BY SOFO ARCHON
What makes people greedy for money?
In order to understand what causes monetary greed, let’s to do the following thought experiment:
Imagine that water in our planet was scarce. What would happen in that situation?
Since water is a basic need for our survival, it seems that everyone would rush out to collect as much water as they could. People would fight against one another to collect water for themselves. But no matter how much they would collect, they would never feel completely secure, because how can one know for sure how much water is enough for a lifetime? It’s impossible. Therefore, under such conditions people would want to collect water without end.
Fortunately, water in most places of our planet is abundant, and in developed countries, where clean, healthy water is readily available, people don’t collect and hoard it. When people feel thirsty, they drink water. When they want to use water, they just do so without second thought. When water is available to everyone at any time, you never see people greedy for water. But you might see people greedy for water in poor, underdeveloped areas of the world, where clean water is scarce.
Whenever something is not in abundance, we become greedy for it, especially if that something is of crucial importance to our survival. Greed therefore is the result of scarcity.
Let’s now have a look at how monetary greed is caused, or what makes people greedy for money.
Without money, we cannot survive, since our whole economic system is based on money. But money, as every economist knows, is never enough for every living person. In addition, money is never guaranteed — you might have plenty now, but who knows if you’ll have any in the future? Naturally, all people become greedy for money — some more, others less. In fact, no matter how much money we have in our bank account, we never feel secure. That’s exactly why you see even millionaires desiring to acquire more money. Their greed is beyond measure, but they are not responsible for it.
We usually like to blame the rich for their immense greed for money, as if they were born greedy or an evil force is urging them to hoard money. The truth, however, is that the way our whole socioeconomic system is structured inevitably leads to this kind of behavior, and unless we change it from its very foundations, understanding and removing the root causes of greed, we will always remain trapped in its net, reaping its negative consequences.
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