Greed is bad

Dewey Quong is a frequent letter-writer who works at Lawlor Events Center.

So Michael Lafferty thinks greed is great as stated in Right hook, Sept. 23? In part, he is right, but mostly he is wrong.

Tell the people who were killed in Haiti by tropical storm/hurricane Jeanne that greed is great. The mountains in Haiti were clear-cut, and when the rains came the mud flowed down the mountain into the villages. A thousand-plus people were killed. More bodies are being found every day.

Why was the forest in Haiti clear-cut? Greed. People made firewood and charcoal out of the forests for sale to others. Those who cut down the forest didn’t consider the long-term consequences of their actions. All they wanted was money. Who pays for the cleanup after the rains? The people who can least afford it, the ones who lost their homes and family members, while the ones who made the money from the forest products are living in the homes in the hills that weren’t affected by the mud.

Closer to home, the mining industry has taken billions of dollars out of the mines in Nevada. Most gold mining companies are owned by corporations that are not headquartered in Nevada or even in the United States. All that profit is shipped out of the country. The government allows it to happen. Keep the mining companies happy with low operating costs and weak environmental laws, and they will employ a few Nevadans to work the mines.

Greed is great when you invent the washing machine and save time and labor for all while making a profit, but greed is not great when a few benefit, but the majority pay for your success.

A lot of the seeds for the world’s crops come from the United States. A farmer on a small poor farm in a Third World country buys corn seeds and plants them. He raises the crop and feeds, clothes and shelters his family. In years past, that farmer could have taken some of the corn and used it for seeds for next year’s crop. Now he can’t. Instead of selling the extra corn to buy things for his family, he has to use the money to buy more seed corn. Al this because a few greedy businessmen manipulated the genes in the seed corn so that most seeds sold by the United States have terminator genes. That means the crop will have mainly sterile seeds. You can’t use part of this year’s crop to plant next year’s crop. A few greedy businessmen make money, and Third World farmers go without.

Don’t believe me? Who’s cleaning up, closing the old mines and monitoring them for safety? Not the mine owners. You and me, that’s who. And I’m not the one who made millions in profits from Nevada mines. Have you got your cut?