Unformatted text preview: Fraser Forum 02/08 33 33 www.fraserinstitute.org Walter E. Williams Demagoguery about greedy rich peo- ple or greedy corporate executives be- ing paid 100 or 200 times their workers’ salaries is a key weapon in the politics of envy. Let’s talk about greed, start- ing off with Merriam-Webster’s defini- tion: “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed.” That definition is a bit wor- risome because how does one know what a person really needs? It’s something my eco- nomics students and I spend a bit of time on in the first lec- ture. For example, does a fam- ily really need one, two, three, or four telephones? What about a dishwasher or a micro- wave oven? Are these excessive desires? If you say these goods are really needed, then I ask, how in the world did your great-grandmother and possibly your grandmother, not to men- tion most of today’s world population, make it without telephones, dishwash- ers, and microwave ovens? “Need” is a nice emotional term, but analytically, it...
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2010 for the course NATURAL SC NATS 1505 taught by Professor Isley during the Spring '10 term at Columbia State Community College.
- Spring '10