Selfishness (or Self-Interest) is actually okay…

…perhaps there is a more eloquent way to put this. But let’s get straight to the point.

 (and indeed, this is not rhetoric often found these days)

What I mean by selfishness is self-interest – the thing that drives our economy. It’s the thing that gets us out of bed to do work – it’s in our self-interest. It’s what motivates great industrialists to innovate and produce better things for less money – profit is in their self-interest. And in this way we see it benefits the whole of society.

It tires me to hear claims that the rich are greedy pigs. In many ways the industrialists of yesteryear and the rich of today are smeared in the media, in education, in all sorts of places. And indeed, the public’s attitude toward the rich is varied and at times paradoxical, as this (rather old, predating last election) article tells us:

And it tires me more than anything to hear that the rich have some sort of moral or social responsibility just because they are rich. If a rich man wants to engage in philanthropic efforts, that is very commendable I grant; however, there should be no obligation on his part to do so – especially in efforts to equalize the playing field.

 I think the rich do enough. They invest; those that innovate make better things faster and cheaper, which ends up helping the whole of society. And in this sense nothing more than an honest exchange is made between the rich and the rest of society. The rich man, with profit ; and society, some form of new innovation or other produce. If this isn’t enough, I don’t know what is.

It disturbs me to hear the – as they are called – “robber barons” – demonized because they were so wealthy. Perhaps there was a bit of worker mistreatment, I grant that. However, look where we would be without those captains of industry, who by their own perusal to maximize profits, ended up benefiting the whole of society.

Comments, welcome, as always.


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