Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some Quotes on Greed, Self-Interest, Profit-Making, etc.

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own neccessities but of their advantages.
- Adam Smith

You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.
- Ayn Rand

Blaming financial crises on greed is like blaming airplane crashes on gravity.
- Author uncertain

"Need" now means wanting someone else's money. "Greed" means wanting to keep your own. "Compassion" is when a politician arranges the transfer.
– Joseph Sobran

There would not be any profits but for the eagerness of the public to acquire the merchandise offered for sale by the successful entrepreneur, but the same people who scramble for these articles vilify the businessman and call his profit ill-got.
- Ludwig von Mises

Self-interest is (...) whatever it is that interests the participants, whatever they value, whatever goals they pursue. The scientist seeking to advance the frontiers of his discipline, the missionary seeking to convert infidels to the true faith, the philanthropist seeking to bring comfort to the needy – all are pursuing their interests, as they see them, as they judge them by their own values.
– Milton Friedman

Greed will continue until the Garden of Eden arrives, when everything is superabundant, and we don’t have to worry about economics at all. We haven’t of course reached that point yet; we haven’t reached the point where everybody is burning his salary increases, or salary checks in general.
— Murray N. Rothbard

The valuable is what produces profit, whether it be small or great, and the valueless produces no profit. (...) Hence it is not right to reproach anybody with being a lover of profit: for he who makes this reproach is actually a lover of profit himself.
- Socrates

I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.
- Thomas Sowell

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
- William Shakespeare

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