Care to debate the concept of greed? Care to tell me that pedal to the metal greed is a good thing?
Yes. And yes (more or less).
Except there's one thing I need to clarify. Greed is a weak-assed word. So let's break out the definition (from Dictionary.com) to understand why:
So why do I call this a weak-assed word? Because greed is in the eye of the judgmental. It can't be quantitatively measured. Here's an example:
I have two people. both are in the same general business. One makes $260 million a year, the other $37.5 million a year (not counting everything, this is on their main sources of income).
So is one or both greedy? After all, they're making more than all the AIG bonus recipients combined.
Both started out with little money. One started out with very little and unmarried parents, worked hard, and achieved great success early, becoming the most powerful person in the profession. The other was born to a good family, stumbled along the way, and became the most powerful person in the profession.
One has worked to bring education to places where it is lacking, the other helps the children of Marines and police killed in the line of duty afford education.
Now would you say that either person is greedy?
I'll assume, despite their divergent political views that only those obsessed with denying anyone wealth would consider the salaries of either Oprah Winfrey or Rush Limbaugh as marks of greed. So dollar amounts don't cut it.
Would you consider Bernie Maddoff (asshat) greedy? He donated millions to charity with the money he stole in his Ponzi scheme. Criminal, yes. Greedy, no. Now you might be able to make a case for the gang at Enron, but they were also criminals. So if you're referring to those who break the law to gain financially, I could live with that.
But those who do their jobs, secure agreements for pay, then are demonized for taking their pay because their company crashed and burned and grabbed some government tit? Not at all.
The reason these people seek the big money, the big fame, and the like, is because they've worked their ass off to earn it. Some may have started at an advantage, but as you've seen from my example above, you don't have to have much in the way of advantage to succeed to make the big money. And I have yet to see any system that works as well without sacrificing freedom to the will of another.
Which finally (yeah, finally) brings me to the reason why the free market works: The rational self-interest of the individual. It can be expected that most people will act to improve their lives in some way, whether it be monetary, spiritual, situational, or emotional. And in the free market, you are paid to pursue your passion if it allows someone else to pursue theirs. And when the potential of the individual is allowed to do what it does naturally, without punishing or regulating success in utilizing that potential, then we grow as a people.