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Is Greed Good? Essay

988 words - 4 pages

In Oliver Stone's classic Wall Street, which came out in 1987, there is a monologue that will transcend time, and be forever associated with Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy. “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.” This dramatic speech was given by Gordon Gekko (played by Micheal Douglas) a wealthy businessman, who through this speech is trying to convey the message that greed leads to overall personal, and economic growth. However, many wonder if this is true, can greed ever really be good? Also, is the director Oliver Stone trying to make a statement about corporate America and the ultra wealthy?
Is greed good? well it depends on which way you look at it, and the people you talk to. Greed as defined by Webster's dictionary is “the selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is necessary” Many business people of the world believe that greed is the driving incentive for any person to produce a product. These people believe that if we didn't have greed, no one would bother going to school or work, because what would be the point? There would be no driving factor to make a person want to do anything. However, business people have a flaw in their argument, they believe that money is the only incentive for a person to do anything. Their mind cannot fathom the thought of a person being generous or charitable when they unable to receive a monetary compensation. They do not understand why people donate their money to charity, or volunteer their time. They are unable to conceive that a person would do something just to feel good about themselves. Which is why many from the outside world are sick and fed up with Wall Street CEO's and their selfish and excessive desire for money. On the other hand, if one can be greedy in their pursuit of money does this mean a person or group could have a selfish and have an excessive desire to help other people, or rather, is it possible for a person to be greedy for generosity.
Is the Catholic Church to greedy when it comes to charity? Can a man be to greedy for love? Can a student be to greedy towards his school work and report cards? Gekko in his speech and also director Oliver Stone, are drawing on these questions to make the argument that if greed in one form is acceptable than all forms of greed are acceptable. Which is why Gekko says “Greed in all its forms [is good]” Gekko is making the argument that if the Catholic Church can be greedy with their pursuits of charity, why can't a CEO, or other business person be greedy in their pursuit of money? ...

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