What is Greed?

Posted by politicalpartypooper on April 18, 2010

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines greed as the selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed.  Defined as a noun, greed most often displays itself as a verb, in the actions of those who are swayed by it.

I came across one such example last year at my Roundy’s Pick-n-Save, where I noticed they were offering a bundle of camping firewood for $3.50, which struck me at first as odd, since most of the vendors I know charge around $2.50 – $3.00.  I see and know many of those vendors; they live right next to me, or just down the road from me.  They are families trying to earn a little extra money, or maybe a small carpentry shop offering waste cutoffs to campers for $2.50.  All of these families live within a mile of the State Forest and camp grounds just north of my house, Point Beach State Forest.  All of them are conveniently located to the park, on the same road, with their bundled firewood placed in a rack, and a collection box that uses the honor system when a sale is made. The Pick-n-Save is a little more than a mile away, but is the last grocery store on the way to the campgrounds.  They get people from all over our state, as well as many Illinois travelers, to stop in for any last minute items…like camp firewood.

Where’s the greed?  It’s hidden in the fact that the owner of this store knows that many families sell firewood for less money at roadside stands.  That money probably helps those families more than it helps Roundy’s.  The extra dollar that travelers pay at Roundy’s for that firewood is probably needed more by the traveler than by Roundy’s.  So why is Roundy’s Pick-n-Save selling that firewood?  Because they know that campers stop at their store for groceries, and they “offer” it as a “convenience”. What a nice thing to do!

Or not.  I think it’s greed.  Ten miles away from the camp site, Walmart also offers bundles of firewood, as a convenience.  How nice.

That’s just one example of a corporation setting up competition against a mom and pop road-side stand.  Some would call it smart marketing, and in some cases, it might be.  But that smart marketing is collecting more and more of the local economy every day, and sending more and more of that local economy over seas, to new stores, new businesses, and new ventures in capitalism.  We’re “smart-marketing” ourselves right into local poverty, and patting the genius fleecers on the back for their ingenuity.

This is an open post.  If you have an example of greed, please feel free to share it.     Ω


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