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Is Greed Good?

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Mammon
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http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=is-greed-good

As a rule, they are not disappointed. To some economists, this is a borderline miracle, because it contradicts the concept of Homo economicus (economic man) as a rational, selfish person who single-mindedly strives for maximum profit. According to this notion, sellers should pocket buyers’ payments and send nothing in return. For their part, buyers should not trust sellers—and the market should collapse.

It's obvious that they can't concieve of something like rational self-interest. If you take someones money, without giving them what you promised to give (a contract) it violates the rights of that person (think:embellzement) and you have to answer to the law, and be punished. It's not worth the cost, and so it's more selfish to send the goods and avoid any harm done to oneself.

I always think it's ridiculous when scientists, mathematcians and other intellectuals try to come up with casual collaries for economics while completely ignoring economics and the principales it's based on. It's not a math, or an exact science.

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The critics here have an idea of 'selfish' as a glutton who steals from others and claims it to be 'rational'. I think 'Scrooge' would be the best example of that.

They fail to realize that Scrooge does not think what is in his best interest in the long run. They only think 'Damn Capitalist Pigs!' and stop there.

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It's obvious that they can't concieve of something like rational self-interest. If you take someones money, without giving them what you promised to give (a contract) it violates the rights of that person (think:embellzement) and you have to answer to the law, and be punished. It's not worth the cost, and so it's more selfish to send the goods and avoid any harm done to oneself.

And besides that, if every seller simply took money in exchange for nothing, then nothing would be produced, there would be no trade of any kind, and we'd all go back to living in caves. Not to mention that any comapny that steals from its customers won't stay in business for very long.

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  • 2 weeks later...

They also don't consider things like ambition or desire on the part of the seller. Many business men have much larger goals that simply maximizing pocket capacity at any given moment. You can't make and market the best soda in the world, or fly the first plane into space, or make a computer which every man can afford, on the back of petty theft.

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While that article is pretty insubstantial, it does raise a good question; do we witness a decay in the free market practices if morality increases? I think the answer is yes, we see people condone government regulations that affect free markets negatively, and that's on both sides of the mainstream political preferences in the US. Republicans are anti-immigration, despite immigration empirically showing economic growth and democrats obviously favor a lot of protectionist policies that hinders international trade.

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... do we witness a decay in the free market practices if morality increases? I think the answer is yes, we see people condone government regulations that affect free markets negatively, and that's on both sides of the mainstream political preferences in the US. Republicans are anti-immigration, despite immigration empirically showing economic growth and democrats obviously favor a lot of protectionist policies that hinders international trade.
The core of the anti-immigrant sentiment is immoral, as is the core of the protectionist sentiment. Therefore, we witness a decay in the free market as immorality increases.
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