This has been on my mind for a long time. I of course take the stand that greed is never good, and have said so many times before. I learned from Thomas Sowell that just because one is greedy does not mean that one will be rich. Also, economics, to me, is simply the study and application of the best way of managing human covetousness.
An ebook by the Hoover Institution, written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Russell Roberts, is “Personal Freedom and the Moral Case for Capitalism”. At this writing I haven’t read it yet, but I dare say it will resonate with me. The oft-quoted phrase by Gordon Gekko that “…greed is good…” is alluded to in the email from the Hoover Institution encouraging us to read the book. I think we should stop saying “…greed is good…” when what we really mean, I trow, is that “…greed is human, and we need to manage it so that it yields the greatest good all round…” So, therefore, what is good is not greed but the management of greed. Remember, too, that Walter Williams said that free markets cannot work unless there is a high level of morality in the society wanting to let free markets reign.
Let’s get our perspective right.