Is Greed Good? An Appetizer.

Soon Patheos will begin a discussion of greed, faith and the economy on the Public Square.

I thought I would offer an appetizer before the main course.  The question is posed provocatively, as “Is Greed Good?”  Although this is sometimes taken as the motto of some economic conservative, it actually comes from Gordon Gekko:

The actual quote, from Ivan Boesky, is “Greed is all right, by the way I think greed is healthy.  You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself.”

Milton Friedman on greed and capitalism:

From a biblical perspective, of course, greed is sinful.  Yet “individuals pursuing their self-interest” is not necessarily the same thing as greed, and arguably the great majority of those who work in a capitalistic economy are seeking to better the lot of their families.  So what should we think about this–as Christians?  Is capitalism an economic system that is based on a clear-sighted vision of fallen human beings and what motivates them?  Or does it appeal to what is basest in us, clipping the wings of the better angels of our nature?

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