Greed

My family loves to play games. As I’ve written before, we play hard and we play to win. Over the years we’ve played lots of games. Many include an element of risk. An option to stop or continue playing while putting all current gains at risk. It’s sort of like the big decision points in “Deal or No Deal.” My family has developed a mantra to use for taunting the player who is facing a decision like this. We chant, “Greed will get you killed!” It’s hard enough deciding on the bird in the hand or the two in the bush without all of your loved ones goading you on.

I thought of this phrase recently when I read an article by Michael Shermer in which he describes participating in a con game for an episode of his TV show.

With all of the recent disclosure of unethical behavior on the part of many corporate executives, and Wall Street traders, and politicians, and other leaders, it’s worth taking a moment to recognize that they only get away with this stuff for this long because of the greed that drives the people around them. We’re willing to overlook the warning signs as long as we see a way for us to come out a winner. Now I know you just thought, “Not me.” Watch the video.

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