From the late 1970s.  The Phil Donahue Show.  Donahue is interviewing economist Milton Friedman.

Your thoughts?

7 responses to “Greed

  1. Out of all the postings this one spoke to me the most When Friedman says if we honestly think that there isn’t anyone running on greed. I believe that we sadly do. One tends not to really do something for others, it is mostly done to mainly benefit oneself. If it so happens to benefit others most might think “well hey there’s a plus.” I think, if we humans weren’t so greedy we wouldn’t be arguing about many things, such as oil. When he says that where are these angels that can organize the society, I feel that he does that in a way to invoke the listener and show that their really isn’t a nice way to organize a society without causing a bit of harm. If we somehow had these angels we would not have so many problems within the government.

  2. Graziella LiVolsi

    Although capitalism can drive people towards greed, it can also motivate people to become more ambitious and strive to achieve greater rewards, whether it be money, power, prestige ect. No matter which political system is running, there will always be that aspect of greed because it is not a political issue, but rather a problem with human nature. Phil Donahue’s point that the government could improve if it ran on virtue is nice in theory and was actually what the United States originally tried to establish its government on during the days of George Washington, but it eventually fizzled out because not everyone coming into office has plans to be virtuous.

  3. Wow – that eye-opening. Well, Friedman did have a point when he stated that greed drives this world. Greed seems to be the American way. 😦 I don’t believe that any of us are any less guilty than the other. The only thing I will say is that the level of greed among the masses is different. For instance, I want what everyone else wants a life where I am physically and financially comfortable. What do I have to do to get it? Work. Does my having a job mean that someone else has potentially sacrificed something so that I have that job? Possibly. How do I feel about that? Well, not as bad as you think because I want financial comfort for my family, so as long as I continue to have the opportunity to make that happen, I’ll take it. Not that I am going to go out and try to take something that didn’t belong to me away from someone else, but I want my shot at happiness, too – just like everyone else. I believe to some degree, this constitutes greed.

  4. He has a point pn most of it. yes, people do things for not only sucess,but what come from that sucess. Now the thing is what comes from the sucess, money, only for most, but not for all. Now if you define greed to be only about money than that’s wrong too, it’s the thing that a person always wants and when they have it they want more; so that’s my thought.

  5. I loved his view on greed! He is right our world does revolve around it. Without it our world would not function well. Great achievement does come from people perusing their dreams in this world. Without it our world would not have what we have today like computers, cars and all the new technology.

  6. I believe the argument Milton Friedman is presenting has a near cynical feel to it. Originally, the posed question was along the lines of ‘around the globe you see maldistribution of wealth, where there are third world countries, few “haves” and so many “have-nots”, when you see the greed and concentration of power do you ever have a doubt about capitalism in which follows with Milton’s point of view. Milton Friedman is very good with his words, but ultimately he’s justifying greediness.

  7. Whether you agree with Milton’s political beliefs or not you have to admit he is a great communicator. I watched a couple of videos of him speaking on Youtube and find myself captivated by him. He is great at simplifying complicated ideas and making those who criticize his ideas look silly. What milton describes in capitalism, could be described in a philosophy as psychological egoism. I don’t think that he is justifying greediness, I think he is saying that we’re all greedy and that in capitalism this greed can benefit everyone. Like Ford’s auto-factory giving us cars, job, and making him richer at the same time.

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