Everyone views things differently. People of different races, age, sex, and religion may think differently than I would. Disagreements are common to encounter and stereotyping plays a huge role. One word that interest me the most is self-interest. While everyone has a different point of view on this word, I believe self-interest means more than what the dictionary states. When I think of self-interest, the first thing that comes to mind is one’s happiness in doing whatever they desire.
Ever since I’ve started taking an economics class this semester, this word has been a topic for discussion. After every class discussion, my interest in knowing more about the word grew. Self-Interest is a complex word and its meanings are broad. From an economist point of view, the word means ” one’s desire could prosper all. ” I never thought anybody’s self-interest could benefit others. Although an economist might be correct about the word from their point of view, from my perceptive I could see it both ways. If someone is happy it does not mean everyone else is.
People live different life styles compared to others. If bill gates is happy that does not mean I am happy. If Microsoft is doing well, then I prosper from that. Since I use Microsoft word for academic purposes, if the company starts to fall apart then I, the consumer is not happy. If the product is doing well then I am happy because I could prosper academically. Another thing to think about is when Microsoft is doing well Bill Gates has money. That could provide jobs for others to help put the best product out to keep the consumer happy. Self-interest promotes competition.
Author of the article Capitalism’s’ in Crisis, Jeffery Schaccs, (p2) says “self-interest is a controversial word. ” He claims inside the article that the word is linked to “greed. ” I do not agree with that statement. The reason why is because I believe that a persons self-interest is their own choice in life. Their choice is wanting to be successful in life. If some random person had dreams to start their own company and aspires to become rich, that does not mean he is greedy. I would the person is ambitious. Due to the persons self-interest, the person did not only prosper for themselves, but he did the same for others.
If the owner of the company is pleased with the amount of money his company is receiving, then all the employees are happy. They are getting there hours and possibly bonuses or pay raises. A positive work environment is set up. This enhances many things. If the product presents itself well that means the company is doing a good job. That makes the consumer happy and everyone benefits from it. The Oxford dictionary (p1) describes self-interest by “one’s personal interest or advantage, especially when pursued without regard for others: the assumption that individuals are primarily motivated by self-interest. The definition that Oxford has gives says that self-interest is pursued in a way that it has no regard for others. At the end of the day one’s self-interest could have a positive affect on another person. It could have its negative affects as well. For example, if one person supports gay marriage and the president does not, most likely gay marriage would be banned. Due to the president’s self-interest in banning gay marriage because it is what he believe in, gay couples would be affected negatively.
This could happen in plenty of situations. All in all, self-interest is positive on others. There could be thousands of scenarios where this could come into play. Writing this paper is my own self-interest. I have no regards to benefit anyone but myself. I could benefit children in the future in the career I will pursue because i need this class to obtain a degree. This word took a while for me to understand. Getting different points of views and different definitions really helped me understand the true meaning of self-interest.