191) from Keaau, HI 2 years ago

The illusion of equality created this. The US should have just admitted that they weren't breaking away from a monarchy, they simply wanted to rule themselves and changed the terminology from king to president. The US has in no way broken free from tyranny, it just created another system that promotes tyranny. At least the king told his subjects you are not equal to me and should not expect to become wealthy or one day live in my palace.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 2 years ago

The only thing a corporation cares about is "Net Income," because that is all investors care about when they value their portfolios and vote for Directors.

That might be ok, but corporations create externalities like pollution, disease (factory farms), add dangerous chemicals to the food supply, corrupt the political system, and even trash the economy for short term benefit by shipping jobs overseas. Resources belonging to everyone are profided at ridiculously cheap rates in collusions with purchased government officials... sometimes beneficial technologies are prohibited through lobbying efforts or beneficial industries prevented from establishing due to subsidies (again through lobbying efforts).

The better question is, why do we sell ourselves out so cheaply? Why do we continue to let ourselves be shortchanged so people with way too much money for 100000 lifetimes can continue to buy $40,000 back packs from the Olsen Twins?

[-] 1 points by pinker3 (56) 2 years ago

It is human nature. Go back and look at any period in world history and you find greed and the need to display wealth in one form or another.

[-] 1 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 2 years ago

ask the bankers

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

10 points for spin ability. 5 points for giving me a good laugh. 0 points for accuracy.

[-] 1 points by aahpat (1407) 2 years ago

Its very simple.

Its a top down thing.

Wall Street has been more interested in short term profits rather than long term growth for more than two decades. Wall Street is only concerned with quarter to quarter penny pinching that has resulted in the middle-class being driven into poverty at every greater rates. When poor people see Wall Street greed depriving them they react with an equal level of want to survive.

This is happening in modern times because American business schools have been teaching Milton Friedman's absolute free market greed based economic theories since the late 1970's and so the MBA's running American business have no ethics or sense of corporate responsibility to the nation or their communities.

Libertarian greed based economic theories are a social disease. That disease has become endemic and now threatens to destroy the nation.

You perspective is a good example.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

often wealth is viewed as a measure of ones' worth as a person and is used to compensate for feelings of inferiority. a totally misguided concept of course.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

These comments all apply to WallStreet.

You would have to ask them, on their web site.

If they bother to have one.

They do like to wallow, in their entitlement.

OccupyWallStreet!

[-] 0 points by NightShade (163) 2 years ago

I'm entitlement of everything the 1% has got and if they don't had it over I'll put a cap in their ass!

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

I think it is an entitlement mentality. The younger generation has not had to work for what they have had access to. They have reaped the benefits of their parents labor and prefer to live the same lifestyle without the years that were put in to give them everything they have had thus far. They look at what others have earned and since they have always had their parents to give what they wanted and needed at their whim, they think that they should have access to that product of labor just because they want it.

I notice how OWS protestors call those who earn money and use their money the way they want greedy, yet those same people desire to have the money taken from those who have earned it do not consider themselves greedy for wanting to take the product of the labor of another.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

when you say ows protesters want 'to take the product of the labor of another' do you mean taking the wealth away from people who have 'earned' their wealth by speculating with other peoples' money?

[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

yes, there is value in being able to speculate and produce wealth from knowledge.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 2 years ago

There is value in stealing and fraud if you have the knowledge to get away with it...Of course it's still stealing, it's still fraud.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

in the system we have now that is correct but please don't fail to notice the wonderful condition our economy is in at the moment and whose production of wealth from knowledge got us here. also don't forget that more often than not the speculating was done with other peoples' money with no accountability/responsibility.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

What is the value of having used that so-called knowledge to destroy the wealth and jobs of millions of people?

Greed by Wall Street collapsed the economy, in case you didn't notice. The speculation Wall street and the banks engaged in caused poverty, not wealth.

[-] 1 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

Wall Street is not the problem. Excessive government control is the problem.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Horse shit. The Government did not cause the recession. Wall Street did.

[-] 2 points by barb (835) 2 years ago

You are wrong here, it was the government who allowed laws to be passed so our corporations could leave the country that allowed a surge increase in profit. The government knew full well what this situation was going to create in the future. The future is now and they are biggest link that created the path.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

its a situation where the government changed laws that allowed wall street to do its magic. unfortunately they're patriotically working together and doing their damnedest for our benifit

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Deregulation encouraged Wall Street greed and allowed their reckless behavior to impact the broader economy. Wall Street bought and paid for their deregulation. Follow the money. Wall Street had the most to gain by deregulation and the least to lose. Wall Street is not solely responsible for the financial crises, but they rightly deserve the lions share of the blame.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

april, i hope you didn't misunderstand my sarcasm. i think they're at a minimum total fuck ups if not out and out traitors

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Actually, I meant to reply to barb. : ) Total f-ups indeed!

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Deregulation is not cause. Deregulation is the OPPOSITE of control. Wall Street chose to exploit loopholes in the law to destroy the economy. They did so voluntarily: no one in the government put a gun to its collective head and ordered it too fuck the country up.

Excessive government control had nothing, nada, zip, to do with Wall Street's arrogance and stupidity and greed.

Nor did corporations leaving the country cause the recession. Wall street over-leveraged itself to the tune of tens of TRILLIONS of dollars and the housing bubble collapsed. Outsourcing jobs had nothing to do with that.

[-] 1 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

there were laws that weren't excessive that prohibited the types of investments that lead to our problems today

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Agreed, But keep in mind that the repeal of Glass/Stegal, as dumb as it was, was designed to give non-commercial banks the ability to invest and therefore grow the economy. When that repeal occurred, no one, not even Wall Street itself, foresaw the bizarre strategies banks would come up with later that would take the economy down.

I have no doubt that the politicians who listened to banks to deregulate were either dumb as rocks or bought off, but I see no grand conspiracy by the government to destroy the economy.