2009 – 7th Grade 3rd Place Winner.

Pharoah Sutton-Jackson, New York.

Greed: One of the Most Common Traits in Society

Greed is seeking surplus and not caring who you hurt, or how it affects your society. It's having enough but wanting more; greed is a powerful weapon in certain hands. Whose hands? Usually people with power, authority, or wealth. Greed is institutionalized in modern society and influenced history. People say giving has the greatest impact on society, yet giving is merely the cure for the disease that is greed.
Greed has the power to devastate the hearts and minds of intelligent people. Greedy people with power can use their power to benefit certain groups, while the rest of society suffers, Greedy people with authority can destroy lives; they have power and control to make lives harder for others. Greedy people with wealth can increase poverty, while increasing their pockets. People like CEO's who only care about themselves, hurt others, and steal money exemplify greed. The selfless acts of giving are only cleaning the mess of greed.
If greed exists in government, a society can fall apart. Aristotle believed the same. His idea of tyranny is the result of greed influencing governmental acts. When leaders only benefit themselves their society suffers. The greedy acts in tyrannies have caused various societies to respond and often overthrow the government.
King George III relationship with the thirteen colonies exemplified greed. He was very greedy; he imposed taxes on newspapers, stamps, tea, and playing cards. He did this to enrich himself and England. The colonies responded through the Boston Tea Party, and eventually the American Revolution. The King's greedy acts contributed to the birth of our country.
Aristotle believed oligarchies would fail because of the greed they entail. In this system only the rich are cared for. The possible middle class and the poor suffer. There are so many examples of greed in the world and the society often suffers because of it.
The modern day foreclosure crisis is a huge example of common greed in society, and the idea of obtaining wealth reappears. The banks and real estate brokers are lending loans to people who can't pay them back so they can collect high commissions. These people can't afford these houses and fail to pay their monthly mortgage. The bank then claims the house and kicks people on the street. They then try to sell the house to make more money. Thousands of people are becoming homeless so that banks can make profit.
You may think of yourself as a giving person who contributes to others, yet the fact is there is a good chance you exhibit greed in your daily life. That's the impact greed has on modern society. Think about the idea of the American Dream, you can achieve anything you want if you work for it. To achieve happiness in society today you have to be greedy. The influence of greed is do monumental that having greedy qualities in our society doesn’t automatically make you a bad person.

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