63 of the Best Quotes About Greed

Greed is usually associated with money, wealth, and possessions, but it can be associated with so much more than that. You can be greedy with time, food, people, places, and other things as well. Greed basically all boils down to not wanting to share, not being empathic to other people’s feelings or how you inflict how other people feel.

A person that exhibits greedy behavior will also be manipulative, have no limits when performing their actions, and tend to never be satisfied with whatever they have or whatever you do for them.

Envy is often hand in hand with greed. While greed is the desire to grow your possessions and never being satisfied, envy is all of that along with wanting another person’s possessions. Every person is greedy in their own way sometimes, but a psychologist might be a help for those who find themselves not being able to resist the temptations of greed. So if you feel like you never will have, or be, enough…read these quotes over to remind yourself about the downsides of greed.

Quotes About Greed

  1. “Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.” – Mwai Kibaki
  2. “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”- Socrates
  3. “Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.” – Garrison Keillor
  4. “Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” – P. J. O’Rourke
  5. “Greed is the lack of confidence of one’s own ability to create.” – Vanna Bonta
  6. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.” – Epicurus, 341-270 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher
  7. “If it weren’t for greed, intolerance, hate, passion and murder, you would have no works of art, no great buildings, no medical science, no Mozart, no Van Gough, no Muppets and no Louis Armstrong.” – Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy
  8. “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” – Erich Fromm
  9. “There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.”- Siddharta Gautama
  10. “For greed all nature is too little.” – Seneca
  11. “Greed is not a financial issue. It’s a heart issue.” – Andy Stanley
  12. “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me.’” – Brian Tracy
  13. “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” – Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher
  14. “I am afraid that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, and that we have more curiosity than understanding. We grasp at everything, but catch nothing except wind.” – Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays
  15. “Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.” – Albert Einstein
  16. “The Master said, “If your conduct is determined solely by considerations of profit you will arouse great resentment.” – Confucius
  17. “From the first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilization.” – Friedrich Engels
  18. “The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.” – Bodhidharma
  19. “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” – Socrates
  20. “To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.” – G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, English writer & critic
  21. “So the unwanting soul sees what’s hidden, and the ever-wanting soul sees only what it wants.” – Lao Tzu
  22. “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  23. “Our labor preserves us from three great evils – weariness, vice, and want.” – Voltaire
  24. “Greed has driven the world crazy. And I think I’m lucky that I have a place over here that I can call home.” – Nina Simone
  25. “In our daily life, we encounter people who are angry, deceitful, intent only on satisfying their own needs. There is so much anger, distrust, greed, and pettiness that we are losing our capacity to work well together.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
  26. “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” – Edward Abbey
  27. “Youth is not enough. And love is not enough. And success is not enough. And, if we could achieve it, enough would not be enough.” – Mignon McLaughlin, 1913-1983, American magazine editor
  28. “That something so small could be so beautiful. Worth so much. Only the strongest people can turn away from feelings like that.” – Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
  29. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
  30. “Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.” – Erich Fromm
  31. “Greed has taken the whole universe, and nobody is worried about their soul.” – Little Richard
  32. “Greed is so destructive. It destroys everything.” – Eartha Kitt
  33. “It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” – Thoreau
  34. “Loss is not as bad as wanting more.” – Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher
  35. “Most of the mess that is called history comes about because kings and presidents cannot be satisfied with a nice chicken and a good loaf of bread.” – Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution
  36. “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” – Vernon Howard
  37. “Greed’s worst point is its ingratitude.” – Seneca the Younger
  38. “Greed is the inventor of injustice as well as the current enforcer.” – Julian Casablancas
  39. “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.” – Stephen Hawking
  40. “Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment.” – Mark Twain
  41. “Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become.” – Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher
  42. “She never forgets a slight, real or imagined. She takes caution for cowardice and dissent for defiance. And she is greedy. Greedy for power, for honour, for love.” – George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
  43. “Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough.” – Janwillem van de Wetering
  44. “Ignorance, hatred and greed are killing nature.” – Masanobu Fukuoka
  45. “The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.” – B.C. Forbes
  46. “Lust and greed are more gullible than innocence.” – Mason Cooley
  47. “A greedy person and a pauper are practically one and the same.” – Swiss Proverb
  48. “The point is that you can’t be too greedy.” – Donald Trump, 1946-, President of the USA
  49. “We cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.” – John F. Kennedy, addressing the American people from The White House, July 25, 1961
  50. “There is no calamity greater than lavish desires. There is no greater guilt than discontent. And there is no greater disaster than greed.” – Laozi
  51. “There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.” – Maya Angelou
  52. “The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.” – Charles Kuralt
  53. “I believe in the sun. In the tangle of human failures of fear, greed and forgetfulness, the sun gives me clarity.” – Joy Harjo
  54. “There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.” – Oscar Wilde
  55. “Money is not only the object but also the fountainhead of greed.” – Karl Marx, 1818-1883, German philosopher
  56. “In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.” – Matt Taibbi, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
  57. “Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.” – Charlie Chaplin
  58. “It didn’t occur to me until later that there´s another truth, very simple: greed in a good cause is still greed.” – Stephen King
  59. “Calm self-confidence is as far from conceit as the desire to earn a decent living is remote from greed.” – Channing Pollock
  60. “Fear and greed are potent motivators. When both of these forces push in the same direction, virtually no human being can resist.” – Andrew Weil
  61. “There is no calamity greater than lavish desires. There is no greater guilt than discontent. And there is no greater disaster than greed.” – Lau Tzu
  62. “We are all born brave, trusting and greedy, and most of us manage to remain greedy.” – Mignon McLaughlin, 1913-1983, American magazine editor
  63. “Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.” – Horace Mann
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Related: Jordan Belfort’s Best Quotes

Greed Video – Greed is Good

Wall Street was a 1987 movie about a high powered corporate raider Gordon Gekko. In the movie he is played by Michael Douglas. In this scene at a shareholder meeting, he passionately talks about whey he feels greed is good. He is justifying his behavior in trying to take over a company and cut costs which means that blue collar workers will end up losing their jobs so that shareholders can profit. It’s a master speech and a great scene.

Related: The most head scratching quotes about greedy people


Confronting your issue with greed is a great way to begin the healing process to the internal issue that is making you unconsciously greedy. There is no shame in working with a professional to understand the main root or cause of your behavior, and then working with them to understand how to become ‘rich’ with the essentials instead, such as love, compassion and self-acceptance.

Hopefully these quotes are able to identify that you have a problem with greed, make you step back and consider your greedy actions, or even help you in the process of trying to overcome your greedy behavior.



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