The One Dirty Word Republicans Will Never Use, But It’s The Driving Force Behind Most Of Our Problems

michael-douglasWhen it comes to political debate there’s seemingly an endless stream of opinions – and even supposed “facts.”  You know, because it’s perfectly acceptable now days to call proven facts “opinions” if you happen to disagree with them.

But lost in all the back and forth rhetoric about gay rights, women’s rights, economic ideologies, government ineptitude and whatever other topic might be thrown back and forth, there’s one word conservatives almost never admit is a problem – yet it’s honestly the driving force behind most of the issues we face not only in this country, but on this planet.

Greed.  A word the Republican party will never use.

Even in the Bible, a book cherished by evangelical conservatives, it warns against greed.  That it’s perpetual.  That it’s never ending.  The more you feed greed, the more it’s going to want.

And that’s exactly what happens.

It’s people worth hundreds of millions – if not billions – of dollars, complaining about tax hikes.  People that couldn’t even begin to spend half of the money they have complaining because their growth in wealth might not be as large.

Millions of dollars being spent every single election to buy politicians so that they’ll support legislation that favors their interests.

Greed is why our cars still rely on gasoline.  It’s why our homes aren’t powered by wind or solar energy.  There’s too much money to be made in oil.  If a car could run for over 1,000 miles on a few gallons of some kind of recycled materials or a home could be forever powered with a few solar panels, think of the billions these greedy bastards would lose.

Heck, why do you think there’s “doubt” about climate change?  There’s too much money to be made in fossil fuels.  These greedy bastards would rather see the world end than see their profits vanish.

When jobs are eliminated, it’s usually not because a company can’t afford to pay the workers.  They easily can.  But they’re eliminated because they want to keep growing their already massive profits, and the easiest way to do that is to cut expenses.  Jobs are expenses.  But no worries, the executives still keep getting their giant salaries and bonuses.

Big companies don’t oppose hikes to the minimum wage because they can’t afford it.  They oppose the increase because it’ll very slightly eat into their large profit margins.  And as most of you know, raises and bonuses for upper-level executives are often determined by profit margins.

It’s an endless cycle.  Large profits today are next year’s disappointments.  Greed is an insatiable hunger that will never be satisfied.

Money is finite, that’s just the truth of the matter.  Shaping a society based upon the idea of “survival of the fittest” while concentrating most of that wealth in the hands of just fraction of the population is absolutely insane.

Is it fair to say, “Well, the rich have to pay more – it’s their responsibility”?  Nope, it’s not.  But if we want a country (or a planet for that matter) that’s stable and successful, we can’t continue to support economic policies that rely on the “generosity” of the wealthiest among us to “trickle down” what they feel like giving back.

Because the reality is, as long as their wealth keeps growing, they’ll continue to squeeze as much of it from us as possible until the whole damn thing collapses.  And it will collapse, mark my words.  The trend we’ve seen in this country over the last three decades of the rich getting richer while the rest of us get poorer is not sustainable.

And just because Republicans like to pretend as if greed isn’t an issue, that doesn’t change the reality that it’s not only an issue – it’s quite possibly the biggest issue facing this country.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Matthew Reece

    Greed is fundamentally amoral. It is a tool that can be used by people for good ends or for evil ends. If greed, the desire to get rich, motivates me to invent a new machine that makes people’s lives easier, then I am using greed for good. If greed motivates me to cut corners in the production of my new machine and thereby endanger the well-being of those who use my new machine, then I am using greed for evil. But greed is neither good nor evil inherently.

    • shannon

      It may be both, but it’s biased toward evil. You could take the altruistic approach, and see humanity’s need for your new machine before your profit. Price it at a level that rewards your ingenuity, but doesn’t gouge the buyer.

    • Sandy Greer

      Any artist, and (I suspect) most inventors will tell you greed (the desire for riches) is not the inspiration for the creation of something new.

      Your builder of machines may choose to profit LATER, and you may call it greed, but that is entirely separate from the creative process.

      There are many challenges during the creative process. But greed? Not even present; not a motivator.

      • Aysha Haines

        I’ve always though that the mother of invention was widely agreed to be laziness. the desire to make something that was difficult or time consuming, easier to accomplish

      • honesty

        Ayasha Haines, you thought wrong then. Try reasoning, it’s both difficult and time consuming to design and produce. “Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all endeavors. Never forget this in the midst amongst your diagrams and equations.”-Einstien By the way, I’m an architect, this is what I do. Laziness is working without thinking.

      • honesty

        …of course there always is room for serendipitous revelation due to annoyance as you state basically as well, but too general you see.

    • Aysha Haines

      actually, if you look at the OED definition of greed you will see that it is not amoral, because the very nature of greed requires it to be a “selfish” desire, which means its not just the desire to make money or even the desire to make a ton of money, the fact that it is selfish means that you want to keep something all for yourself and not lets others have any, or have as little as possible. keeping this definition in mind, greed is not amoral, but is rather a hostile intent to keep something that you want from others.

    • Damnliberal

      Greed as an ethic is inherently evil. A certain amount of greed is organic. Homeostasis, or self preservation. The more excessive it gets the more negative it becomes. Henry Ford did set out to become rich. He had a desire to built cars.

  • Sandy Greer

    YES, it’s ‘fair’ the rich should pay more:

    To whom much is given, much is required.

    I’m not rich, but I live a comfortable life. And I’m grateful for it. As such, I do what I can to help others. It’s sure as Hell I can’t take it with me when I die.

    It’s the ‘begrudging’ of the LEAST among us will be the undoing of The Right: That sees a hand up as a hand out, and every hand reaching into their pocket like it was their last dollar they cling to.

    • CherMoe

      Worse yet, they have no problem at all reaching into OUR pockets. We must pay higher taxes so that they can pay less in proportion to what they make. We must support their tax cuts, oil and farm subsidies, tax-exempt organizations like the NFL (what the heck?), political money-laundering “charities” that are tax-exempt and which they use to funnel money to the GOP. They want us to pay astronomical health care premiums and go bankrupt, so that they can prosper even more.

      • bptr

        This is because they are all addicted to profits increasing forever. They have done all the cost-cutting and layoffs that they could get away with and are now using crazy ways to increase profits.

        At some point, a few decades ago, corporate accountants began deciding profit increases ahead of time and working the numbers backwards to assign yearly budgets for various departments.

        The corporate world is deperate now because they have milked the working middle-class dry. They are relying on goverment to eek out more.

        The function of the Republican Party is to corrupt our goverment to enable this. They use fake news and propaganda with fake issues to brainwash voters so they can stay in power. Reoublican voters are tricked into voting against their own interests. When their lives get worse, they simply get angrier and blame Democrats.
        This viscious spiral will continue until this country is ruined. We are pretty close now.

    • Charles Vincent

      Three words…
      Simplified tax code.

      • Sandy Greer

        Hah! This is a moldy-oldie! How’d you happen to dig this one up?

        Only for you, Charles. I don’t usually come back after so long. But I’ll bite:

        What’s your simplified tax code look like?

      • Charles Vincent

        I favor what Milton Friedman recommended simple and easy so the loop holes that allow the rich and corporations to avoid taxes virtually disappear.
        I have some stuff on taxes collected and it sort of correlates to the increasing size and complexity of the tax code.

      • Sandy Greer

        Ooh! Milton Friedman. Am I gonna have to look up what he favored?

        I confess I’m unfamiliar with what he wants.

        Gimme a hint? Fair tax? Flat tax? Consumption tax? What’s it mean for you and me?

        One of my favorite convos years ago was about restructuring taxes – is why I decided to take your bait. Don’t make me regret it, and do all the work, LOL

      • Charles Vincent

        Look at the shift in individual v corporate taxes Sind the late 40’s and 50’s up through now and the compare that shift with the growth of the tax code. Friedman preferred a reverse income tax. And piper at and I have discussed at length the viability of a consumption tax on beyond the obvious and in IM’s

      • Sandy Greer

        Sounds like I like Milton Friedman. Even though I didn’t know it, LOL I love when that happens; expands my world.

        I also favor a consumption tax, with caveats. You’re killing me with BtheO – SO tempting! 😉

        Will watch your video Tues or Weds. Gotta get to bed now; I’m dead tired.

      • Charles Vincent

        Remember to ere is human and to forgive is divine. Good evening to you.

      • Sandy Greer

        Not a matter of forgiving. Rather:

        I know myself; know my limits. I can’t go where I’m likely to beat my head against a brick wall on a regular basis. Just don’t have the patience for it, I’m afraid.

      • Charles Vincent

        Honestly I don’t think there would be a problem he doesn’t post there like he does here and usually it’s either articles he wrote or that he thought were interesting. I think you would be surprised. And it isn’t like you couldn’t unjoint the group haha

      • Sandy Greer

        I’ll think about it. Give me some time to get used to the idea.

      • fairness_rules

        A consumption tax or tax on purchases won’t be fair if businesses, corporations and farmers are allowed to exempt their business purchasers for equipment or any thing else. ALL purchases by ANYONE would need to be taxed for it to work.

      • Charles Vincent

        That’s how consumption taxes work every one pays including corporate ing and every one pays the same amount percentage wise.

      • Sandy Greer

        Here’s where I disagree – that everyone should pay the same percentage.

        I think taxes on luxury goods should be more.

        A higher tax to buy a Maserati than a Ford; more for fur coats, than wool. More on a $10mil house than a $500k…

        Because the poor spend more of their income on basics – food, rent, etc.

      • Charles Vincent

        Yes but the tax on luxury by percentage would be different from food or the electrical bill and that is what I meant by pay the same. Ie low income people would pay the same % as high income therefore if the luxury tax is 6% everyone would pay the 6% regardless of income.

      • Sandy Greer

        I know. Also know 6% of a Maserati is lots more than 6% of a Ford.

        But it’s a fact poor people spend most all their entire income – just to get by. They rent – rather than own. Drink beer; not champagne. No fancy vacations.

        Whatever the tax rate is – I just think luxury goods should be taxed more than everyday items.

      • Charles Vincent

        I agrees the consumption tax on different categories should vary but with in a tight guideline.

      • Sandy Greer

        Clever! I know you still disagree, but think it so clever how you did that, I can’t disagree, and have to let it pass.

        You’re funny; I’m cracking up.

      • Charles Vincent

        Not really piper and I have had this same discussion

      • Sandy Greer

        Um. And that proves – what – exactly? That you agree, or disagree, with me?

      • Charles Vincent

        I think the concept is solid but needs work like anything else. I just see how people might attempt to abuse the system.

      • Sandy Greer

        Barter. One way to get around it.

        Abuse – how?

        Kudos; your first sentence could have been written by a diplomat. Somebody who looks for common ground.

        I think I’m gone, now. Check back tomorrow.

      • Charles Vincent

        One word;
        Ambiguity

      • Sandy Greer

        Do you mean Ambiguity leads to Abuse? Or leaves room for it?

        I could agree Ambiguity might lead to Abuse – but don’t automatically see Abuse in Ambiguity.

        There’s always room for error, in any system, or action, we undertake. I wouldn’t let fear of imperfection (abuse, errors, unintended consequences, etc) stop me from
        moving forward on anything I wanted to do.

        Headstrong meets Analysis Paralysis. 😉

      • Charles Vincent

        Ambiguity leaves room for abuse. Like any law it isn’t just black and white there is gray and that where the law plays in the gray areas.

      • Charles Vincent

        Piper and I discussed barter I need to go back and look at that thread on BtO.

      • Sandy Greer

        Wikipedia on Negative Income Tax (under Criticism)

        >SRI … found stronger work disincentive effects, ranging from an average 9 percent work reduction for husbands to an average 18 percent reduction for wives … it was large enough to suggest that as much as 50 to 60 percent of the transfers paid to two-parent families under a NIT might go to replace lost earnings. They also found an unexpected result: instead of promoting family stability … the NITs seemed to increase family breakup.

        1) Shouldn’t husbands/wives working less mean they have more time for family? Should be a good thing!

        2) Don’t see how 9-18% less hours translates to 50-60% less earnings?

        3) How in the world would NIT increase family breakup?

        Video mentioned ‘disincentives’ to work. ‘Buying in’ that folks are disincentivised to work doesn’t seem to me a foregone conclusion, and, in fact – seems to play into stereotypes of the Welfare Queen.

        I like the idea of a guaranteed income. We’ve already bought into that idea in pension plans, 401Ks, Social Security, etc. Most every investment house offers such a fund.

        On the whole, I favor NIT.

      • fairness_rules

        The lawyers become elected officials whom write and pass our laws to benefit themselves and others like them. They will never give up their tax breaks. They will make sure any tax reforms passed will protect their interests. Just like most legislators in the farm belt own farms or their relatives do and they will never give up their government subsidies. They pile on more and more with every farm bill. Any “flat” or “fair” tax will never be “flat or fair”, I am sorry to say.

      • Charles Vincent

        That’s another debate entirely and yet another reason to rid ourselves of the bloated government bureaucracies.

      • Sandy Greer

        Agree it’s another debate.

        Seems a rather pessimistic view also. That everybody’s in it just for themselves. And that nothing will ever change.

        I don’t think everybody is sold on greed. Not even rich people are all sold on greed.

        But. Best for another debate.

      • bptr

        And how will that happen exactly with Republicans in power?
        The fox is watching the henhouse.

  • terry63

    Greed is a necessary ingredient towards properity. It motivate’s people. Henry Ford, would have had no reason to mass produce an automobile were it not for greed. Success is hinged on greed. In a socialist society there is no reason to Succeed, you couldnt if you wanted to. Its not fair to the others and threatens the Elite. Greed unchecked can be very bad, as it was before Teddy Roosevelt. But sometimes it is government its self Via corruption which creates a bad kind of greed.Such as the Housing industry of 2008.. Congress promised to back the big banks and demanded that they sell mortgages to people that they knew would never pay up. They never paid up and Congress had to use tax payer money to bail out the banks. The industry collapsed. whole neighborhoods of once prime real estate was bull dozed under. A Recession followed that would cripple Detroit and so on. Had Government not rushed in to save the banks they would have all learned a valuble lesson . Instead what they learned was that they were too big to fail. CEO’s began receiving millions of dollars for bonus money . it was a shamefull debacle caused by government meddeling into the free market. Next came a President who threatened big Buisness and still does. They wont invest in those kind of waters. They will take their buis ness else where.

    • mjm

      Terry…many people are motivated by many things other than greed. Most people, in fact.

    • Hmmmm I am a photographer and while I like making money through my chosen vocation it is not the motivator when I pick up a camera it is the desire to create. Success has been achieved when the result is pleasing to me and other viewers. Many have Success and money confused you are not successful because you have money you have money because you are successful when you get the the order wrong process is wrong and is corrupt. Criminals can have a lot of money are the successful or just rich. Rich rich is the answer. Success comes from chasing a WORTHWHILE dream.

  • Ram Garcia

    See for yourself and you will know why the repugs don’t use it. It identifies them for what they have..GREED!!! from Wikipedia: Greed (Latin, avaritia), also known as avarice, cupidity or covetousness, is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one’s self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. It is applied to a markedly high desire for and pursuit of wealth, status, and power…As a secular psychological concept, greed is, similarly, an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs. The degree of inordinance is related to the inability to control the reformulation of “wants” once desired “needs” are eliminated. Erich Fromm described greed as “a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction..

    • honesty

      “Erich Fromm described greed as “a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction..” – Sounds like republicans are addicted to something that is a recipe for a bad rash. Well written, truly appreciate the research, definitions and well-backed sentences. Agreed in full – Now lets vote them out, and be careful not to let them suppress your vote!!

  • Justin Buchanan

    Everyone should be thinking it, and the article writer is saying it. Kudos.

  • Aysha Haines

    the only part of this i disagree with is his assertion that money is finite. that is not really factual, at least not in the way he is using the term. If i have a business and i make $20 that does not mean there is $20 less in the world for you to earn. in principle money is in fact infinite, particularly in our modern non gold based economic systems. in practice the more money an individual has and the more power he has, he can use that to take advantage away from those with less, so it does feel like money is finite, but its just not an accurate way to describe the issue, and it doesn’t help to use the same hyperbole as the other side

  • Luke

    Funny thing. A friend of mine was recently bitching about how his inhaler cost a lot of money because of Obamacare.

    My reply was that it was not so much the law as it was the GREEDY insurance companies jacking up co-pays or choosing not to cover certain things.

    His reply was that he wants the insurance companies to be GREEDY as hell because it helps his 401(k).

    After that, his dad chimed in. Probably 30-40 years my senior. He helped me understand that I was an idiot and that this entire country has been founded on nothing but GREED.

    And it was then that I realized… The discussion is pointless to me because people on the other side of it have turned sins into virtues.

    • Brian Novotny

      And the fools keep thinking they will ‘get theirs someday’

    • fairness_rules

      So true! Love your comment!

  • Luke

    Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, yes? If that lesson has stood the test of time, there may be something to it…

    I was just hoping maybe we could all agree at least that greed is probably not good. It’s not neutral. It’s bad.

    Greed means putting one’s self above all else, be it gods, fellow humans, or what have you…

    In the end, we have a faction of people bowing before this golden calf as if it is an amoral or possibly altruistic motivator.

  • Fernando

    Evangelicals will NEVER use the word “greed”, it would mean too much to their coffers [private wealth]

  • hdusey

    People and Corporations (some believe corporations are people…. ie: our Supreme Court)…. need to get a clue. You can NOT run a country without REVENUE…. Taxes on the wealthy have gone down (while their income is at record totals)…. but taxes on Corporations is at an ALL TIME low…. sending money off shore and taking advantage of “legal” tax loopholes, etc…. have led to this. It is no wonder we have so MANY trillions of dollars of debt. Wake up people… we HAVE TO have tax revenue to run our great country…. and isn’t it a sad truth that the states that scream the most about taxes… are the “TAKER” states… they take in MORE Federal tax dollars then their citizens contribute…. as far as I’m concerned, lets cut them off when they have reached their contributions…. then see what they have to say!!!!!!

  • fairness_rules

    I think we are seeing the “maturing” of capitalism. It makes me wonder if it can sustain itself?

  • bptr

    I have been saying that never-enough CORPORATE PROFITS is the root of all our problems for 20 years. But few will listen.
    People think it is crazy to ever say that profits can be bad. This is due to a hundred years of brainwashing.
    Corporate profits USED to mean more jobs, pay raises, and better standard of living. The opposite is true now because we passed the tipping point about 30 years ago (“greed is good” said Gordon Gecko).

    What we need is a fundamental change in our system. If corporations could report profits BEFORE costs such as wages, new hires, and reinvestments, then they would not be obsessed with cost-cutting and could still make Wall Street happy with their earnings reports. As it is now, billions in CASH profits are just stashed overseas in tax havens. Corporations literally cannot use their profits. This is just crazy.

    Can a basic accounting rule change make the world a much better place? This is my question.