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April 26, 2010

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David

I'm concerned with your conclusion that we simply "accept greed." I think we should instead choose *to what extent* we accept it. Greed cannot be prevented, true -- but the forms in which we allow it to manifest itself can be managed. Isn’t that one of the major functions of the law in a society? For example, we have drawn a line for greed that precludes murder, and that has worked fairly well. And we've tried to preclude greed’s manifestation via theft (as defined), which has worked acceptably(?) well.

The law has not always succeeded in its function as the referee in the playing field upon which greed is acted out, but the rules of the system should reflect our tolerance for greed and its negative side-effects in civilized society, rather than just fully accepting greed and not trying to manage it at all.

That said, I do agree with you that we will get little if anything substantive out of the Washington-Wall Street hearings.

Thanks for all the insightful postings!

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

David:

That last paragraph could be another post, or even an entire series of books!

To clarify, I do not condone or "accept greed." I simply acknowledge its existence and do not choose to go against it because it is a fundamental aspect of human behavior.

I stated that I do not "fight" greed because it is a part of nature, much in the same way that I do not fight a rip current in the ocean -- I swim with it, then come back to shore -- otherwise I may drown in its power.

I would not necessarily "turn my head" and allow greed to exist, either. For example, I teach my two sons the art of contentment (being thankful for what you have, rather than coveting what you do not have).

There were certainly cynical undertones in this post. Since I have no power to stop greed on Wall Street or in Washington, I anticipate it and plan accordingly.

I can only manage my own greed and do my best to teach my sons, students, clients and blog readers that change begins with the SELF and that the crowd is where the danger exists...

Thanks for your thoughtful comment and for provoking thought...

Kent

Sunroom Desk

Will government intervention prevent greed for paper profits from sinking the system?

The best investment I made recently was purchasing a 25-cent used copy of The Worldly Philosophers:

http://sunroomdesk.com/2010/04/26/the-worldly-philosophers-25-cents-at-glendale-library-goldman-sachs-under-the-paperweight/

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Sunroom Desk:

"Will government intervention prevent greed for paper profits from sinking the system?"

The short answer is 'No.'

It is laughable that Wall Street is being lashed by Washington. Both have their extreme flaws, yet they are also what I consider necessary evils. I'd rather live with them, especially considering their predictable nature, than live without them in a more dangerous kind of chaos.

Thanks for the comment...

Kent

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