Called a city that never sleeps, could New York City have an addiction greed? Addiction is when enough is never enough. To an addict the chase to get a hold of their desired substance is invigorating. When it is not obtained, the addict can become enraged, irritable, withdrawn and depressed. Sam Polk, former hedge fund trader in New York City has put forth the theory that greed can be considered just as addictive as drugs or alcohol.
In an article recently published in the New York Times on January 14, Mr. Polk recounts being given a bonus of over $3.5 million dollars in his final year as a trader on Wall Street. It was not enough for him. The impetus to earn more did not stem from his home situation. He was not supporting a family. The drive to earn money, to him, felt like an addiction. During his lifetime Sam Polk had undergone counselling for drug and alcohol addictions, he recognized the symptoms he was experiencing. Three years ago he finally left Wall Street. It was a hard decision for him and, as a result, he’s proposed that the pursuit of the American dream, a big success story in unfathomable numbers, on Wall Street is akin to the jitters dance of addiction.
The idea is that greed addictions lead to addicts seeking to enhance their bank accounts. In their eyes an amount of money could always be persuaded to increase. To achieve the ever rising target, the greed addict becomes manipulative, brazen and brutish. It is not about seeing other’s needs, it is about getting an itch scratched. New York City could have an addiction to greed.
There are an estimated 389 millionaires in New York City, indicating that perhaps not a great deal of the population has this particular issue. However, Mr. Polk suggests that it is not just the individuals who need to seek treatment. Sam Polk told of the wealth seeking culture within Wall Street community, rejecting regulation because it would inflict a loss on profit, on bonuses. In other words, denying a healthy diet to the population because it would limit benefit from binge eating for the elite.
Outside of Wall Street, New York City is a luxury city offering anything a person could desire, on a plate, if that person can afford it. Money is power, New York is powerful and without that power New York will no longer be a world-class city. Mr. Polk, though, turned the tables and founded Groceryships, providing nutritional information for people struggling with issues such as poverty and obesity. Groceryships is an all-encompassing plan to tackle these problems through financial, medical, educational and psychological help. The company launched three pilot programs in 2014. Mr Polk, the executive director of Groceryships, by helping the needy released himself from what he calls a greed addiction. It remains to be seen if others chasing millions in New York City addicted to greed will follow in his footsteps.
By Persephone Abbott