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Garland Robinette

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Twitter: @garlandWWL
Email: garland@wwl.com

GREED? How much is too much?

Greed:  Excessive desire for wealth or possessions. (Dictionary.com)

Corporate greed:  Wasteful spending, huge salaries, golden handshakes, bad investments, long vacations, perks, tax evasion and embezzling. (Urban dictionary.com)

I’ve questioned the very definition of “greed” ever since I decided to question my beliefs.  For most of my life I agreed with these definitions, all the while collecting more wealth and possessions.  My first doubts began when I criticized the pay of professional athletes.  Can they ever really be overpaid, if the demand is there?

Incorporating my experience drawn from jobs in the media, corporations, the art world, and my own business I used what I’ve learned and that is…I don’t know, unless I challenge my beliefs.  So, I then asked myself…how much is TOO MUCH?  I still don’t have an answer, nor have any radio listeners or expert guests ever given me an answer.  So, I’ve come to believe there is no such thing as “greed,” if  one embraces capitalism and supply and demand.

I suspect there will be those who agree (conservatives) and disagree (liberals), but both will miss my point.  This is simply a search for truth.  Let’s take the nationwide spread of anger about those too rich or too greedy.  To attract more apostles I submit the movement needs to have a goal.  I think history proves that any movement must have a goal.  It does no group any benefit if the collective becomes angry when asked, “What do you want?”

So I ask:

1.    How much is too much wealth?
2.    How many are too many possessions?
3.    How much is too much salary?
4.    How much is too much of a golden handshake?
5.    How long is too long a vacation?
6.    How many is too many perks?

I can read most of your minds at this point, “You’re against the Occupy Wall Street protestors and their fellow organizations.”  Not at all, I’ve criticized both the Republican and Democratic parties for years.  I truly believe they are incapable of saving this country.  I am more than happy to hear the next generation (and I believe most of the middle class) stand up and say “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore,” but you must have a goal for followers to believe in, and I believe a movement against greed is not it.  Ask the questions and listen for answers.  Again:

Too much wealth…$200,000 a year?  Where do we get that figure?  Who gets to decide that figure?  Why not $100,000?  Why not $500,000?  What if someone in your group wants another figure?  How does this figure into capitalism?  Isn’t this the land of the free… free to own, possess, collect as much as you can in a competitive market…like the late Steve Jobs?  Bill Gates?  Oprah?  Lady GaGa?  Peyton Manning?  If it’s socialism, where can you point to socialism’s success?  Which system do you want?  Ask the same questions for every greed indicator.  The same technique applies to salaries, vacations, perks and golden handshakes.

To have a position one must be able to defend a position.  Getting defensive because you’re challenged changes nothing…it only slows or kills the pace of change.

I believe Americans are afraid.  Fearful people join clubs in order to hear what they believe regardless of whether or not it is correct. 

Leaders (not clubs) try to find faults in their plans in order to create “better.”   It serves no one’s long-term benefit to believe in the indefensible.

Elimination of something one cannot define serves no one’s benefit.

So, again I ask…if we’re protesting against corporate greed…how much is too much? 

Tags :  
People : Bill GatesLady GagaPeyton ManningSteve Jobs

10/10/2011 1:46PM
GREED? How much is too much?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
10/11/2011 1:04PM
As much as We are willing to give...
I was brought up ia e pretty Conservative(fiscally) Democratic family..One of the lesson my Mom imparted to me was the premise that "Life is Give and Take","There are no free Rides"...The problem and solution lies in taxation..If the issue/problem is the growing disparity in the US(we rank around 45th,next to Uraguay,I think), then I can identify the Biggest Driver of Disparity quite Easily..It's The "CAP" on Social Sec.Taxation...Because All Employers are paying half of Every employees SS tax,on wages/salries,...It's to their(the Employers) advantage to drive Down The EARNINGS of Any Employee near or below the "cap", And conversely Beneficial to pay those(Usually their Family,Friends,Frat Bro's,etc.) earning More Than the "CAP" as much as the Stockholders/Gov't/We will Tolerate..The More they pay Employees "over the cap", the lower the rate of taxation..THIS IS THE ONLY AREA that WE tax this way(vs. Income/Medicare/Medicaid/Capital gains,etc.. The Solution goes something like this,(all earning$'s and tax rate's are arbitrary)and the same 50-50 Employer/ployee structure remains..For those earning $1k-25K,pay 8%..$25K-75K,pay 7%..$75K-150K, pay 6%...$150K-300K,pay 7%..$300K-600K,pay 7.5%...$600K-1mil, pay 8%...And for every $mil forward the rate increase by some ridiculously low margin,say 0.0001%,or if that's TOO MUCH for MultiMilionaires, how bout 0.000001%...The point is that If were going to allow for the Unlimited accumulation of wealth,And I'm all for it, then The burden/benefits, should be equitably distributed...This structural Reform would Immediately provide Incentives for ALL Employer to Hire more Middle Class Employees,and subdue to some measureable extent the Increasing Disparity in question....The same fundamental Reforms Should be Applied to Income and Capital gains Taxes as well.....Why should someone who earns through wages/salaries $400K pay the same or higher rate then someone earning $3mil through wages/salaries/cap gains ??????....Since NO ONE GETS TO Acumulate Wealth without benefitting from what WE ALL Pay For...And Supply(Natural Resources)...We ALL should benefit from the collective Accumulation of Wealth...Why do Alaskan Citizens get MORE for their OIL than LA.???..Is Socialism OK for republicans when they take the spoils????...Don't get me wrong, I blame the Dem.as much as R's for their Capitulation, but this isn't a "he said, she said" arguement...This IS ABOUT FAIRNESS, AND Equity...We can debate and negotiate how high these rates need to be based on expenditures,but if we are willing to go to war, we ought to be willing to tax ourselves to do so....The Idea that WE can borrow and PAY Interest on this is Absurd...We're borrowing money to Blow up our neighbors and Borrowing MORE to Repair the Damage from said "Blowing Up" C'Mon!!!...How's this Conservative???....In 2010, We spent more than 40% of ALL THE WORLDS Military Spending...Is this Sustainable????...Between Military,and Justice(fed,st,local law enf.,and prisons) we're around a $trillion annual...we tax directly for Soc.Sec.,Medicare,Medicaid,Disability,Roads...Why Not the Former...Here's One for the Tea Party, The Constitution requires Congress to ReAthorize funding to maintain an "Army" Every 2 yrs...Seems to me "They"(our founders), didn't think maintaining an Army was wise,for "they did provide for the maintaining of a Navy,and I'm sure would've used the same logic in Authorizing an Air Force...I want to be able to go and Kick Whomever's out there that Needs Kicking,but see no benefit from Invading with ground troop, Foreign/Sovreign Nations, with few exceptions..ie; gross examples of genocide,where neighboring nations request Intl help...I suppose this has gone on long enough...I would Absolutely relish the Opportunity To Debate Any "Conservative" on any of these issues..And Single Payer Healthcare as well...Thanks Garland...Jon from Metairie...
11/02/2011 12:04PM
Speaking of greed
...how much did you get from that landfill?
11/05/2011 11:54AM
Getting an interest free loan!
11/11/2011 9:25AM
Garland is confused
Capitalism is not the problem with the economy. Corporatism is the problem. Capitalism creates competition. Corporatism creates monolpolies. Capitalism creates jobs. Corporatism creates unemployment. Capitalism builds a middle class. Corporatism builds a top 1%. Capitalism relies on risk. Corporatism relies on government bailouts. No one should begrudge a person making a fortune. But everyone should question the right of large corporations with little allegiance to the United States to use a global economy to circumvent the American worker. Ron Paul 2012.
01/11/2012 7:42PM
The hourly wage is communistic .
There is no limit to the amount of wealth anyone could accumulate based on the gifts granted by GOD , disciplene, hardwork, intelligence, desire. There should be no limit on poverty for those who are deceitful, thieves, slouths, and partakers on injustices. CORPORATIONISM IS THE SMOKE that conceals sins created by greed. the founding fathers warned against then... the dumbing down of THE USA
02/07/2012 4:52PM
Relativity and polarities
This is a relative world where we can experience the polarities, or extremes as well as everything in between. Greed, like everything else is simply what it is, so it basically comes down to judgment. Nothing has any intrinsic referant or meaning other than the referant or meaning we individually assign to it. This is the true meaning of relativity. Greed has no referant or meaning other than the referant or meaning assigned to it by the one who is experiencing greed. How much is too much depends on your perspective or position within the spectrum of polarities. For the wealthy greed has only the limit of conscience, but for the child dying for lack of clean drinking water, greed limits life itself.
02/13/2012 12:01PM
The Simple Answer
Quantitative Answer: When corporate greed ends our capitalist economy, i.e, zero gain. Qualitative Answer: When corporate greed ends the American Dream, i.e., The Middle Class.
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