Greed is evil, but is money? Remember the saying, "The love of money is the root of all evil?" I think that's even scriptural. Here the word "love" is key as in "love of money." That "love of money" is what leads to greed, not the money or having money itself.
Money can lead one to being evil but having money doesn't make everyone who has it evil. Only evil people are greedy with money. We have plenty of wealthy people who are not greedy. Some wealthy people are among the kindest and most generous and charitable among us. There is nothing evil or greedy about them. Still, others blessed with wealth do meet that evil and greedy profile that all good people despise.
A good analogy is those leftists who declare that guns are evil. Guns don't kill but some people who have guns do kill. However, the overwhelming majority of gun owners are not killers. There are probably far more violent people who don't own guns then those who do.
They're also plenty of people of modest means who are extremely greedy and selfish. Most of us know people like that and have witnessed and/or experienced it far to often. It's about what is in your heart, not what is in your possession. We ought never lose sight of that.
Money is a necessity but like food and water, too much of it will make you fat and unhealthy and will eventually kill you, but not enough of it can kill you too. Think about it, it's true .
Here's how I view it. Greed is bad. Ambition is good. Charity is good but "transferring wealth" is bad. Charity is freely giving to the needy and destitute but "transferring wealth" is just plain ol' theft through legal coercion and mandate. It's repugnant and evil. It is the essence of "greed."
It's not wrong to aspire to a better life. It is wrong to aspire to a better life at someone else's expense (i.e. transferring wealth) instead of taking advantage of opportunity and earning it yourself. If you didn't earn it, you don't deserve it and you are certainly NOT entitled to it. If you get something that you didn't earn then show a lot of gratitude because your benefit is a gift, not a right. An obvious exception is children, all of whom are dependent minors who always deserve to be cared for. They will grow in to their responsibility like everyone else.
Those who are poor through no fault of their own should be helped. That's what genuine charity is all about. Good people don't object to such charity, they embrace it and give freely and often. It's the "Christian thing" to do. However, if you dropped out of school, became a drug addict or an alcoholic, choose to break the law and develop a criminal record, got bad grades and flunked out of school because you were to lazy to study, if injured yourself because you elected to do something stupid, if you got an STD because you were promiscuous, or if you failed to show up for work or didn't earn your pay while at work and got fired, etc. etc., then that's on you. Your bad luck was self-made. It's your own damn fault. You don't deserve charity. The only thing you earned and deserve is a whole lot of ridicule and a good swift kick in the posterior. Perhaps you deserve a "second chance" or even a "third chance" to "earn" and get it right, but you are not entitled to anything.
To take from hard working Americans who weren't lazy, who did study hard, who played by the rules, obeyed the law, who saved and sacrificed, who had a good work ethic, who served their country, who behaved responsibly, etc. etc., and then force them to "share their wealth" with these others who elected to do the opposite is both immoral and sinful. It is wholly unfair and completely unjust.
Inheritance is neither earned or deserved although far to many people believe that it is. If you feel "entitled" to your inheritance then you are an especially greedy person. You may have a legal right to your inheritance in much the same way as a lottery winner has a right to his or her winnings, but neither of your earned it. Both of you just got lucky. You are not "entitled" to it. With two exceptions that I will discuss later, entitlements should not be "won," the should always be "earned." An example of earned is a pension "earned" for work. If you did the work, met your contractual obligations, then you are indeed "entitled" to the benefit.
Think about this, just because your parents worked hard and earned a small fortune, how does that in anyway "entitle" you to what they have? It's not yours. You didn't earn any of it. How dare you think that you have a birthright to it?
Certainly, if your parents want to "will" their fortune to someone that is entirely there business. It's their money so they can do what ever they want with it. Just be mindful that inheritance is still a gift, not an entitlement, and should be received with gratitude. You don't deserve boasting rights if you become rich through inheritance. Pride like that is a sin. You should feel especially humbled when you receive such good fortune.
Of course, the state has even less right to your parents' wealth then you do. For this reason alone inheritance is a good thing, no doubt about it. Without inheritance anything left behind by an industrious and successful hard workers would end up in the coffers of government. There it would quickly disappear, spent by corrupt politicians who clearly didn't earn any of it, and who will never feel a shred of gratitude or humility upon receiving it. Politicians, with very few exceptions, have largely become among the most selfish, corrupt and greedy group of people in human history.
People who paid in to social security and MEDICARE are "entitled" to compensation when they reach the appropriate age. They earned it. They fulfilled their obligations as citizens to both trust funds. That makes it an "entitlement." However, those who did not contribute to the social security or MEDICARE trust funds should not be in anyway entitled to social security compensation or MEDICARE. If they are indigent and sick, let them receive MEDICAID, a welfare program, to set them aside from everyone else who actually "earned" their entitlement.
Whenever congress or the president "transfers money" out of the social security trust fund, or the MEDICARE trust fund, to anyone who did not contribute to these funds it is nothingness than an outright act of theft and it should be identified as such. Any law that legalizes such theft should be immediately replaced with new moral and ethical laws that hold lawmakers criminally accountable and civilly liable whenever they do this.
Even when one does the right thing, works hard and raises his or her kids to be good, decent law abiding citizens who contribute to the country and our economy instead of sponging off of it, that parent has no monetary claim if their child becomes successful. All you "deserve" is a sincere "pat on the back," an "Atta Boy" or an "Atta Girl," for being a good parent. They also get the joy that should naturally come from your child's success and the comfort in knowing you don't have to worry about them.
Being a good parent and raising your kids right is your duty as a parent. No child deserves less from his or her parent. Parenting was your job; parenting is a hard job to be sure, and sometimes even a thankless job, but remember your child didn't employ you to become their parent, you did that. You're being a good parent in no way entitles you to share in your child's fame or fortune. You earned yours and they earned theirs. You both earned and received what you deserved - end of story.
We see so many parents and other family members "latch on" to the success of a family member as if it were their own success and they feel a sense of "entitlement" to their family members success, again as if it were their own. Common sense tells you that is not true . Sometimes a parent will say, "I gave him/her birth" or "I raised him/her" so they couldn't have done it without me. That's pure BS! If that were true then all their children would have enjoyed the same success without fail. If that parent knew how to "do it," to become successful, then they would have done it for themselves and they would not need to share in the success and prosperity of their child as if it were their own.
Sure, some parents genuinely go above and beyond, even labor and sacrifice to help their child succeed, often under very difficult circumstances. That's different. Those parents deserve more then just a little gratitude. Their child knows it too. He/she deeply loves them for that. Out of gratitude their child will usually do everything they can for that parent even though the parent doesn't ask for anything or expect anything. Even then, it's a gift, not an entitlement. If the successful child wants to voluntarily "share his/her wealth" with their parents or other family members out of "gratitude," then that's appropriate. But for the parent to feel "entitled " to a portion of what their adult child earned is "greed" at a shameful extreme. Siblings and extended family don't have a birthright to an anything. They didn't "earn" any part of their family members success and are therefore "undeserving" and not "entitled." They should just feel happy for their relatives' success.
This is also how liberal progressives relate to our country and it's all wrong. When the country as a whole is successful they seem think they have a "birth right" or a "right of citizenship" to "share in the wealth' even if they didn't do a anything to contribute to that success. They're just a bunch of freeloading leeches. That's wrong! That's socialism!
Unfortunately, that is also precisely what President Obama is trying to do. It's what liberal's and socialists routinely do. They want other peoples money and they want to spend or transfer others peoples money, but they are rarely generous with there own wealth. Note that charitable contributions by President Obama and Vice-President Biden in 2008 was not only laughable, it also proved to be an embarrassment for both of them. They seemingly knew little or nothing about "personal generosity." They only knew how to spend and share "your money."
Naturally those who earned what they have object to such "transference of wealth" at their expense. As explained before, the involuntary "transfer of wealth" is the essence of "greed." It also helps to explain President Obama's sudden and massive drop in the polls.
We must break free from this trend toward socialism as demonstrated through this horrific spending and "transference of wealth." We must free our society of this "entitlement mentality." Here are what Americans are actually "entitled" to and nothing more or less:
1. Equal opportunity
2. All the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed in our constitution and bill of rights.
Nothing else is or should be an entitlement for any American unless it is "earned."
Author Biographical Sketch: Ed Coet, BS, MA, Major – US Army retired, is a former career US Army counterintelligence and human intelligence officer and a retired professional educator. Currently the editor of the Blue Fog Journal, Ed Coet is also a widely published freelance writer and poet. Ed’s short stories and poems were published in over 30 magazines and journals world wide. Ed’s anthology credits include Namaste Fiji – The International Anthology of Poetry Book; The Breaking Silences Poetry Book Collection; the 2007 Scars Poetry Collection Book – We The Poet’s; A Hudson View Poetry Digest - Winter 2008 International Collection, South African Poet’s Printery’s - Tonight, An Anthology of World Love Poetry and Moontown Café’s - Poetry by Moonlight. Ed Coet’s book “Poet Coet” is now in publication and worldwide at major on-line book outlets such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit with Ed Coet at “The Coet Blog” at http://thecoet.blogspot.com/.