"What would you suspect gave greedy people the edge in succeeding with their greedful way especially seeing how the greedy have always been in the minority?"
I would say the same thing that goes on today, albeit different means and vehicles: lies, deceit, and taking generousity/kindness as a weakness to be exploited.
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml