3635– Sunday, May 19, 2019 – Greed is in the Nature of Business.

Good morning rain.  One thing we get lots of up here is rain.  Nice cold stormy days with pouring down drenching rain.  Even going out with a raincoat, you will get soaked to the skin.  We seldom see these great rainy days in Arizona and I always miss them.  Coming back to Wisconsin, I get to greet each of these days with the gratitude that they inspire in me.  You may wonder “Why does John love cold stormy rainy days?”  Days that make farmers and sunshine people like my wife Karen miserable.  The answer all goes back to when I was a child.

stormy night

On a nice day, I can still hear my father shouting: “Get your ass outside and go play, its too nice to be inside!”  Or he might have been sending me out to do some yard work or other chore.  However, on a nice stormy cold rainy day, I could curl up on my bed, watch the raindrops pelt my bedroom window and read one of my favorite books.  No one would bother me, and I well remember the feeling of heavenly bliss that would descend on my any time one of those days graced the sky.  I am 72 years old and still get that feeling.

One of my dad’s favorite comments was “If your so smart, why aren’t you rich?”  I have spent many years finding evidence in my life and the lives of others that there is often as not little correlation between being rich and being smart.  Unfortunately, it would seem that my father’s credo has become embedded or should I say enshrined in American life.  It is practically a gospel belief today that “prosperity” is ordained by god and being rich is a sign that god blesses you.  Proof of this credo is evident in the many comments one heard from those who backed Trump for president.  “How could he be wrong, if he is so rich.”  “He is a billionaire.”  “I trust him because he has so much money.”  There is little doubt that our current president also believes strongly in this creed:

“You know, a great friend of mine from New York, he’s a stone-cold killer. He’s a brutal man. He’s actually not even a good friend of mine because he’d turn on me in two seconds if it was (inaudible). (Laughter.) But he’s a very rich guy. And he said, “What are you going to speak about today? Like, what are you going to speak?” I said, “I don’t know. I don’t know.”  — Donald Trump at Conservative Political Action Conference, March 3, 2019

My good friend and current house guest (still asleep after a long night of arguing with me) believes that business and morality should go together.  “Should” being the word that I find very problematic.  Lots of things in this world “Should” happen, but will they happen?  I am a pragmatist.  Business is amoral.  A dollar bill is green.  It is not blue or red.  It knows no political, religious, moral or ethical persuasion.  It rises and fall with economic laws such as the Law of Supply and Demand or the Law of Scarcity or the Law of Cost Benefits or the Law of Incentives.

Should employers pay employees a higher wage?  Should manufacturers keep prices as low as possible?  Should companies sell more American goods?  Should businesses tell the truth in marketing products and services?  These questions remind me of the reply that we all tell our children when they holler “But it is not fair.”  And we reply “Yes, but life is not fair.”  Well, grow up people, business is not about being fair, it is about that green dollar and how can they get more of it.

The economic laws of business and capitalism require a balancing mechanism.  That is why we need “Government of the people, by the people and FOR the people.”  Not FOR the corporation or FOR the conglomerate or FOR the industry or FOR the business, but FOR the people.  At least one of our great presidents believed this, but today too many of our leaders have forgotten this wisdom and of course you and I both know why.  So, I will save that discussion for another time.  Enough pontificating today, time to put my galoshes on and go splash in the rain.

“There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.”  —  Mahatma Gandhi

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kris
    May 19, 2019 @ 06:52:13

    your right life is not fair. my son jus passed away march 30. respiratory failure and we know the hospital screwed up but because of the wisconsin laws. a parent can not file…lawsuit….only the spouse or kids of the deceased…..one screwed up law….!!!!



  2. johnpersico
    May 19, 2019 @ 08:05:00

    Very sorry for your loss Kris. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you. My condolences.



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