Tag: Greed (home)

Gold, n.: A soft malleable metal relatively scarce in distribution. It is mined deep in the earth by poor men who then give it to rich men who immediately bury it back in the earth in great prisons, although gold hasn't done anything to them.

permalink source: Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
tags: Greed

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

permalink source: Mark Twain
tags: Money, Greed

Whether we like it or not, or system is not so much one of checks and balances as it is one of checks, and checks, and sometimes cash.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Politics, Greed

ON SELFISHNESS & AMERICAN CULTURE "To bring [the Indian] out of savagery into citizenship… we need to awaken in him wants. Discontent with the teepee and the Indian camp is needed to get the Indian out of the blanket and into trousers--and trousers with a pocket in them, and with a pocket that aches to be filled with dollars!"- Dr. Merrill E. Gates (president of Amherst College) "The head chief [of the Cherokees] told us that there was not a family in that whole nation that had not a home of its own. There was not a pauper in the nation, and the nation did not owe a dollar… Yet the defect of the system was apparent. They [the Indians] have got as far as they can go, because they own their land in common… There is no selfishness, which is at the bottom of civilization. Until this people give up their lands and divide them among their citizens so that each can own theland he cultivates, they will not make much progress." - Senator Dawes (author of the Dawes Act, which forcibly divided Indian lands formerly held communally) Selfishness is the root of civilization? Amazing what people reveal about their values in such casual statements. The above would be funny were it not for the whole sad history of government dealings with the Native Americans. The quotes are from "In the Absence of the Sacred" by Jerry Mander (Sierra Club, 1991).

permalink source: Jerry Mander
tags: Contentment, Selfishness, Greed, Values

A local United Way office realized that it had never received a donation from the town's most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to contribute. "Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least $500,000, you give not a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give back to the community in some way?" The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied, "First, did our research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?" Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbled, "Um...no." "--or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?" The stricken United Way rep began to stammer out an apology but was interrupted, "--or that my sister's husband died in a traffic accident," the lawyer's voice rising in indignation, "leaving her penniless with three children?!" The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, said simply, "I had no idea..." On a roll, the lawyer cut him off once again "--so if I don't give any money to them, why should I give any to you?!?"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Money, Greed, Giving

Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the vervet monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it's simple. They've been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can't get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Sin, Greed, Creativity

The Romans had a proverb which said that money was like sea-water; the more a man drank the thirstier he became.

permalink source: William Barclay's commentary on Lucan commentary of the Rich Fool
tags: Contentment, Money, Greed

Wealth, which leads men the wrong way so often, [should be] seen less for its own qualities than for the human misery it stands for. The large rooms of which you are so proud are in fact your shame. They are big enough to hold crowds -- and also big enough to shut out the voice of the poor! ... The poor man cries before your house, and you pay no attention. There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there, confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.

permalink source: St. Ambrose of Milan (339-397)
tags: Money, Greed

Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds.

permalink source: Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
tags: Greed, Self-indulgence

TODAY'S STOCK MARKET REPORT: Part 1 Helium was up. Feathers were down. Paper was stationary.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Money, Greed

Or perhaps he's like a little boy named Brian. For weeks he bugged his parents about getting a watch for Christmas. Finally his dad told him, “Brian, if you mention that watch again, you’re not going to get it. Quit bugging us!” One night Brian’s parents asked him to lead in prayer before dinner. Brian said, “I’d like to quote a Scripture verse before I pray. Mark 13:37: ‘I say unto you what I have already told you before – watch ...'”

permalink source: Rick Warren (probably not the real source)
tags: Prayer, Greed, Christmas, Giving

Have you ever heard yourself say, "I wouldn't do that for $1 million"? In Bernice Kanner's book, Are You Normal About Money?, Americans reveal just how far they'd go to make a buck: For $1 million: 65 percent would live on a deserted island for a year. 30 percent would spend six months in jail for a crime they didn't commit. For $3,000: 24 percent would reveal a friend's deep, dark secret they swore to keep. For $500: 66 percent would kiss a stranger. For $50: 75 percent would kiss a frog.

permalink source: Discipleship Journal (Nov./Dec. 2002); submitted by Van Morris, Mount Washington, Kentucky
tags: Money, Greed

...One way in which the Internet is beginning to make a significant practical difference involves the selling of souls. This is not, of course, a new phenomenon; people have been selling their souls since souls were invented. A vast body of literature addresses the subject. In Christopher Marlowe's play The Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus the doctor agrees to remit his soul to Lucifer in return for all the knowledge in the world. Of course, Faustus eventually comes to regret the transaction. During the 1988 presidential campaign Mario Cuomo was said to have been offered the Oval Office in exchange for his immortal soul, and to have replied, "What's the catch?" The selling of souls has now made its way onto eBay, the online auction house, providing a literal answer to the rhetorical question from the Gospel of Mark: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" The online traffic in souls became public two years ago when a man named Adam Burtle, of Woodinville, Washington, put up an eBay listing that read "20 yr-old Seattle boy's SOUL, hardly used." Burtle went on, "Please realize, I make no warranties as to the condition of the soul. As of now, it is near mint condition, with only minor scratches." By the time eBay officials stepped in (eBay insists that auctioned items consist of merchandise that can physically change hands), the price had reached $400, and Burtle's soul had been bought by a woman in the Midwest. A year later a twenty-four-year-old man in West Des Moines named Nathan Wright put his soul up for bid, first on eBay and then, after the watchdogs discovered it, on Yahoo. It went to a television sound mixer in Los Angeles for $31 plus $15 for shipping and handling. (Wright had put it in a jar.) Wright reports on his Web site: "My soul's new owner has vowed to take good care of it. He and his wife are planning a trip to Europe and apparently the soul will be accompanying them. At some point my soul is going to be more well-traveled than me." …

permalink source: The Atlantic April 2003 Innocent Bystander
tags: Greed, Soul

Speaking of Chuck Swindoll (see earlier item above), he tells about a scam that took place in New York City when some con men decided to make some extra cash by feeding on the depravity of humanity. Naturally, they made a killing. "They got a pile of cardboard boxes, newspapers, stickers that read "Factory Sealed," a roll of bubble plastic, and a stack of stolen shopping bags from Macy's. They stuffed each box with bricks and newspapers until it weighed enough, then wrapped everything in bubble stuff and affixed the stickers. As the evening rush-hour traffic backed up at the Holland Tunnel, the con artists started wandering the curb, carrying the bogus boxes inside the Macy's shopping bags. When they spotted a potential buyer stranded in traffic, they walked up to the car window and started fast-talking a cash deal. "Hey, man, I got a Sony Handicam here . . . just got it off a FedEx truck." He lifts the box out of the bag, saying, "Macy's sells 'em for $999." Then, jerking his head around nervously, he says, "I'll take 90 bucks, cash." "The cars start to edge forward and the other drivers start yelling. The thief delivers his final pitch: "Okay, man, I'll let you have it for $45. Take it or leave it." And the driver takes it, knowing it's hot merchandise. "When asked about how it feels to rip people off, selling them empty boxes, one of the men said, "Hey, man, I'm not beating an honest man. No one buys hot unless they've got larceny in their heart." "I must admit . . . the guy's got a point! The fella who grabbed the box and sped off into the night was just as guilty as the thief on the street, and, along with that, his money gave "hearty approval" to the one who ripped him off. Happens all the time. The details change, but it's still depravity on display. Furthermore, no one is immune. In fact, the possibilities of appealing to our old nature are endless. What kind of deals do you make when no one is looking?" (from Dallas Seminary Daily Devotional, 7/10/03)

permalink source: Chuck Swidoll
tags: Greed, Theft

God uses lust to impel man to marriage, ambition to office, avarice to earning, and fear to faith. -- Martin Luther

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Fear, Lust, Greed, Ambition

Advertising has altered humankind. We’ve gone from caveman and cavewoman to craveman and cravewoman. -- Frank Tyger

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Greed

Collect adventures and experiences, not things. Things will burden you. Adventures and experiences give you pleasant memories.

permalink source: William D. Montapert
tags: Courage, Greed

A rich but miserly man who was unloved in his community went to a wise man to ask why. The wise man took him to a window. "Look", he said, "And tell me what you see." "People," said the rich man. Taking him to a mirror, the wise man asked, "What do you see now?" "Behold", said the wise man, "in the window there is glass and in the mirror there is glass. But the glass in the mirror is covered with a film of silver. As soon as the silver is added, you cease to see others and see only yourself."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Selfishness, Greed

http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2005/001/3.8.html American Christians live in the richest nation on earth and enjoy an average household income of $42,409.17 The World Bank reports that 1.2 billion of the world's poorest people try to survive on just one dollar a day. At least one billion people have never heard the gospel. The Ronsvalles point out that if American Christians just tithed, they would have another $143 billion available to empower the poor and spread the gospel.18 Studies by the United Nations suggest that just an additional $70–$80 billion a year would be enough to provide access to essential services like basic health care and education for all the poor of the earth.19 If they did no more than tithe, American Christians would have the private dollars to foot this entire bill and still have $60–$70 billion more to do evangelism around the world. ... Fully 26 percent of traditional evangelicals do not think premarital sex is wrong, and 46 percent of nontraditional evangelicals say it is morally okay.24 And extramarital sex? Of traditional evangelicals, 13 percent say it is okay for married persons to have sex with someone other than one's spouse. And 19 percent of nontraditional evangelicals say adultery is morally acceptable.25 ... Only 9 percent of born-again adults and 2 percent of born-again teenagers have a biblical worldview

permalink source: The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience Ronald J. Sider in Books & Culture Jan/Feb 2005
tags: Apologetics, Church, Sex, Greed, Giving

<table> <tr><td><b>Vice</b></td><td><b>Virtue against which it sins</b></td><td><b>Brief description</b></td></tr> <tr><td>Pride (1) </td><td>Humility </td><td>Seeing ourselves as we are and not comparing ourselves to others is humility. Pride and vanity are competitive. If someone else's pride really bothers you, you have a lot of pride.</td></tr> <tr><td>Avarice/Greed (5) </td><td>Generosity </td><td>This is about more than money. Generosity means letting others get the credit or praise. It is giving without having expectations of the other person. Greed wants to get its "fair share" or a bit more.</td></tr> <tr><td>Envy (2) </td><td>Love </td><td>"Love is patient, love is kind…" Love actively seeks the good of others for their sake. Envy resents the good others receive or even might receive. Envy is almost indistinguishable from pride at times.</td></tr> <tr><td>Wrath/Anger (3) </td><td>Kindness </td><td>Kindness means taking the tender approach, with patience and compassion. Anger is often our first reaction to the problems of others. Impatience with the faults of others is related to this.</td></tr> <tr><td>Lust (7) </td><td>Self control </td><td>Self control and self mastery prevent pleasure from killing the soul by suffocation. Legitimate pleasures are controlled in the same way an athlete's muscles are: for maximum efficiency without damage. Lust is the self-destructive drive for pleasure out of proportion to its worth. Sex, power, or image can be used well, but they tend to go out of control.</td></tr> <tr><td>Gluttony (6) </td><td>Faith and Temperance </td><td>Temperance accepts the natural limits of pleasures and preserves this natural balance. This does not pertain only to food, but to entertainment and other legitimate goods, and even the company of others.</td></tr> <tr><td>Sloth (4) </td><td>Zeal </td><td>Zeal is the energetic response of the heart to God's commands. The other sins work together to deaden the spiritual senses so we first become slow to respond to God and then drift completely into the sleep of complacency.</td></tr> </table>

permalink source: http://www.whitestonejournal.com/seven/
tags: Lust, Sin, Anger, Greed, Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth

Nothing is enough to the man for whom enough is too little.

permalink source: Epicurus
tags: Greed

Avaricious and Envious Two neighbours came before Jupiter and prayed him to grant their hearts' desire. Now the one was full of avarice, and the other eaten up with envy. So to punish them both, Jupiter granted that each might have whatever he wished for himself, but only on condition that his neighbour had twice as much. The Avaricious man prayed to have a room full of gold. No sooner said than done; but all his joy was turned to grief when he found that his neighbour had two rooms full of the precious metal. Then came the turn of the Envious man, who could not bear to think that his neighbour had any joy at all. So he prayed that he might have one of his own eyes put out, by which means his companion would become totally blind. Vices are their own punishment.

permalink source: Aesop's Fables #54
tags: Greed

Coinnosseurs of the deadly sins divide them into the warm-hearted or cold-blooded sins. Lust, anger, and gluttony in this reckoning are thought warm hearted, bodily sins, proceeding as they do from the physical passions; pride, greed, sloth, and envy are cold-blooded, proceeding as they do from states of mind. The cold-blooded sins are more rebukable, less forgivable, and (with the exception of sloth) inherently crueler. Envy, a case could easily enough be made, may be the cruelist of all.

permalink source: Joseph Epstein, Envy p 9
tags: Lust, Anger, Greed, Pride

Studies such as Robert Frank's <i>Luxury Fever</i> have shown that people would agree to make less total money so long as they make more than their neighbors: that is, they would rather earn, say, $85,000 a yeear where no one else is making more than $75,000 instead of $100,000 where everyone else is making $125,000. H. L. Mencken, who took especial delight in the frailties and the pretensions of the democratic spirit, once defined contentment in America as making $10 a month more than your brother-in-law.

permalink source: Joseph Epstein, Envy p 35-36
tags: Contentment, Greed

There’s always one of my uncles who watches a boxing match with me and says "Sure. Ten million dollars. You know, for that kind of money, I’d fight him." As if someone is going to pay $200 a ticket to see a 57-year-old carpet salesman get hit in the face once and cry.

permalink source: Larry Miller
tags: Greed, Sports

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/17/business/17scene.html?oref=login ECONOMIC SCENE The Theory That Self-Interest Is the Sole Motivator Is Self-Fulfilling By ROBERT H. FRANK Published: February 17, 2005 ... (skipped beginning) [T]he economist's rational-actor model... assumes that people are selfish in the narrow sense... To be sure, self-interest is an important human motive, and the self-interest model has well-established explanatory power.... But some economists go so far as to say that self-interest explains virtually all behavior. As Gordon Tullock of the University of Arizona has written, for example, "the average human being is about 95 percent selfish in the narrow sense of the term." ... Does what we believe about human motivation matter? In an experimental study of private contributions to a common project, two sociologists from the University of Wisconsin, Gerald Marwell and Ruth Ames, found that first-year graduate students in economics contributed an average of less than half the amount contributed by students from other disciplines. Other studies have found that repeated exposure to the self-interest model makes selfish behavior more likely. In one experiment, for example, the cooperation rates of economics majors fell short of those of nonmajors, and the difference grew the longer the students had been in their respective majors. My point is not that my fellow economists are wrong to stress the importance of self-interest. But those who insist that it is the only important human motive are missing something important. Even more troubling, the narrow self-interest model, which encourages us to expect the worst in others, often brings out the worst in us as well.... Robert H. Frank is an economist at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University and the author, most recently, of "What Price the Moral High Ground?"

permalink source: Robert H. Frank, "The Theory That Self-Interest Is the Sole Motivator Is Self-Fulfilling" 2/17/2005 NYT
tags: Selfishness, Greed

Why did corporate governance checks and balances that served us reasonably well in the past break down? At root was the rapid enlargement of stock market capitalizations in the latter part of the 1990s that arguably engendered an outsized increase in opportunities for avarice. An infectious greed seemed to grip much of our business community. ... It is not that humans have become any more greedy than in generations past. It is that the avenues to express greed had grown so enormously.

permalink source: Alan Greenspan, testimony to the US Senate, July 16 2002
tags: Greed

Everything that is not nailed down is mine, and anything I can pry loose is not nailed down.

permalink source: Collis P. Huntington
tags: Greed, Stanford

Over Spring Break in March of 2006, 30 Chi Alpha students from Bozeman, MT traveled three days by bus to New Orleans to help people recover in the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina: "the most poignant moment came when a student, who is a relatively new Christian, walked into a ruined home and found a Bible still open on the kitchen table - where it has sat adhered by the original (and now dissipated) flood waters for months. 'The Bible was opened to Psalm 90 where it says <em>you are my dwelling place forever,</em>' Lant recalls. 'That moment really changed his life as he came to grips with the fact that earth was just a temporary residence . . . he now views things from a more spiritual perspective, what's most lasting in his life and how temporal materialism is.'"

permalink source: AG News #1246: April 19, 2006
tags: Greed, Eternity

<em>on how she reconciles bling with God: </em>“My God is a God who wants me to have things. He wants me to bling!”

permalink source: Mary J. Blige, Blender, May 2006, p. 58.
tags: Greed

There are two different types of achievements. Regaining muscle strength after recuperation from a broken leg and making the last payment on a thirty-year mortgage are victories with fixed features that allow pride when attained. But the desire to be rich or to have higher status lacks this quality, for there are always others with more wealth or higher status. Hence, many who seek these goals are never satisfied and experience chronic uncertainty instead of pride.

permalink source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 143
tags: Success, Greed, Ambition

What Goes Around Comes Around

During one riot in Michigan, one woman sold stones to rioters. . . . Small stones went for $1, larger stones brought in $5 a piece. Most of the rocks were thrown at police. . . . The woman claimed that she collected about $70 from her efforts, but she stopped when she was hit by a rock herself.

permalink source: Discover Your Inner Economist, Tyler Cowen via http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2007/08/18/what-goes-around-comes-around/
tags: Sinfulness, Greed, Consequences