Greed is Good by Gordon Gekko
Even though the word “greed” has a bad connotation, sometimes it’s good to be greedy. Gordon Gekko thinks so, at least. In his famous “Greed is Good” speech, Gekko says, “greed, in all its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind.” Greed can be a motivator, which in turn can help save a company or even a country.
For Gekko, his love of money can push him to save Teldar Paper; he’ll make a lot of money on the deal, and it will even benefit others in the company like the shareholders. So now his greed is doing good by benefiting others, although that wasn’t his main intention. His priority is still to make money for himself, but because others are benefiting, his greed is doing good. In an interview with Milton Friedman about greed, he states that greed is what runs so many countries. “Tell me, is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed?” Friedman makes us question whether certain people and events would have ever happened if it weren’t for greed.
And he also says “of course none of us are greedy, it’s always the other guy,” which shows that being called “greedy” is seen as insulting, and many won’t own up to being greedy. However, a lot of what is considered greedy is simply when an individual pursues something to make money, or have more knowledge. When looking at it from that perspective, greed can be good. From an article on Reason.com questioning whether or not greed is good, a blogger named Sally Kohn asks, “We all have a little greed in us. The question is, what values do we hold alongside greed as a society … so that we operate for the better good of everyone?”
Many people believe that having greed can be a good thing, as long as it creates good for more than just oneself. I have to agree with Gordon Gekko as well as many others in believing that greed can be good. It pushes us to pursue something, whereas we would otherwise be sitting back idly watching as someone else did it (or sitting back while nothing happens at all). Do any successful people exist who aren’t greedy in some way? I don’t think so. If it weren’t for greed, who knows how far advanced we would be as a civilization? With greed, we do seem to always put ourselves first in terms of whatever we are pursuing. But I believe as long as we use our greed for good, such as considering the rest of a group of people and not solely ourselves, I don’t think the term “greed” should be used as an insulting word.