Agricultural Economics Department


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Published in Cornhusker Economics, 08/03/2005. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


A recent book by Robert Frank (2004), a well-known researcher and writer on the nature of our economic nature, points to how the business world appears to be in the grip of “infectious greed” attributing this phrase to Alan Greenspan, the current U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman. Greenspan has also said it is “not that humans have become more greedy than in generations past,” but rather that “the avenues to express greed have grown so enormously (quoted by Frank, 2004, p. vii).” So, apparently in the minds of the business community, perhaps even in our own agribusiness and farming communities, many see doing well as possible only at the expense of doing good. That is, anything goes in the spirit of gaining more economic wealth and power as long as no one is looking!