By Jim Boyce and Doug Smith, co-founders of Econ4
Last November, Yves and Lambert were kind enough to post this announcement of the Econ4 video contest on the subject of “Greed”: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/11/greed-announcing-econ4-video-contest.html
We are now delighted to announce the winners:
“The Greatest Economics Lesson”
Winner of the Grand Prize as well as the prize for Most Creative, by Taylor Erickson, a nonprofit intern in Cleveland.
“Charlie Chaplin on Greed”
Winner of the prize for Most Inspiring, produced by Korbinian Blendl and Marco Bader in Germany.
“Greed: It’s What you Need!”
Winner of the prize for Funniest, by Evan Moore, an independent filmmaker based in Seattle.
You can view the winners by clicking on the links above, or by visiting us at http://econ4.org/.
Please help us build support for an economy that works for people, the planet and the future by sharing these great videos with friends, colleagues, students and social media!
And, for your viewing pleasure, here is Taylor Erickson’s Grand Prize winner:
I only wish that I could achieve the kind of elegance and simplicity in communications about this topic which Taylor managed to pull off in the winning work. Not one word was superfluous nor was one visual cue unnecessary to make the point being made. Everything in it had a purpose.
For the longest time the use of the word ‘greed’ seemed to fall short as a descriptive. This winning video (and the entire project) got me thinking in about the truth that greed is hard wired. So, what is different about greed NOW.
Took me longer than it should have, but i”inmy view” (B. Sanders) it’s the greed for the speed and size of investment profit that has shifted. In my youth, the advice was always “Buy and Hold”. Sometimes for a lifetime, with a retirement or heirloom pay off.
Where I got left behind and completely shorn like a sheep, was my failure to recognize and learn more about the speed of investment. How much proft THIS quarter, this month, week, day? How large of a growth percentage applied THIS year? And what could be squeezed and sacrificed to maximize it.
Turns out I was the squeezed and sacrificial sheep. Well, me and a boatload of others. So at least I’m not lonely and I have NC to explain it to me.
Man, I completely spaced the contest. I was working on other projects. One of which I published just yesterday. I’ll still add these to one of my playlists when I get a chance.
The property next door to ours is owned by one Frank Slowey, who behaves as the friend Erickson describes. His behavior was so alien to my experience of landlords that when the place had a serious fire, I took a year to work on his place instead of mine. And lo, I learned so much about what I didn’t know I didn’t know, that I reoriented my thinking on what to do with our own place.
Our own place, being purchased from one Melva Sturgis, who inherited it, and didn’t worry about payment for the year that we were struggling. These two people directly affected us in a way that goes beyond money, to a place of concrete exemplars of hope for humanity. Respect.
My dear Steve, have myself run into a couple of ‘capitalists’ of the type you describe. I will be forever grateful to them, and I say to you, thanks, brother, TESTIFY!
What was true in Chaplin’s time is still true today. Where’s the progress?
What I particularly like about this video is that it provides a positive model for action going forward, not simply a negative portrayal of the existing state of affairs.
Really good work by all. Evan Moore’s video is a good reminder that the misery we experience presently isn’t a mistake, it’s a strategy of accumulation.
These videos are the perfect items for an Internet version of the “Public Service Announcement.”
I practice law by day but have acquired a few cute one- and two-bedroom condos. I make a point of fixing them up with really great appliances, new everything. I put in hardwood floors and granite countertops. I have everything newly painted and new carpet. I have put central air conditioning in every one of them. I am in touch with my tenants very regularly to see if they need anything or want anything. I never bother with late fees — and if their car breaks down or they get sick and need to use their rent money for more pressing things, I tell them it’s important to take care of themselves and I give them a pass. I consider it an honor to help single moms get their feet on the ladder and take care of their kids. Several times, I have foregone the rent for more than a year while a mom struggled to finish her education and get a job. I have little or no turnover — some tenants have stayed for more than six or eight years. I had one tenant say that she would like to buy a house but she didn’t want to lose me for a landlord. I have been burned once or twice, but it’s been a privilege to play an essential role in helping and caring for people and their kids and helping them reach their goals. And I have never lost money on my little rental “empire” and, even with my foregoing rent, I have always made a reasonable profit. And, interestingly, some of my tenants have become good friends — which I didn’t expect. I remember when I was in school and I got hassled and threatened and charged outrageous late fees and was forced to forfeit security deposits and had to put up with broken or ugly things. I vowed I would not be that kind of slumlord, and I have never suffered for it. It is possible in some contexts to be both kind — and make a profit.