Greed is Good

So says John Stossel. And he’s right.

“Who’s John Stossel?”

That was Virgil Rosanke’s reaction when “20/20” interviewed him for one of my TV specials. Without Rosanke and others like him, I couldn’t have a steak dinner tonight, but I and most of the people he makes dinners possible for are unknown to him. He makes our dinners possible anyway.

Is Virgil Rosanke a philanthropist? No. Is he a government worker? Not that either. He’s just a guy who delivers propane to heat water for cattle to drink. Why does he do it? To make money.

If pursuing profit is greed, economist Walter Williams told me, then greed is good, because it drives us to do many good things. “Those areas where people are motivated the most by greed are the areas that we’re the most satisfied with: supermarkets, computers, FedEx.” By contrast, areas “where people say we’re motivated by ‘caring'” — public education, public housing etc. — “are the areas of disaster in our country. . . How much would get done,” Williams wondered, “if it all depended on human love and kindness?”

I recommend reading the rest of this article. John makes so many great points on the virtues of the free market that it should be required reading in college economics classes.

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