Very simple. Expensive wine, for the most part, tastes better than cheap wine. Same goes with cheese, olives, steak, vegetables, dog food, crackers. The economic crisis came about because greedy people made a rational decision to eat Brie instead of Velvetta. When you see an opportunity to make enough money to buy as much brie and good champagne as you desire, there is no logical reason to ignore that opportunity. Hot tubs, massages, trips to Singapore, first-class leg room, egyptian cotton sheets, a smooth ride, safe tires, a crackling fireplace, pain-killers when you have a backache, soft cashmere against your winter worn skin. Who among us would not choose comfort over discomfort if we had the chance?
Lots of people had the chance and they took it. Some, like Madoff, went nuts, obsessing about the End Game, when the lush towels and ocean front mansions would be forfeited, All the more reason to live large and hoard the universal goodies before the curtain came down. Others danced on the border of greed, me included. Although I live on less than 15,000 a year, I felt the pull of indulgence and the joy of quality. Instead of giving 20 dollars a month to the ASPCA, I chose to waste that money on a pair of designer tights one month, two bunches of tulips another month. I am no different, really, than Madoff. And neither are you. If we think we can get away with something, we take advantage, unless our moral instincts kick in.
Our moral instincts shift to support our ever-changing desires and rationalizations. We hardly notice it. We want to live and live well, keep discomfort at bay, and consider ourselves good people at every turn. I believe that we are good but I know that good cheese tastes better than cheap cheese. This is why I believe in Obama’s governmental intervention strategy. This is why I am not a Republican. We need Daddy to help us do the right thing. I, for one, won’t do it by myself.