Recent Commentaries

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What’s the Point?
Recently a reader asked, “We know ethics scandals are all over the news. We know politicians are corrupt, that bankers, CEOs and executives lie, cheat and steal. So, what are you trying to tell us that we don’t already know? What’s the point?” The point of the site is this: to understand that there is an ethical dimension to many...
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May 30, 2012
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This One’s for Bruce
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a stunning announcement on the steps of the Capitol today, scientists from four leading research centers believe they have found a direct link between the ethics scandals of the last five years – perhaps going back as far asfive decades – and a chemical imbalance in the brain. The new disease, which scientists are calling “Involuntary Ethics...
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May 28, 2012
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What’s the Goal?
Last Friday’s post talked about business ethics. One reader asked about a potential conflict between the needs of a shareholder to make money versus needing to do right by employees. “Can you be equally ethical to both? Is it ethical for a company to deprive shareholders of additional money in order to maintain an ethical working environment?” Creating and maintaining...
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May 25, 2012
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Justice v. Compassion
During a session of Contemporary Ethical Issues, a class taught by me and Professor Stephen Ambra at the New Hampshire Technical Institute, the subject of bullying came up, which prompted me to ask, “Show of hands, how many of you have ever been bullied?” Out of 36 students, I was surprised to discover an overwhelming majority had faced ridicule, coercion, harassment,...
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May 23, 2012
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How to Win an Election
Memo to: President Obama and Governor Romney With both of you remain busy ramping up your campaigns, I offer some ethical wisdom from now until November, and… hopefully, beyond. 1. Loyalty is important, but… It’s nice to have loyal friends and followers who have the same passion to want to make this country work for the betterment of all, but not...
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May 21, 2012
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Business Ethics
Several years ago, I was speaking to a business group. The people sat in the room according to hierarchy: managers sat with the sales force in front; the administrative staff and lower echelon work force sat in back. During the Q&A, one individual from sales asked, “Don’t you think that sales should have a different set of standards than others...
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May 18, 2012
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Ways to Improve
Everyone’s looking for ways to improve. (Well, maybe not everyone, but most people I know.) With all the ethics scandals in the news lately, I thought I would take this opportunity to offer some ways you can improve your ethical integrity. To begin with – Ethics – writer, philosopher Ayn Rand defines ethics as “a code of values which guide our...
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May 16, 2012
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Let’s Be Honest – The Empire Strikes Back Edition
 » Read more about: Let’s Be Honest – The Empire Strikes Back Edition  »...
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May 14, 2012
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Is This the Face of Hubris?
On Sunday morning’s Meet the Press, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon declared, “We were dead wrong,” with respect to a $2 billion (possibly $1 billion more) loss by the largest U.S. banking firm. Last month, with the loss in the rumor mill, Dimon called it a “complete tempest in a teapot.” Does anyone remember Enron, WorldCom, BP, Goldman Sachs, G.E., Merck,...
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May 14, 2012
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A Tale of Two Leaders
In less than two weeks in April, we learned of two high-profile scandals involving two government agencies. Both carry potential for serious repercussions based largely on how their respective leaders handled the crisis. The General Services Administration’s job is to support and manage the basic infrastructure of federal agencies by providing supplies, communications, offices, and transportation through “government-wide, cost-minimizing policies.” Apparently,...
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May 11, 2012