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Greedy individuals are often portraited as harmful to society as their motives often appear to disregard the welfare of others: if one person is to increase in wealth, then somebody else must decrease in wealth (This is, of course, based on the assumption that the improvement of one person's economic condition must come at the expense of others). However, greed has become more acceptable (and the word used less frequently) in Western culture, where the desire to acquire wealth has been understood as indispensable for economic prosperity.
When greed entails the covetousness of another person's attributes, the term envy is used. When greed is applied to the subject of the excessive consumption of food or drink the term gluttony is often used, another of the Catholic seven deadly sins.
Buddhists believe greed is based on incorrectly connecting material wealth with happiness. This is caused by a deluded view that exaggerates the positive aspects of an object.