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RE: Greed and Reward

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Regis,
I think you missed my point. While I admit that you have a point, it
tends to condemn all who are not living hand to mouth. Greed is
universal - I don't believe that there are any human beings who, based
on your definition of greed, are free - even the poorest people in the
world desire to own something personal and unless you are a monk, this
can be defined as greed.
The point that I and some others were making is how far away from the
really needy that you can be before you lose site of their plight. I
believe strongly that when this happens, your actions negatively affect
those below you. The CEO of Disney need not earn a half billion dollars
a year when people are paying $10.00 a ticket to a movie. (You may guess
from this statement that I have not been to a movie in many years and I
have not been to a sporting event in even more years). There are
principles which many of us live by that are the only thing we can do to
voice our dissatisfaction and that is to avoid contributing to the
wealth of others. Apathy drives greed as the apathetic believe they have
no other choice.
I left Structural Engineers Association after nearly twenty years (and
after co-founding the SEAINT Listservice) because I believed the policy
makers have gone that extra distance to lose sight of the needs and
concerns of the members they were originally empowered to represent. 

I'm not concerned about the greed that drives us all to want sufficient
comfort for our family. I am concerned about those who accumulate
fortunes that they could never use in ten lifetimes and then expect the
public to pay homage to them when they turn around and donate it back to
needy charities. I personally don't believe the charities would be
needed if the revenue were circulating around those who can't afford
those basic necessities in life that I suggested in my post. This is
extreme greed.

Yes you have a point, but why draw attention away from the real issue by
arguing rhetoric?

Regards,
Dennis

PS. I am no saint - I'm not religious and I am as greedy as the next
person according to your definition. I am involved in volunteer services
that help to provide opportunities by training an education. I can not
give money so I give time. I have not lost sight of those who lack the
basic necessities that I have had by giving them opportunities. Sorry, I
am not intending to pat my own back, but am trying to cement the point I
was trying to make.

 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Regis King [mailto:steelfishes(--nospam--at)hotmail.com] 
> Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 4:03 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: Greed and Reward
> 
> 
> >So this is your justification to allow and accept greed?  
> The gentleman 
> >who is motivated by his desire to protect his family will do 
> less harm 
> >on society than those who believe that the goal is to 
> achieve the 
> >greatest number possessions or amount of wealth in a lifetime.
> 
> Who said I am justifying greed?  It is merely my observation 
> that most 
> people, like the original poster, give themselves and each 
> other a free pass 
> on anyting done "for the family".  A big house in a better 
> neighborhood is 
> never for social status, it is for better schools.  A bigger 
> car is never 
> for social status, it is safer for the kids.  A big savings 
> is never for its 
> own sake, it is to make sure the kids can go to whatever 
> college they want.  
> A cozy retirement is never for the person's own sake, it is 
> to avoid being a 
> burden on the kids.  The diamond earings are never a garrish 
> display of 
> wealth, they are a touching gift for the wife who's always 
> wanted them.  If 
> you want to talk about greed, that's great, but please don't 
> start out by 
> giving yourself a free pass because all your loot is for your 
> family.  
> Almost everything I have accumulated and bought over the last 
> 5 years has 
> been "for the family", but I'm not applying for sainthood, 
> and I don't think 
> this gives me a pass to look down my nose at anyone else 
> because I'm sure I 
> could do more than I am doing for deserving people in need.  
> When I want to 
> talk about sainthood, I look at my mother-in-law who was 
> widowed and who 
> raised 12 kids by herself on the $11K a year she got from 
> social security 
> death benefits.  She never complains because she had all she 
> needed to raise 
> them well.  Let me tell you, when you meet someone like that 
> you gain some 
> perspective on what struggling to support your family really, 
> and you lose 
> sympathy for the person who gives themselves a free pass at 
> greed because 
> their big car and their fancy house are "for the family".  
> And in the big 
> picture, if you are living in the U.S., you probably live pretty well 
> compared to most of the world.
> 
> 
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