Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Greed Is Good

Day after day, I see news stories that show how American greed is running a race to see what corporations can out-greed one another.  Sure, I know the shareholders think this is good as does the CEO's that are lining their pockets.  Just like Gordon Gekko in Wall Street who declared greed is good, we're in an age that would make Gordon Gekko look like he knew very little on the subject.

Just today I saw that Darden which owns several companies including Olive Garden basically ousted the current board of directors in the company.  The current board of directors wasn't making enough money for the shareholders and so they said, enough is enough.  Beyond the "only two bread-sticks" per customer rule, I wonder if they will start charging for everything and anything.  I mean, I know its their business and all, but you can just see how greed is good in the minds of these business people.

Take for instance how Paypal decided that it is going to force its sellers to accept a 120 day refund policy.  They claim justification in one way or another, but it looks like eBay has now instituted a 120 day exchange policy and forced every seller into it.  Please raise your hand if you are allowed to use something for 6 months and then return it.  Can we all see just how much fraud that is going to happen against the sellers?  It is Paypal's way (and eBay's too) of making more money off the hard working people who use it to earn a living.  Not everyone on there is a millionaire like their CEO's and board of directors.  Yet, they know that greed is good.

Let's go a little further and look at the music industry.  You've got the greedy record labels which are losing out to the independents.  The independents are losing out to the few that control how music reaches the major retailers.  Sure, these distributors claim they are in it for the independent musician and one distributor (name withheld) will claim they are better because they don't take a percentage.  Yet, at the end of the day, its all about these companies getting richer off the backs of those who create music.  Greed is alive and well in all aspects of the music business.

If you think it is just corporations that are inhuman, think again.  There are many "new age" marketers out there that just see the dollar signs.  They lose site of what their purpose is or maybe their purpose has never really meant anything.  They cloak what they do with loving thoughts and feel good practices while they adhere to the concept that greed is good.

Churches aren't exempt either.  Churches do all of these things and claim they are really doing good for our society while building expensive buildings and flying in their private jets, living in their mega-mansions and driving expensive cars.  There is nothing wrong with someone earning a living, but when it becomes greed, I'm not sure how good that is for the message they preach.  Yet, loyal and blind followers send them every last penny they have out of shame that this is what they should do for the church.

Our political process is nothing but corruption of greed.  Elections are about buying politicians and well marketed message campaigns.  Politicians may go into politics for the right reasons, but the culture within our hallowed halls changes even the best of intent.  The money spent in campaigns could solve many of the world's problems, but we're all too fixated on the ego and who is right or who is wrong.  We have no desire to really fix the problems or do the right thing.  It is just a matter of who wins and who loses with the accomplice of the media to choose sides.

The words abundance and wealth are getting mixed up with the concept of greed.  I see people who are healers and believe that they should be charging hundreds of dollars per client or thousands of dollars for books, seminars, and subscriptions.  You may be a healer, but again if your concept of healing is the same as greed, then I'm not sure you are doing anyone good.

We all have our talents and abilities in this world.  We all have our skills and things that we excel in.  Unfortunately when we think we are better than everyone else, we not only put our self up on a pedestal that will eventually fall, but we crush everyone below us.  When we earn our greed as we break those beneath us, our life's foundation is standing on shaky ground.

Is wealth bad?  No.  Is abundance bad?  No!  However, if you are not a good steward of what you have been given, you will see it be nothing but problem after problem or you will see it leave it.  In addition, the more people practice that greed is good, the more we hurt our world as a whole.

We are seeing poverty in greater rates, not because these people want to be this way.  It is because the greed is breaking them down and crushing them.  We have lost our way in this world and it isn't just in third world countries that suffer from greedy dictators.  We are experiencing the same in our own backyards.  It wasn't that long ago that we as a nation caused our financial meltdown because of greed.

Some days I feel like a lone wolf out in the forest trying to get someone's attention on this matter.  When I read the newspaper articles showing how greed is good, I feel like my voice has been silenced.  I don't understand how others can't see this.  I know in the movie, "I Am", Tom Shadyac talked about this.  The scene is vividly imprinted in my mind that focuses on exactly what I have stated here.

What must happen in this world to stop the greed is good philosophy from running rampant?  Will it take a much more severe financial meltdown than the last?  Will it take famine, disease, or environmental disasters before everyone wakes up.  I hope not, but these days I'm beginning to lose hope that the philosophy of greed is good will lose out and we as a world society will do the right thing.  

Blog Post And Images (c) 10/10/14 by Don Shetterly

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