Greed Is Good (In the Appropriate Context)

It seems that some of my libertarian friends have been miffed recently by liberal allegations that they're greedy. Insofar as I wanted to make the allegation stick, I would argue that rightwing pundits and so forth are greedy not because they stand to reap enormous personal financial benefits from their pro-rich-people political agenda, but because they stand to reap relatively enormous personal financial benefits from their willingness to argue the pro-rich-people line. There's more money to be made in the field of conservative political activism and propaganda work, because the right's activist institutions are better-financed.

That said, I would strongly, strongly, strongly caution liberals against making non-greediness some kind of core political virtue. There's a certain strand of self-regard, a shortsighted meanness of spirit and neglect of public purpose, that's incompatible with the spirit of modern egalitarian liberalism, but mostly the whole point of the enterprise is to convince people that liberalism will make you better off. It won't, of course, make literally everyone better off, but the pitch is that the vast majority of people would benefit from living in a society with high quality public services, adequate environmental protections, a foreign policy focused on international cooperation, and a healthy regard for individual autonomy.