Effects Of Greed Essay
Well recent news certainly has brought greed and it’s consequences to the forefront. Greed is part and partial to many events in the world today. Most people are looking for continually more. American culture pushes the lust for for and feeds greed. It is all around us. And when greed is rampant, eventually there comes a crash, it is inevitable because that which is driven by greed will eventually be exposed.
There are already famous greed crashes. We have the original stock market crash in 1929 and the infamous black Monday in 1987. More recently, there is the NASDAQ crash in 2000 and scandals like Enron in 2001. Today, we have the crash of the real estate markets and the ripple effects going out to multiple financial institutions like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, and AIG. Today there are many signs of huge financial instability. What got us to this point is at the core greed and the subsequent consequences.
Now not all consequences of greed are bad. Greed can result in quality work being done, and work being done quickly to meet some reward. For example, in Minnesota the completion of the I-35 W bridge was done with a bonus for early completion. The hired company put out all stops to meet the significant bonus, and reached it. The natural inclination of achieving for gain is a central component at times for facilitating behavioral change. However, most change dependent on reinforcement only lasts as long as the gain is meaningful. Also the effects of greed can result in a robust economy, as people always seek for the newer and better. However, those positives are often short lived.
As already mentioned, anything that is driven by greed will reach a limit. Humans have limited capacity and as such, there is never unlimited growth. When the limits of growth are reached, you will find what is happening today. First of all areas of corruption and exploitation are exposed. Then those dependent on the money derived from corruption and exploitation find that they did not stick to sound principles and essentially it all becomes a house of cards. So when falls happen the question always is how to get it restarted. In the past those driven by greed simply finding another area to seek the continual more in. Eventually though, there is no place left for the greed seekers to go.
We also see that when money gets easy, and the quest for more continues, that people readily take shortcuts. Why work for to get more, if you can find a quick way to get it. Many scams and con men gain much all related to people’s greed.
Make no mistake though, greed will be seen as a problem, and is seen as a problem globally. Being anti-greed is part of an underpinning to communism. It takes the truth that when people share it is benificial and twists it into some form of forced sharing that ultimately only benefitted the elite, who in turn displayed there greed. There will come a time, perhaps soon, when folks will be pointed to global sharing as the answer. There will be promotion of interdependence and global sharing. And while the concept sounds and looks good on the surface, it is not founded on the truth. Sharing doesn’t negate the selfishness at the root of greed. It doesn’t address anything about the basic essence of humanity. Sharing does have a benefit, but to focus on sharing without the foundation of the gospel and surrender of self to the messiah, it is faulty. It is just taking the principle found in the prosperity gospel and extending it. If all share, all prosper will be what is promoted. For example, the show Oprah’s big give whole concept was ultimate prosperity comes through sharing.
So, how does one really combat greed. It all has to start with the Gospel. It has to start with the answer of our selfishness and moving beyond our own self-interest and toward surrender to the King of Kings. It involves accepting where God has us in life. God’s word states in I Timothy 66-12(NIV): 6.But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7.For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8.But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9.People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.10.For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.11.But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.12.Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Contentment is clearly a biblical key to individual dealing with greed. We all need to rest in being able to manage all things through the strength of Jesus, not our own strength as shown in Phillipians 4:12-13 (NIV): 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.13: I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Now we are called to share and be generous (2 Corinthians 9) and doing so is contrary to the principles of greed. It is not a compulsion with true giving being a response tothe recognition of the gift of grace, not for ultimate gain. When we are truely generous, God is pleased, because true generosity is giving from beyond our self. We are each incapable of giving beyond our own selfishness without living in surrender to Jesus the Messiah.
Filed under: Christianity, culture, life | Tagged: AIG, Bear Stearns, Behavioral reinforcement, bubble bursts, con, contentment, Enron, false peace, financial scandal, finanicial collapse, generosity versus sharing, Godly contentment, greed, I-35 bridge, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Prosperity Gospel, sharing, sharing principle, stock crash, True Peace, Washington Mutual, world peace |
Greed is a particularly ugly sin. While there are positive characteristics of pride, or even envy, it’s almost impossible to use greed in any way that isn’t an insult. It conjures images of fat cat CEOs hoarding millions, while their workers earn minimum wage. But although Ebenezer Scrooge and his ilk are portrayed as misers with serious money, greed can sometimes make you poor. Here are six examples of the way greed can eat away at your pot of gold.
1. Wanting It All
Not content with their lot in life, some people look at all those things they could have that make life even better. Or so they think, anyway. The latest smartphone. The upgraded car. The bigger house. The 80 inch flat screen TV. The huge deck. The patio. The yacht. Sadly, all those expenses have to be paid, and it can lead to crippling credit card debt, loans that cannot be paid back, and the eventual loss of everything to pay back creditors. As Tyler Durden famously said in Fight Club, “the things you own end up owning you.” So, be very wary of greed. Happiness from those items is fleeting anyway.
2. Living to Excess
More wine. More beer. More junk food. More everything! When greed manifests as the intense and selfish desire for food and drink, it can lead to a plethora of health problems. And as we all know, health care can be very expensive in the USA. Overeating, leading to obesity, is responsible for as much as $210 billion in healthcare costs in the United States. An obese adult spends 42% more on healthcare than someone with a healthy weight, and obesity can lead to many other illnesses.
Then there’s greed that turns to alcoholism, or drug abuse. While there are definitely other factors involved, including depression and other mental health issues, greed can contribute to a whole host of health problems from drug abuse. Recovery can be costly. And then there are the other problems stemming from an excessive lifestyle, including time taken off work, a lack of drive or motivation, and the sheer expense of maintaining that kind of diet.
Read More: 7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor
3. Breaking the Law
Greed can make people do some strange things, which leads to committing unlawful acts. This does not mean they go out and rob banks, or scam people out of their savings online. It’s more that they see an opportunity to make a lot of money for doing something they believe is harmless, albeit illegal. And then, they get caught, and face a prison sentence and a career in ruins.
One example is Scott London, a once successful audit partner at a huge accounting firm. He was earning $900,000 a year, but it appears that wasn’t enough. London decided to start selling sensitive information about some of his clients to a friend. This is known as insider trading, and it’s against the law. Although he made just $70,000 from the deals (a lot for most of us, but for him, a drop in the bucket), he was caught by the FBI and sentenced to 14 months in prison.
However, for others, it may be something smaller that leads to the poor house. Cheating on taxes, even just for a few bucks, is a federal offense. And shoplifting as little as three belts, or a couple of jerseys, has landed people in prison for life.
4. Avoiding Generosity
There is a misnomer that every rich person is greedy, and every poor person is not. This is actually not true, and financial guru Robert Kiyosaki has devoted a one-hour radio show on this subject that is well worth listening to. The basic idea is this: Having a generous spirit, and giving back to the world, will pay dividends. Investing in people, and in projects that have real potential, will reap rewards. On the other hand, hoarding your possessions, never giving to charity, and stockpiling wealth is not a positive way to manage money. Being generous, and doing good, can build much greater wealth than saving every penny and watching it grow a few percent a year in a bank account.
Read More: Save a Surprising Amount by Quitting These 4 Bad Habits
5. Gambling Away Everything
You know the stories. You’ve seen the movies. Gambling can bring people great wealth in just a few seconds. But, for the vast majority, it’s a losing proposition. Couple gambling with greed, and you have a recipe for tragedy just waiting to happen. Every year, millions of people try and get lucky, and for most, it’s just a flutter. Win or lose, they walk away. But 2% of people who gamble get seriously addicted, and greed takes over. A win becomes an adrenaline rush. They want more. And more. They want to see the dollar signs multiply. Before they know what’s happened, they have lost everything trying to win back the money they once had.
Read More: 50 Ways To Squeeze Value From Your Healthcare Dollar Without Killing Yourself
6. Finally… the Impact of Corporate Greed
Sadly, it’s not personal greed, but corporate greed that is having an impact on our wallets. And in some instances, it keeps people in poverty. From the greedy politicians who take cash to vote against the public interest, to the outsourcing of jobs to other countries, America has a serious greed problem. Many of us feel it a little, here and there. But for some, it’s the cause of great hardships.
One recent example comes from Wendy’s. After the recent minimum wage hike, and plans to raise it to $15/hour, the fast food giant responded with automated self-service kiosks. “We continue to look at initiatives and how we work to offset any impacts of future wage inflation through technology initiatives, whether that’s customer self-order kiosks, whether that’s automating more in the back of the house in the restaurant,” said CTO Todd Penegor (who was compensated over $3 million in 2014). The moral of this story — demand a living wage and you’re out of a job.
The defenders of this say that these jobs are entry-level, but with so many manufacturing jobs going elsewhere, and the employment of low-wage workers who do it “cash in hand,” it’s getting harder and harder to find a decent paying job that doesn’t require an education and a ton of experience; something many people never had the chance to get.
Of course, the massive financial meltdown in 2008 was also caused by massive greed, and that impacted millions of homeowners and led to bankruptcies. It’s safe to say that even if you are the least greedy person on the planet, you will still be affected by greed in your day-to-day life.