The Profit Motive is Good; The Loss and Theft Motive is Evil

by | Nov 21, 2012 | Business

Obama and his wife, call for service to replace the motive of profit. Yet if money and profit are so bad, why do those seeking the trillions in redistributed wealth want it so badly?

Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another — their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

—Ayn Rand


We’re told that money is bad. Yet those who have less of it are constantly using the force of government to get more of it. Their leader in the White House, and his wife, call for service to replace the motive of profit. Yet if money and profit are so bad, why do those seeking the trillions in redistributed wealth want it so badly?

We’re told that profit is evil. Yet profit is a sign of health. Profit for Apple means that millions of people are buying affordable phones and computers. Profit for Exxon means millions of people have heat and fuel, instead of living in caves or shacks and riding in horses and buggies. If profit and success are so bad, why are the fruits of profit and success seen as so necessary — indeed, taken for granted?

We’re told that freedom cannot exist without guaranteed food, shelter, and medical care. But what about the freedom of those forced to pay for the food, shelter and medical care of those who don’t have it? Where does their freedom go? And what about the freedom of those who now depend on the government handouts, in greater numbers than ever before as the economy continues to stagnate and the entitlement state grows exponentially? How freeis someone who depends on government to provide his food, shelter and medical care?

We’re told that the purpose of life is service. Yet those we elect in our socialist democracy to ensure that some are served at the expense of others, at the point of a gun, have no qualms about living well. The richest and most powerful and influential among us are leftist millionaires and billionaires who seek to impose this socialist state on all of us. Doesn’t that seem just the tiniest bit hypocritical? To ask the question is heresy.

We’re told that we must live for a purpose “higher than ourselves.” Without a self, what is there? How is there love without a self to do the loving? How is there success and prosperity without people seeking to attain their rational interests of survival and fulfillment? What in the world does it mean to have a life — to have values of any kind, material or emotional — without a self?

Money is not the root of all evil. Money is the means through which human beings advance their lives, and translate their many efforts in concrete, actualized form. Money is the route to peace, the means through which people trade with one another rather than control each other with chains and guns. Anyone who proudly tells you how he loathes money is confessing his love of coercion — of himself, or another.

A majority of Americans seem to agree that money is a bad thing, and that those who have “too much” of it should have less of it. Yet these selfsame Americans want more and more for themselves, whether through their own efforts — or not. How they must hate themselves to live with such a contradiction.

These conflicted Americans will learn the same hard lesson as countless prior civilizations: The “safety” of chains will not deliver them security, or prosperity.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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