Greed: The Root of all Evil?

Greed
Greed

Greed

I used to think that if there was no such thing as money, all the world’s problems would be fixed. I now look back and think that was a very naive ideal. Greed is the root of all evil, not just money. Let us think way back when there was no such thing as currency. When everyone would trade with one another.

“Winter is coming, and you don’t appear to have anything warm to wear, I’ll give you my hand woven Llama wool blanket, wool jacket and these handmade leather shoes if you give me one of your many young nanny goats. I shall use her milk to feed my family for years to come”.

It seems like a fair trade right? The Clothes trader can always make more clothes for himself with his Llama’s wool, and the goat trader can always breed more goats for himself. The goat trader still has the option to use one of his other nanny goats for milk to feed his own family for years to come.

The goat trader will barter. “I want a blanket, a pair of leather shoes, and a jacket for each of my family members, do that and we have a done deal”.
The Clothes Trader replies “I will need an un-neutered Billy goat as well if that’s the case, so I can replace my nanny goat when she gets too old”.
The Goat trader still wants more “You will need to teach me how to sew if you want one of my un-neutered billy goats as well as a nanny goat so I can replace my own clothes when these get too old…”

Even back then we would always bargain for more. We would always try and get more value. We didn’t need more than the other guy was offering, but we could see how desperate the other guy was, so we would push and push and push until there was nothing more to get. Then we would make the trade. Why are we like this, why is it in our human nature to be greedy?

But the other guy would still always get his goat.

Now days you get people selling you their ideas for millions of dollars eg: Oprah; and yeah, they give back (to a point), but they still need to fund their lavish lifestyles, and support their families. On the other-hand you get people who inherit the money. Even though they have enough to fund everything beyond their wildest dreams, still support their families and their lavish lifestyle, they are hoarding it …*cough Rinehart cough*. Trying to get people to work for them for nothing, destroying their own families because of their insatiable greed.

Why do you need all that Ms. Rhinehart? Where is it going to go when you’re dead? Your family doesn’t appear to love you (at least that’s the picture the media is painting). You don’t appear to have any friends (I’m only going on what I hear and read in the media). What kind of a life is that? I see a lonely life, where you grow old, and fat, and bitter… alone.

Greed
Greed

I’ve only named a couple of multi millionaires, and billionaires. They can only do so much harm, and most of the time they are doing it to themselves.

And then there’s billionaire big businesses…

This is the worse kind of greed, you hear about it all the time, not for profit charity organisations that are backed by big billionaire businesses. Of all the money donated from the humble middle income earner, only about 10% makes it to the actual cause (and I think I’m being generous). Where does the rest go? I understand that the volunteers need to be fed, watered and housed.

I’m aware of the ad campaigns. They need to be paid for, the sponsors need to be pleased, the kids in the ad need to be coached. All these overheads need to be paid for, and they are not being paid by the billionaire businesses. More often than not the overheads are being paid by our donations. So if there’s no excess money after paying the overhead costs, there’s no money going towards the cause.

But here’s the kicker, of all the overheads being paid, more often than not the largest overhead is the CEO’s salary.

We always look after our own first. It’s human nature, survival instincts.

Lets look at the flipside of business, for profit organizations…

There’s billionaire businesses who seek out cheap labour, so they can have a higher profit margin. The cheap labour is usually from a third world or second world country. They pay the workers  just enough to feed themselves, so most of the time the workers still have to sell their families to get by. They expect the workers to work in worse conditions than the volunteers of charities live in, working them to exhaustion. Then they sell the product to you and me for a minimum 20x what they cost to make, and instead of increasing wages or maintaining buildings the ‘profit’ goes in their pockets and their shareholders pockets and the cycle begins again.

Except because they made such a big profit last year, demand increases. Because demand increases they have to find more cheap labour. Because they have to find more labour they pay their workers even less to keep costs down, and they increase the price of the goods they sell to you and me. Resulting in even bigger profits, which then goes into pockets, and dividends, and the cycle begins again.

But Why?

Why does greed exist in human nature? My domestic animals aren’t greedy, they eat, and drink only what they need. There is plenty of food and water for my animals, they share the same biscuit bow. They have plenty of shelter and I have more then one of them, so why is it they are not greedy? People say it is a survival instinct, to be greedy, apparently it’s ‘Human Nature’. I don’t understand this concept.

Then there’s me

I have plenty of food and water, I have shelter, I have plenty of clothes. So if I have all this why would I want to be greedy? I’ve never gone without, and neither have my pets, but I still want more. I don’t understand why I still want more. Why am I not content with what I have? Why are we as humans not content with what we have? Is it because there’s always someone else who has more than us? Is it because there’s always someone else who has less than us? I do notice when any one of my domestic animal’s food is eyed off by any one of my other domestic animal’s, even though they have eaten their fill they still jump up to protect it. Could this be the reason we are greedy, because someone else always wants what we have?

Greed
Greed

So how do we fix this?

How do we stamp out Greed? Perhaps the only way to stamp out greed is to remove value? is it possible to remove value? I don’t believe it is. Food, water, and shelter are always going to be valuable, as they are the essentials we all need to survive, and they are scarce. Perhaps teaching everyone to grow food, create shelter and find/ create clean water will reduce value? My economical brain says it will, except for in those areas where the natural resources are no longer there. Even though this world may have all the natural resources to allow for everyone to live comfortably, the resources are not evenly spread. Perhaps it’s because of this that Greed exists.

What if…

What if the world was evenly distributed with all the natural resources needed for everyone to live comfortably. Is it going to be the same everywhere? Even if it was the same everywhere, people would still find more value in one thing over another. Due to its flavour, or its chemical structure, or its health benefits. Besides that, it’s a possibility that, if the world was evenly distributed with all the resources needed to survive, by everyone and everything, like uniformly, it could become stagnant. Life would stop. Natural disasters would stop, evolution would stop, mother nature would stop, innovation would stop, what would we have to live for?

There would be no need to find cheap alternatives, there would be no need to find convenience, there would be no need to feed anyone else, water anyone else, there would be no need to live, no purpose. The world would have to stop spinning, the tide would have to stop changing, the seasons would have to stop being, the temperature would have to stop fluctuating, the underwater currents would have to stop moving, mountains would stop forming, Volcanoes would become dormant. Perhaps the answer is not stamping out Greed, but changing what holds value.

Greed
Greed

Like How?

Perhaps if we increase the value of any life, that of a human, or an animal, or a plant, or an insect, to equal that of your own life, greed will decrease. Instead of thinking “How much can I keep for myself?”perhaps we need to think “How much can I give to others so that we can all survive comfortably?” Everyone needs to think this. Without everyone valuing their life equally to that of any other life, there will be people who will take everything they can get, and give as little as they can get away with. This ideal is near on impossible to achieve due to our survival instincts, but you know what they say “If you can dream it, you can do it”. So let’s try.

xX Ali Xx

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