American Greed

Do you believe that Americans are greedy?

I saw an advertisement recently for a documentary called American Greed.  Truthfully, I reacted a bit.  While we’ve seen certain politicians call out American greed and our lack of attention to the poor, I found myself pausing.

Aren’t Americans known for their generosity?  When tragedy strikes, it’s Americans who rush in and provide relief.  Is there any other country in the world known for their giving like the United States? America values generosity so much that they encourage it as a matter of public policy.

Now I know as well that Americans are known as well for their consumerism.  Whether it’s spending on pizza, movies, jewelry, clothes, candy bars, furniture—the truth is that we like to spend on ourselves.  But that consumerism is not unique to America.  And that’s my point.

Every place you travel around the world, you’ll generally find that those in positions of power acquire wealth.  And they spend that wealth on themselves.  Greed.

It’s all relative—whether it’s a desert chieftain or a ruling despot.

Why?  Greed is not a cultural issue.  Greed is a condition of the human heart.  If you are human, you’ll struggle with greed at some point in your life.

And the only antidote known for this condition?  Generosity.

William F. High is the President/General Counsel of the Servant Christian Community Foundation (  Servant’s mission is to inspire, teach and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity.


2 Responses to “American Greed”

  1. HTierney Says:

    Greed has consumed America: Everywhere you look, whats in it for me they say. Yes other countries are help by America with the understanding of what is in it for us such as mineral rights oil gas and gold plus silver. Whenever money leaves one hand to another it is always what or how one can benifit from the transaction No american does anything for nothing. When they give money they get most back on there incometaxes. Need I say more. We know the score.

  2. John Beakley Says:

    Greed has NOT consumed America! We are a nation founded on the principles of freedom that originates with God. It is because of this freedom, our hard work, and God’s blessings that we have developed an abundance both individually and nationally. Does HTierney really believe that those who freely give to various ministries whether religious or secular receive a share of royalties in mineral interests from Hatian refugees, victims of earthquakes and other disasters, or from the nation’s they live in. The average American pays taxes based on an average marginal rate of about 18%. Therefore, the average American only receives a tax break of 18 cents for every dollar given to charity. Hardly, “getting it all back through tax savings.” The wealthiest Americans pay taxes based on a maximum marginal rate of 35%. Again, hardly, “getting it all back through tax savings.” Apparently, Mr. HTierney is clueless as to what the real score is or even what the real game is. AMERICANS GIVE BECAUSE THEY ARE FREE TO GIVE AND CARE ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD AND WANT TO SEE THEM FREE AS WELL – whether that freedom comes through a relationship with Christ, or a form of secular freedom from government suppression, or from their individual plights due to disaster.

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