Not according to Adam Smith. By pursuing my own self interest (?happiness?), I find the employment (work) that I am most happy performing and as such am able to contribute to society in a fashion that is most productive to society and happiest for me.

As Adam Smith described:

“Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of society, which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily, leads him to prefer employment which is most advantageous to the society . . . . [H]e intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.” — Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, bk. IV, ch. 2, 397, 399 (D.D. Raphael ed., 1991) (1776).

Selfishness is a virtue. Thank you Hugh Hewitt for the reminder, and thank you Ayn Rand.

Also referred to on the Townhall site is this Milton Friedman interview by Phil Donohue:

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